Summer is coming to New York City and so are millions of tourists. If you’re one of them, in addition to experiencing the requisite statues, buildings, and squares, you should also enjoy the Big Apple’s soon to be sizzling heat like a local — at one of the city’s surprisingly awesome beaches. My favorite “locals” beach is Arverne by the Sea, which is located on a tiny strip of land in Queens.
How to get to Arverne by the Sea:
Take the A train toward Far Rockaway. Get off at Beach 67th street. Exit the station toward Rockaway Beach Blvd. Turn right and walk east to Beach 73rd street (about 3 – 5 minutes). You can pick up picnic supplies from the Stop and Shop grocery store, or grab a bite from a couple mom and pop eateries along the way. Turn left at Beach 73rd street and walk south until you hit the beach (another 3 – 5 minutes).
Arverne’s beach is about 3/4 mile long, and part of a much larger nine mile stretch of sand that ends at the tip of Roackaway peninsula and Jamaica Bay at Breezy Point. A boardwalk follows the length of the beach and is perfect for cycling or jogging, though large sections of it are still under reconstruction after damage from 2012 hurricane Sandy.
Life guards are on duty during the summer, daily from 10am-6pm.
I discovered Arverne while searching for a crashpad as a flight attendant based in JFK. Arverne is a workaday neighborhood with a mix of mid-century planned brick apartment complexes, turn of the century bungalows, and newish, beach-y row houses. The neighborhood doesn’t have much in the way of sites, but there’s no cooler spot in the city on a hot summer’s day.