It might be surprising, but now that we live in Manhattan, I’ve never lived so close to a beach! The beach has always been at least a 2-3 hour drive away when I lived in North Carolina and Virginia. But in less than an hour and for $22/person (including beach access), Rob and I trained from Penn Station to Long Beach, where we were dropped off just a couple blocks from the ocean on Long Island.
Hurricane Sandy destroyed many parts of this beach in 2012, including the boardwalk. Now, the boardwalk has been completely rebuilt and makes for a perfect path to ride bikes, walk, or run with the beach and ocean right next to you for miles.
We made our way down to the white-sand beach and spread out our favorite multi-purpose, weather-proof, sand-proof blanket and basked in the sun. While parts of the beach were more crowded than others, it wasn’t hard to find our own space right next to the surf. I love listening to those waves! We read, ate our picnic lunch, dipped our toes in the water, and savored our beach day. I highly recommend Long Beach for an easy, affordable, and quick jaunt to the beach from NYC.
Instructions for purchasing train and beach admission tickets are straightforward on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) website, but simply go to any green, gray, or blue ticket kiosk at Penn Station. Select “Deals and Getaways,” then “Beach Getaways,” specifying Long Beach as your destination. Lots of tickets will print, including your roundtrip train ticket (don’t lose it!), beach admission pass, a coupon for participating merchants at Long Beach, and your receipt.
Trains run to and from all day, so you don’t have to worry too much about being confined to a schedule. Just check the timetable ahead of time or pick up a brochure that has the timetables at Penn Station.
We can’t wait to go back! I’m thinking that if we find ourselves with an open Saturday in September or October, it’d be really fun to take a book to the beach with a sweatshirt and a bottle of wine. Who’s in?!