This is one of the easiest beaches to get to using public transportation from Manhattan. It is also a clean beach with a boardwalk and a choice of food places near the train station. If it’s a sunny weekend in New York City and I am craving to lie down on a sandy beach and look out to the ocean, Long Beach is an easy decision to make without a lot of advanced planning.
Take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) from Penn Station in Manhattan direct to Long Beach in Long Island. The fare is currently $7 one way, and the length of the ride is just under an hour. You can get a getaway package from LIRR during the summer which includes a discounted beach pass for $12 (purchased at the beach it is $15). LIRR Train Schedule
I always take a chair and beach umbrella with me, because not only can I never find the location on the beach where they rent out chairs and umbrellas (I seem to be somewhat challenged in this, as I know they exist), but they are also expensive I feel – $14 to rent a chair and $17 to rent an umbrella until 5pm. Beach Comfort rentals.
The good thing about taking the train to Long Beach is there are also plenty of convenient food options nearby, even if the Boardwalk doesn’t have vendors that day. Some places have changed, but a favorite is the original Gino’s of Long Beach, right across the street from the train station. It was opened in 1962 and serves up pizza, pasta and other Italian favorites.
You can get a quick bite at Burger King or Five Guys which sit on opposite corners from each other as you walk towards the beach, and there is also a Starbucks a bit further West. Map of Long Beach.
If a Bar and grill restaurant is more what you’re looking for, you can turn east a few blocks to Half Moon Bar and Grill for great drinks and bar food, or get a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner entree at JJ Coopers at 124 West Park Avenue. I had a great veggie quiche there for lunch that was as big as the plate.
However you fill up before or after the beach, enjoy the wide expanse of sand and surf, accessible from several points both east and west from the train station. Beach condos line the entire boardwalk so it has a bit of a city feel. You can also rent bikes and bike on the boardwalk which is something on my bucket list. The beach can get crowded on the weekends in the summer so come early, or stay late.