It’s easy to forget when you’re nestled in amongst the buildings and the trash, but several beaches are actually easily accessible from both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Before summer’s over, make like a Californian and spend a day in the ocean at one of the city’s beaches.
The simplest way to get to the beach is just our normal transit option: the train. For the Rockaways, simply take the A train to Rockaway Park, or take the C and switch to the A. Make sure to not get on the A bound for Lefferts (they split off near JFK) or switch at a crossover point. You an also switch to the Beach shuttle, the S.
The more planning intensive (but arguably more fun) way to get to Rockaway is to take the ferry. If your’e going on a weekend you’ll need to arrive early as the lines can get long, but from Wall Street the ferry to the Rockaways is just $2.75 (unfortunately you can’t use your Metrocard; tickets need to be purchased separately.) Once you’re on the ferry, it’s a little under an hour to the beach, and you can sit on the roof deck (it’s BYOB!) and start your outdoor time early.
If you have a car, it’s of course an option to drive to the beach (it’s not far! 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.) And if you’re going with a group, it’s actually not too expensive to take an Uber. Depending on the neighborhood, it can be as low as $30, which if you’re splitting the car isn’t bad at all.
Jacob Riis beach, on the far Western edge of the Rockaways, is accessible by bike via a bridge from South Brooklyn, as well as buses from Rockaway proper if you take the subway or the ferry.
Coney Island is also an easy subway ride on the N or Q from South Brooklyn, though it tends to be a little more crowded than the Rockaways because of the easier access.
If you want to get even further away from the city, you can take the LIRR train to a huge variety of beaches on Long Island, or take ferries (for a little more than $2.75) to Sandy Hook, Fire Island, and more.