Outdoors & Recreation
Surf City: NYC's Best Beach Spots
by Heather Liang, 05/14/2014 [Updated 05/13/2015]
La Marina. Photo: Marley White
While Manhattan doesn't officially have any natural beaches to speak of, there are beachlike alternatives and some of the most relaxing outdoor oases imaginable in which to enjoy the warm weather in the City. One of New York City's most intriguing spaces, Governors Island is accessible during the summer via a short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn Bridge Park and showcases some of the most spectacular views of the City skyline that you will ever see. The list of things to do at this former military outpost is extensive: cycling, picnicking, historical tours and plenty of free cultural programming, including music performances and art exhibitions. There's even a beach area and concert venue, Governors Club, offering a bar-grill atmosphere and the occasional ticketed event. Back in Manhattan, check out uptown's La Marina, a sprawling bar-restaurant on the Hudson River in Inwood near the northern tip of Manhattan with a clublike vibe. It has a sandy expanse where you can play Ping-Pong or a pickup game of volleyball or simply savor a cocktail on one of its comfy, canopied lounge chairs. South of there along the Hudson, the West 79th Street Boat Basin is a marina located in Riverside Park. While there's no sandy beach here, the Boat Basin Café is a popular after-work destination to grab some grub and a drink and view the sunset over New Jersey.