Think you have to hit the West Coast to live the beach life? Think again. The New York City suburbs are jam-packed with beach-chic. From laid back sandy shores to more “urban” suburban communities with a surprise dose of sun-and-surf, there are plenty of family-friendly beach towns just outside of city limits. Want to start exploring? Let’s talk. In the meantime, check out our roundup of the top NYC ‘burbs for beach-goers.
Westport is a hotspot with good cause. Affluent and family-friendly with A+ schools and sub-60 minute commute into the city, Westport has long been a suburban respite for NYCers looking for the lifestyle, the space and, of course, the beaches.
While Compo Beach is arguably the best known with an incredible playground …there is plenty more waterfront! Sherwood Island State Park is a go-to for locals, sitting right on Long Island Sound in Westport. All offer great waterfront access plus a host of activities when the temperatures rise.
Another suburban hotspot, Greenwich never fails to draw countless city families to its chic amenities, on-trend downtown and easy urban access. But, like Westport, many families also love the idea of being beachfront—another perk to calling Greenwich “home.”
Residents can snag park and beach passes good from May 1 to October 31, with lifeguards on duty starting Memorial Day weekend. Greenwich Point and Byram Beach & Pool—the town’s public pool—are popular spots with locals but, if you’re looking for even more fun in the sun, hop a ferry from Roger Sherman Baldwin Park to Great Captain Island or Island Beach or hang by Todd’s Point.
Port Washington, NY
You can’t miss “Port’s” beach vibe. From the boats lining Manhasset Bay to eateries with dedicated marinas inviting boaters to hop on and off to a cute waterfront downtown offering everything from homemade ice cream to bait and tackle to day rentals, it’s hard not to feel like you’re on vacation here.
And when you want to hit the shore? While Bar Beach is usually the most bustling, it’s not the only game in town. North Hempstead Beach Park and Manorhaven Beach Park both sit in Port, which a number of nearby beaches and pools in neighboring Roslyn, Sea Cliff, Great Neck and Glen Cove.
Despite being surrounded by water, writes The New York Times, Rumson is “more than just a beach town.” With an affluent, family-focused vibe, quick Manhattan commute (just 45 minutes by—what else?—ferry) and a year-round beach vibe, Rumson has long been a popular destination for city families looking to get out—and now is no exception. Even the architecture speaks to the beach feel, with many modern designers opting for shore-inspired shingle-style homes with open spaces, big windows and a light, airy feel that keeps summer alive—even when winter strikes.
There’s palpable charm many city families say draws them to Darien—and one visit is all it takes for many of our clients to feel the same. Between the glut of former city-dwellers, the constant influx of young families and the endless activities and amenities that ensure newcomers can get acclimated ASAP, there’s very little Darien leaves to be desired—including beach living.
A big part of Darien’s charm, homeowners reports, is a small town New England beach town feel, due in large part to its beaches—Weed Beach, Pear Tree Point Beach and other shorefront parks and preserves that line Darien’s 30 shoreline miles. What’s more, many new and existing homes boast waterfront views and private access, including docks and mooring privileges.
Ranked among the top 50 places to live by Money magazine, Fairfield has long topped many urbanites’ list of must-see towns. With top-rated schools, a bustling downtown, trendy restaurant scene and five miles of beaches right on Long Island Sound—plus freshwater Lake Mohegan—there’s never a shortage of things to do, taste or experience in Fairfield. And, with a relatively new train station now up and running, the commute—and the parking—is easier than ever.
And the beaches? They’re just another big part of the appeal. Within the Southport area of town sits Sasco Beach and Southport Harbor, both very secluded spots where residents only can enjoy sand, surf and stunning waterfront vistas. From there, the drive along Post & Old Post Roads reinforces the New England beach-y feel, with a nautical vibe, great shopping and popular restaurants. Add in Cape Cod-style homes and beach bungalows and it’s hard to miss Fairfield’s overt beach feel, even when the temperature dips.
Long Beach, NY
Long Beach is, arguably, the Long Island beach town, set against the Atlantic Ocean versus the calmer Long Island Sound. Located on the South Shore of Long Island, many first-timers are surprised to find a “real” beach complete with surfers catching big waves, a bustling two-mile boardwalk and bungalows lining the vast, sandy beaches. And because the entire town is only half-mile wide, virtually every resident experiences the beach 24/7, whether it’s amazing views or super-close proximity.
While everyday is a beach day here, there’s a decidedly resort feel in the spring, summer and even into the fall—think markets, seafood restaurants, taco stands, homemade ice cream and surf shops out in full effect, catering to locals and visitors alike. And with a diverse population, strong schools and sub-hour commute into Penn Station, Long Beach is a must-see for families who crave the beach but still want the amenities and access.
Movoto recently awarded this Westchester suburb the #1 spot on its top 10 list of places to live in the state—no surprise to residents, of course. Mamaroneck, for many families, checks all of the boxes, with a 40-minute train to Grand Central, A+ schools, top-notch youth sports and a cute—and on-trend—downtown area. But often most surprising? It’s decidedly beach-y feel, thanks in no small part to the miles of Long Island Sound shoreline that’s home to Harbor Island Park, the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club and waterfront communities including Harborlawn, Shore Acres and Orienta.
With a desirable position on Long Island Sound plus sought-after amenities—think celebrity chef-driven restaurants, top-ranked schools, parks and a quick commute into midtown—Rye never lacks newcomers, especially when it comes to city families making the leap. And the 14 miles of coastline? That’s just part of Rye’s seemingly endless appeal, especially for families looking for beach living—families who flock to the town marina and ample waterfront properties.
In the Greenhaven section alone families can walk to two beaches. In Waters Edge, a gated waterfront condo community, families are right there, just steps from the beach and a community pool. For many, though, it’s all about the Rye Town Park & Beach, with permits available to residents from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Atlantic Beach, NY
Like Long Beach, Atlantic Beach sits on the Atlantic Ocean coast, giving it a very beach-y vibe that’s hard to replicate on the Sound. But despite feeling far away, this popular suburb is just four miles from the Queens border, giving it an accessibility few suburbs can match. The main draw, though, are the beaches which, in many cases, are for residents only which ensures an optimal experience even on the hottest summer days.
Atlantic Beach’s main boardwalk and beach are a huge draw, as are the private beach clubs—Sunny Atlantic Beach Club, The Sands Beach Club and The Shores, for starters. Many residents join the club—literally—and opt for a seasonal bungalow, making trips to the beach even easier and more fun.
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