So many Long Island beaches to explore!
Many New Yorkers travel to the Long Island Beaches for a weekend getaway or a day trip. As you travel further out east in Suffolk County, it feels like a different world when compared to the congested neighborhoods of Queens and NYC. There are close to 100 sandy white beaches! After all, it is an island which extends 118 miles from the east end at Montauk to the west into the NY Harbor. The upper tip of the north shore stretches 23 miles southward.
The seashores are beautiful here, fun and so close to home! There is almost 100 miles of sand to explore. The north shore beaches are bordered by the Long Island Sound. As a result the water is more calm as compared to the south shore, which feed out into the Atlantic Ocean. The waves can get really high and and great for surfers.
There is a shore local to any where you live on Long Island. Some are smaller bodies of water and some are part of NY State Parks. If you live near Northport, NY there is a small beach - Crab Meadow, with a playground for the kids and a short walk from your car to the sand.
The body of water on the north shore of Long Island is the Long Island Sound. The water is more calm - it does not lead out into the Atlantic Ocean and the beaches are a bit rockier. In doing research for this website, I have tried to find info as to why calmer waters presents rockier beaches. My guess it that the tide does not reach too far onto the beach to carry the rocks away. If you know the answer to what makes a beach rocky, please post it on the form. I would be interested to know.
Due to the calmer waters, the north shore beaches are really great for tanning and swimming without worrying about being carried around by a wave. The north shore beaches include Short Beach, Crab Meadow, Asharoken, and Sunken Meadow State Park.
Barrier Islands on the South Shore
Fire Island, NY in Suffolk county is a great summer destination and popular for weekend trips. There are many vacation communities and beaches to visit. Most of the Island can only be reached by boat or by ferry. You will find some of the most popular Long Island beaches enjoyed by sunbathers here.
Fire Island, NY is actually considered a barrier island off the southern coast of Long Island. A barrier island is a narrow strip of sand that runs adjacent to the mainland coast. They often occur in chains - there could be several islands or as many as ten. The body of water that sits between the southern coast of Long Island and Fire Island is "The Great South Bay".
Along these barrier islands there are many beach communities with great surf and sand, including Gilgo Beach, Long Beach, Lido Beach, Tobay Beach, and Cedar Beach.
Robert Moses State Park is situated on the western end of Fire Island, in Suffolk County. There are 5 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, and great waves for surfing and boogie boarding. To get to this beach you need to take the Robert Moses Causeway.
East of Robert Moses State Park is the Fire Island National Seashore. The beach next to the park is Lighthouse Beach. It is about 1 mile long and is considered the largest nude beach in New York.
Then we have Jones Beach Island along the southern coast of Long Island, in Nassau County. You can visit Jones Beach, Long Island - a NYS Park and one of the most popular Long Island beaches on the South Shore. It is located on the western tip of Jones Beach Island. Jones Beach can also be referred to as Oak Beach Island.
The state park is home to Nikon Jones Beach, in Wantagh, NY, which is a large stadium hosting a series of Jones Beach Concerts in the summer time. You can get tickets to see many popular artists, like Stevie Nicks and Journey/Foreigner, just to name a few.
This state park also presents the annual Jones Beach Air Show every Memorial Day. You can watch competition military airplanes perform skydiving tricks and flips, which is very entertaining and family oriented. The show is usually hosted by the United States Navy "Blue Angels".
If you are interested in airplanes and Long Island's history in the Aviation industry, you can visit the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, or check out the museum page page for more info.
Thinking about going on a beach vacation outside of Long Island? Here is a idea...
When Long Island beaches are just too chilly, you might consider a sun-filled vacation to the tropical beaches of Peru, South America.
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