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Jacob Riis Park Beach & Boardwalk Guide

Looking for a wonderful beach in New York City? Check out Rockaway Beach

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Known as "The People's Beach" Jacob Riis Beach is popular with city residents as well as visitors. The beach is run by the National Park Service, and kept relatively clean, if simply so. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Jacob Riis Beach appeals to visitors who like some waves and attracts a diverse crowd. The Art Deco bathhouse, first opened in 1932, is a beautiful backdrop, but isn't open to the public. The far east portion of the beach is unofficially clothing optional.

Jacob Riis Park Phone: 718-318-4300

More: New York City Beaches

1. Getting to Jacob Riis Park Beach

Jacob Riis Beach
Photo by Heather Cross, licensed to About.com

Subway/Bus to Jacob Riis Beach:  (Travel time from Manhattan is about an hour and 30 minutes)

  • 2 (or 5 at rush hour) to Flatbush Avenue, then take the Q35 bus to the park
  • A or S to Rockaway Park then Q35 or Q22 bus to the park

Driving to Jacob Riis Beach: Access to Jacob Riis Beach is available along Rockaway Beach Blvd, West of 149th Beach Street. Get directions to Jacob Riis Beach on Google Maps or put 155th Street, Rockaway, NY into your GPS.

Parking at Jacob Riis Park: There is a large parking lot with plenty of space for everyone visiting the beach, just a short walk from the beach. Parking is $5/day, and there are seasonal parking passes available as well.

Ferry to Beach: New York Beach Ferry

2. Jacob Riis Park Beach Basics

Jacob Riis Lifeguard and Bathhouse
Photo by Heather Cross, licensed to About.com

Located in Queens, Jacob Riis Beach offers a mile of ocean-front sun and sand. The beachfront runs from Beach 149 to Beach 169 with a wide variety of facilities for visitors, including spray showers, restrooms, playgrounds and water fountains.

Swimming is only permitted when life guards are on duty, which is from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend, daily from 10-6 p.m.

Attended Restrooms are available and are kept fairly clean.

Spray Showers are located along the boardwalk.

Chairs/Umbrellas: Although no one rents chairs & umbrellas along the beach, many stores at 116 Beach Street (near the subway) sell them relatively inexpensively.

3. Eating at Jacob Riis Beach

Jacob Riis Sandy Beach
Photo by Heather Cross, licensed to About.com

There are very minimal offerings at Jacob Riis Beach -- vending machines offering beverages and a vendor selling ice cream were the only offerings at the beach when we visited recently.

If you drive to the beach, you can do what we did, which was make the short trip to Rockaway Beach and have some fish tacos at Rockaway Taco.

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