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Memorial Day is the official start of the city’s summer season. This year, I started my first summer day by giving a tour of historic Manhattan and told a darling 9-year-old wearing an American Flag top that there is a beach in New York City.
Did you know that? There are beaches here. Big, beautiful beaches, easily accessible by subway. To celebrate the start of summer, we decided to take a beach day from NYC!
Although the city might not be your first thought as a summer vacation destination, spending a day where there’s clean air, bright sun, and miles of coastline is just what New Yorkers need. Specifically, having an away beach day from NYC is just what THIS New Yorker needed! Monday was spent relaxing on the beach, soaking up the sun. I have a few tan lines to prove it!
Where We Went
While there are many brilliant beaches accessible by subway, this week my partners in crime and I chose the Far Rockaways. Why you may ask? More on that in a minute.
Since I was coming from around the World Trade Center, it was a quick trip for me. But, it took my best friends a little more than an hour to travel from Harlem down to Howard Beach on the downtown A. To the reach the Rockaways, you have to transfer at Howard Beach to a Shuttle train. In addition to finding one of the three S shuttles in the transit system, there’s also an AirTrain to John F. Kennedy Airport. How convenient!
What We Did
We chose the Avenue 90 stop off at the Rockaways as our destination for the day. Again, what made this particular spot of beach stand out from the rest of Queens’ beautiful coastline? Because I knew of an ice cream shop just down the block. Of course, ice cream is a priority on a hot summer day.
Before heading to the beach, we stopped at a sandwich shop and Key Foods, a New York grocery store chain to pick up snacks for the day. It was incredibly convenient to have a shop so close to the beach. In the future, I think I will continue to try popping into a convenience or grocery store for snacks instead of schlepping them all the way down on the subway. It definitely made the trip a bit lighter!
The water was a bit too cold for swimming. But, the breeze blowing in from the water was enough to cool us down from the sun’s heat. We enjoyed the sun for a solid four hours, relaxing in the rays, before deciding we’d had enough sunburn for one day.
Ice Cream, Obviously
The best part of our beach day from NYC, of course, was the ice cream! We walked over to family-owned Mara’s Ice Cream Parlor, and oh my. So many incredible flavors. So much deliciousness! Upon recommendation from the incredibly helpful staff, I tried a three scoop combination of Campfire Smores, Flying Fish and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Absolute perfection. The shop has a beautiful sitting area in the back. It gave us a place to relax with our treat after a long day of relaxing in the sun.
If you have the chance to have a beach day from NYC, do it. I know, New York City is a city, not necessarily a beach locale. However, I promise you, especially in the summer, you can’t go wrong with heading out to the Far Rockaways for a beach day. It’s a beautiful refresher from the crazy city life!