We don’t recommend swimming in the Hudson, but a refreshing dip in the ocean can be had near Manhattan at Fort Tilden. This former military base is just an hour by ferry from Wall Street and is definitely worth the journey. (Get off at Jacob Riis Park and take a bus or taxi to Fort Tilden.) Fort Tilden offers clean beaches and water, fishing, military history, birdwatching, and art!
Simply relax and enjoy the beaches and the swimming, or hike in the surrounding woods. You can even take art classes or view exhibitions at the Rockaway Artist Alliance (housed in a former military building).
Climb to the observatory deck on top of the Fort’s former gun site, and be rewarded with amazing views of New York Harbor and Jamaica Bay.
Where is it? Rockaway Peninsula, New York. The closest international airport is JFK, also in Queens (check prices).
Where to stay? Many of the hotels near Fort Tilden are depressing airport motels. Instead, stay near the ferry at the Andaz Wall Street, where you can enjoy the beach during daylight and hit the city at night.
What else should I know? There are no lifeguards on this beach, so swim at your own risk. There are also no snack bars or restaurants; bring your own food and drink.
Who’s it for? Swimmers, sunbathers, anyone who needs to escape the city crowds.
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