Open water swimming in New York?
July 29, 2015 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm a mediocre ocean swimmer who mostly practices at Aquatic Park, a protected cove in San Francisco (so clearly I don't care about water quality or temperature.) I might wind up relocating to Queens, NY. Is there anywhere similar to Aquatic Park where I can go swimming? I'm not into big organized swims as much as ad-hoc individual swim opportunities, ideally with non-club/public showers and lockers. I can't be more specific than "somewhere in Queens" and long transit journeys are acceptable.
posted by blnkfrnk to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've found you this link - scroll down past the pools to the part marked "beaches".

Swimming in NYC

Note that most are only open in summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Also, most will be right on the Atlantic Ocean, so while the water quality may not spook you, the strength of the waves and currents might.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:07 AM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oliver Sacks writes a lot about his open water swimming in New York (especially in his new autobiography). His favorite place was off City Island, which included swimming in the shipping channel between there and the I-295 bridge (which... is not advisable).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:09 AM on July 29, 2015

It is a day trip but worth it: Watch Hill, Fire Island. LIRR to the ferry, and a beautiful uncrowded beach.
posted by vrakatar at 10:40 AM on July 29, 2015

There are plenty of swimming beaches, especially towards Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and the Rockaways, but I'm not sure there are any large protected park-type areas like Aquatic Park looks to be. The closest thing seems to be Zach's Bay at Jones Beach, or maybe Orchard Beach in the Bronx, but as EmpressCallipygos mentioned the official swimming season is rather limited. They are both about an hour and a half from western Queens.

You might have already found NYC Swim, this is all new to me and I thought their resources and FAQs were interesting reading, and even if you're not interested in organized events, maybe other members can help you out. I'm really curious though, is it normal for these organizations to occasionally recommend antibiotics in borderline water quality situations, or is that just New York?
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:58 AM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Shoot, I forgot that New York has Actual Winter. That's OK, though, I can supplement with a pool at a gym.

Antibiotics is a new one to me-- I'll ask my doctor.

Great answers so far! I feel I should mention that I also welcome anecdotes and tips for people used to California beaches.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:15 AM on July 29, 2015

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