How can we plan this beach getaway vacation without going too far from NYC?
August 6, 2012 1:04 PM   Subscribe

My friends and I live in NYC. We want to spend a night at a local beach (Far Rockaway, Sandy Hook, Fire Island, whatever). Ideally, this would consist of a trip via public transit to a beach, and then staying at a reasonably priced hotel close to said beach. If possible, we'd like to avoid renting a car or splurging on a vacation rental.

I'm considering Airbnb, but most places require a 2-night minimum, which may be fine but I'm not sure about everyone's schedule. A lot of places on Fire Island are booked, and too expensive. There seem to be no places in Far Rockaway except an inn with very mixed reviews, and it's $170/night for two people to boot. It's likely that that's the lowest price we can find, which is fine.

Are there some other beaches I should consider that have a greater variety of hotels and inns? Again, they should be in walking distance of the beach so we wouldn't need to rent a car.
posted by Viola to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
We had a really fantastic time at Dune Point in Cherry Grove on Fire Island. The trip there was painless and inexpensive, the Dune Point folks were great, and the room itself was literally steps from a gorgeous beach. The major drawback for you would be that they (like those airbnb places) have a two-night minimum, although the extra day would give you time to explore the Sunken Forest, which was awesome, and to walk around Cherry Grove itself, which is charming.

(Side note: if you haven't been to Fire Island before, make sure to do a little research before deciding to stay in a particular village. They really can be quite different from each other, and a few appear to be major hangout spots for loud frat guys. :/ )
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:15 PM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Is Atlantic City an option for you? It is right on a beach with a boardwalk, easy to get to and can be well priced.
posted by cestmoi15 at 1:31 PM on August 6, 2012

Montauk is great, and if you look at their motel rates you'll find that the weeks just out of season (September) are very reasonable. Accessible by LIRR.
posted by hermitosis at 1:36 PM on August 6, 2012

We went to Norwalk, Connecticut, to a place called Calf Pasture Beach (see: LOVED IT. Beautiful, big beach, cheesy mini-golf, and -- best part -- a shack that sells lobster rolls, clam strips, hamburgers, and ice cream -- all on the premises. Also: bathrooms. Metro North!
posted by nataliepo at 1:40 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could stay on one of the arted-up boats of the Rockaway Boatel.
posted by neroli at 2:13 PM on August 6, 2012

Best answer: Depending on how "remote" you want your beach, you could take the train out to Asbury Park, which has several hotels within walking distance to the beach. It's about a 2 hour trip. Not sure on the accommodation prices during high season, but it's a really fun area to wander around during the day (boardwalk! pinball museum!), and has a small-town feel. You can just walk all the way from the train station to the beach area itself if you aren't carrying anything too heavy. Asbury is more like a boardwalk + beach, less removed, so that may not be what you're looking for.
posted by tigerbelly at 2:35 PM on August 6, 2012

Best answer: Seconding Asbury Park. It is a bit built up but it is a really fun place. Also, if you look at the NJ Train map there are a bunch of options. Long Branch has nice beaches but lacks the downtown attractions of Asbury Park. Also most stops south of Long Branch are not far from the beach.
posted by JayNolan at 2:43 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Come to Long Beach (NY). You're a 40 minute express LIRR train from Penn Station. The train station is a few blocks walk to the beach. All your shopping is along Park Avenue (where the LIRR station is) so you can walk to places to eat, buy some basics, etc. Everyone rides bikes and walks around during the summer, but if you want to go bar hopping in the West End, feel free to take one of the local buses if you end up staying a mile away and don't want to walk.

The Allegria is too expensive (and we all mock it) but would otherwise be OK. There's tons of AirBnB listing for LB.

I'm biased, I live here on the 300 block of Shore.
posted by Brian Puccio at 3:33 PM on August 7, 2012

Oh, the beach will cost $12 to get on since you don't have a resident's pass, ask your AirBnB host if they've got one you can use for the weekend. There are no pictures, it's just a numbered plastic card.
posted by Brian Puccio at 3:34 PM on August 7, 2012

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