Must-See Jamaica Bay: Beaches and Surfing

Outdoors & Recreation

by Alyssa Grossman, 05/14/2012

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Jamaica Bay is near Rockaway Beach, one of the best beaches in the City. That area sustained extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy, and the recovery process has been ongoing. Devoted crews from the Department of Parks & Recreation and the National Park Service have been working tirelessly to restore the area as quickly as possible so that the beaches and related facilities would be open in time for the warm-weather months.

The ocean setting here makes the neighborhood a much beloved summer destination. Two surf beaches at Rockaway Beach, from 67th to 69th Street and from 87th to 92nd Street, provide an oasis for surfers who want to ride some waves or athletes looking for a game of pickup volleyball, while the 73rd Street access point and Jacob Riis Park are ideal for families in need of a place to swim and play in the sand where chairs, boogie boards, umbrellas and sand toys are available from Wheel Fun Rentals. Plus, with food purveyors, including top-notch boardwalk concessions and the beloved Rockaway Taco, within close reach, you won't have to abandon your spot on the sand when hunger strikes. More adventurous visitors flock to Plumb Beach, a haven for windsurfing and kiteboarding; that area and Rockaway Park, spanning 27 acres from Beach 9th Street to Beach 32nd Street, are currently not accessible because of construction and repair work necessary after Sandy.

Check out these beach events for even more ways to have fun at the shore: 

Saturdays, June 22–July 27
Yoga on the Beach at Beach 108th Street
Hit the sand on Saturday mornings throughout the summer for a free outdoor yoga class. All sessions begin at 8am at Rockaway Beach.

Shape Up NYC
You don't need to join a gym to get fit this summer. Shape Up offers classes ranging from Pilates and aerobics to dance fitness and "bootcamp"—all for free. Just drop in for an hour-long session and get a great workout from a professional teacher. For more information, visit

Saturdays, year-round
Bootcamp at Sorrentino Recreation Center

Tuesdays, June 25–August 27
Zumba at Rockaway Park (meet at Beach 17th St.)

August 9
Second Annual Sandcastle Competition at Rockaway Beach 
Hit the sand for a day in the sun that's packed with games and impressive feats of sandcastle creation. The celebration starts at 2pm with an after party at local bar Rippers. For more information, visit

related venues/(2)

  1. 1
    Rockaway Beach
    Beach 2nd St (to Beach 149th St)
    Queens – The Rockaways
    NY 11693
  2. 2
    Rockaway Taco
    95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd
    Queens – The Rockaways
    NY 11693

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