Rockaway Beach 2014: Your Guide to NYC’s Best Beach
Rockaway Beach is many years past being some sort of secret paradise (that's Fort Tilden these days), but just because it's become super popular doesn't mean it's still not a great beach. Hands down, its one of the best ways to cool off in NYC and one that happens to be located a couple of blocks from the subway.
The best news for summer 2014: the construction that shut down big stretches of prime fun-in-the-sun territory last season is finished! Not the boardwalk; that still has a long way to go, if it ever returns. But for now at least, the wide sandy beaches of Rockaway are open from Beach 90 to, as far as I could see, Beach 120 and beyond.
Gotta Have Some Rockaway Tacos
I spent most of my Memorial Day at Rockaway's Beach 97, one of my usual spots out there, mostly because it's home to the great Rockaway Taco, where you'll not only find the best tacos in the city, but also the most beach-taco-y place imaginable. A breezy side patio, great music blasting, and tacos being devoured. Warning: the line at Rockaway Taco gets ridiculous, so I suggest you do what I do and go there right from the train (the Beach 98 stop on the Shuttle; Rockaway Taco is on Beach 96th Street), right at 11:00 when they start serving lunch, eat your delicious food, then hit the beach.
Beat The Crowds at Beach 67
There are plenty of other food options at Rockaway, such as a new Roberta's pop-up pizza stand right across the street from Rockaway Taco, as well as all the concessions (and beer!) on the beach, including newcomers Breezy BBQ and the popsicles and ice cream cones at Citysticks. And the burger-and-beer party at Rippers continues this summer as well over at Beach 90. But if you don't care about lunch (or access to bathrooms), my advice is to stay on the A train when everyone else gets off at Broad Channel to catch the Shuttle, and spend a gloriously uncrowded day at Beach 67, where surfers outnumber swimmers ten to one. The sand's really nice here, too.
If you enjoyed Rockaway Beach in 2014, make sure to check out the brand new 2015 changes and new attractions!