From the rocky shores of the Long Island Sound to the plush sands of the Atlantic Ocean, nothing says summer like the beaches of Long Island. Find the best beach for you and your family with our list of the best Long Island beaches.
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park
Fees: $10 per car on weekends and holidays, May 28 through Labor Day. $8 per car on weekends and holidays, Sept. 6 through Nov. 6. Free with a New York State pass.
Hours: Hours vary by beach and season. Check park website for details.
Sunken Meadow State Park offers 3 miles of beautiful beachfront along the Long Island Sound. The calm waters make it ideal for less-experienced swimmers as well as kayakers, windsurfers and stand-up paddleboarders. Visitors who wish to burn some calories can play a game of soccer or baseball on the activity fields. Other amenities include food stands, picnic areas, playgrounds and a launch site for kayaks and canoes.
Robert Moses State Park, Babylon
Fees: $10 per car, Memorial day through Labor Day. Free with a New York State pass.
Hours: Park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Ocean swimming hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, starting May 28.
Among the most popular Long Island beaches, Robert Moses State Park consists of 5 miles of ocean beach. Popular water activities include swimming, surfing, fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing and boating. For boaters, the park offers a basin capable of holding up to 40 boats during the day. Other amenities include concessions, picnic area, playgrounds, sports fields and pavilions. And whether you are a golfer or not, everyone can have fun or brush up on their game during a casual round at the Robert Moses State Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course.
Orient Beach State Park, Orient
Fees: $10 per car during peak beach season. Free with a New York State pass.
Hours: Lifeguards on duty daily from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. during beach season.
The beach at Orient Beach State Park stretches across 45,000 feet of Gardiners Bay. Here beach-goers can swim, fish, canoe, windsurf and stand-up paddleboard. The park, which spans 360 acres, offers pavilions, athletic fields, horseshoe pits and bocce ball and shuffleboard courts. Nature enthusiasts can hike, bike or jog along the scenic trails and spot plentiful wildlife. As a designated Audubon Important Bird Area, it is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Guided tours with park rangers are also available.
Main Beach, East Hampton
Fees: Daily: Free for village residents with parking permit / $50 for non-residents.
Season: Free for village residents / $500 for non-residents.
Hours: Beaches are open weekends and holidays only starting Memorial Day until the last Saturday in June, then daily through Labor Day. Lifeguards on duty daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. during beach season.
The village of East Hampton’s Main Beach is one of the most popular and highly acclaimed beaches in the Hamptons. Often commended for its cleanliness, high level of lifeguarding and facilities, when it comes to Long Island beaches, this one checks off all the boxes. Parking passes can be hard to get as the daily passes are limited. However, the beach is about a 20-minute walk away from East Hampton’s Main Street, where ample parking is available.
Cupsogue Beach, Westhampton
Fees: $9 daily for Suffolk County residents with Green Key card and $18 daily for non-residents.
Hours: Parking rates apply from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Lifeguards on duty daily from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. during beach season.
In the winter this Westhampton beach is a hotspot for seals, but come summer, the people move in for swimming, fishing and even scuba diving. Camping is also permitted along the outer beach with a permit. The Cupsogue Beach pavilion provides restrooms, changing rooms and showers for anyone who wants to wash up after a long day in the water. For a bite to eat, head down to the Beach Hut for breakfast, lunch or a quick snack. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center for plays, concerts, comedy shows and more.
Ocean Beach, Fire Island
Fees: There are no beach fees in Ocean Beach. It is only accessible by the Fire Island Ferry from Bay Shore. Visit the ferry website for hours and prices.
Hours: This beach does not have set hours.
Ocean Beach is the largest village on Fire Island and is home to many shops and restaurants as well as over a mile of sandy ocean beachfront. The beautiful beach, abundance of dining and nightlife options have made it Fire Island’s most popular tourist destination. Often regarded as having the best restaurant scene on Fire Island, a few popular restaurants in the village include the Island Mermaid for seafood and Rachel’s Bakery and Restaurant. If you have a sweet tooth, the ice cream shop Scoops is not to be missed.
Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh
Founded in 1929, Jones Beach State Park is one of the most famous Long Island beaches. It’s known for its 4-mile long boardwalk, 6 miles of sandy oceanfront beach, historic bathhouses and Memorial Day Weekend air show, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. And a summer on Long Island would not be complete without catching at least one concert at Jones Beach Theater.
The park is split into “fields” based on the closest parking lot. The boardwalk stretches from Field 2 to Field 6, along which you will find concession stands, playgrounds, a mini golf course and many tennis, basketball and shuffleboard courts. Field 10 is home to fishing piers and a full-service bait and tackle shop, and it is a launching spot for kayaks and sailboards. Ocean swimming is available at several lifeguarded locations, and for those prefer calmer waters Zach’s Bay (located near Fields 5 and 6) is also watched.
Nickerson Beach Park, Lido Beach
Fees: $15 daily for Nassau County Leisure Pass holder / $37 daily for non-holders.
Hours: Lifeguards on duty daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during beach season.
A true community beach, Nickerson Beach Park offers a ton of activities and fun ways for the family to spend the lazy days of summer. The beach stretches a half-mile along the Atlantic Ocean and is connected to a 155-acre park, which has swimming pools (extra fee required for admittance), tennis courts, soccer field, beach volleyball courts, a baseball field, a dog run and campgrounds. Cabanas and cabinettes are available to rent during the season, but they are a hot ticket; every year a lottery is held to determine eligibility. The park also has a concession stand, playground, skate park and two basketball courts.
Ocean Beach Park, Long Beach
Fees: $12 daily for City of Long Beach residents / $15 daily for non-residents
Season: $70 for residents / $140 for non-residents. See all prices.
Hours: Lifeguards on duty 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during beach season.
Ocean Beach Park is made up of 4 miles of sandy oceanfront beach in Long Beach. It features a 2.2-mile boardwalk, which was largely rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. Condominiums and hotels line the landward side of the boardwalk. The LIRR station is just a short walk from the beach, making it one of the most convenient Long Island beaches, especially if you are coming from New York City.
Besides swimming, popular activities at Ocean Beach Park include volleyball, biking and inline skating on the boardwalk, and surfing. There are number of food trucks and concessions offered along the boardwalk and a variety of restaurants just up the block on Park Avenue.
TOBAY Beach, Massapequa
Fees: $20 daily for Town of Oyster Bay residents (or $60 for a seasonal sticker for cars and motorcycles). $50 daily for non-residents, weekdays only.
Hours: Lifeguards on duty daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. during beach season.
TOBAY (Town of Oyster Bay) Beach is located off the Ocean Parkway just past Jones Beach but feels much more exclusive; non-residents are only admitted on weekdays and must pay a more expensive rate. The beach offers both bay and ocean swimming, but the ocean side is more popular. The bay is great for children as the waters are calm and the beach isn’t too large, and there is also a spray park. A top perk of going to TOBAY is getting access to its beachside restaurants. For quick bites, there is also a concession stand by the beach.
What are some of your favorite Long Island beaches? Tell us in the comments.
Find top beaches throughout the Northeast at AAA.com/BeachGuide.
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.