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How to get to the beach from New York: 3 fun day trips

Summer means beaches, and these three are all accessible by public transportation from New York, so pack some SPF for a relaxing day trip.

According to travel-comparison website Hipmunk, the best time to buy flights is the week before Memorial Day, as rates are expected to rise exponentially as the Fourth of July holiday weekend approaches. Credit: Thinkstock This Fourth of July, get out to the beach.
Credit: Thinkstock

Sure, a weekend in Miami or Honolulu might be fun, but you don't need to buy an expensive plane ticket to spend time in the sun, sand and surf. These three beaches are all accessible by public transportation - so pack a picnic basket and some SPF for a relaxing day trip this weekend.

Fort Tilden, Queens


A local favorite located on the Rockaway peninsula, Fort Tilden is accessible by bus, subway, or ferry and is open daily to the public, dusk to dawn. Originally a U.S. Army Coast artillery post, the fort was decommissioned in 1974 and recently reopened after recovering from damage by Hurricane Sandy. Now, you can finally enjoy the beach's sandy lengths for a day of hiking, fishing or a scenic walk, though swimming is not recommended, since no lifeguards are in attendance. While you're there, check out what the Rockaway Artist Allianceand Rockaway Theatre Companyhave to offer -both are housed in the abandoned military buildings on the beach.

How to get there:From Grand Central Station, by ferry - take the 4 or 5 train to the Wall Street station and walk to the ferry departure point at Pier 11. The ferry will arrive at walking distance from Fort Tilden. By bus - Take the 5 train to Flatbush Av - Brooklyn College and transfer to the Q35 bus towards Riis Park. Ask the driver to let you off at Fort Tilden.

How long it takes:About 1 hour 20 minutes from Grand Central Station.

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How much it costs:Beach entrance is free.

Robert Moses State Park, Long Island


This Long Island beach is less crowded than neighboring Jones Beach, but just as much of a classic getaway. Included in Long Island's oldest state park are the five-mile stretch of beach, yours to surf and swim, while fishers can take advantage of piers and golfers can enjoy an 18-hole course. Enjoy the clean sand and waves at your own risk, though - walk too close to the lighthouse, and you'll encounter a nude beach.

How to get there: You can get to the beach from Penn Station by taking the train and busthrough a package offered by the LIRR.

How long it takes:About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Penn Station.

How much it costs:Beach entrance is free, the LIRR train and bus package is $23 round-trip.

Long Branch, NJ


If you're willing to hop the border into Jersey, take the train and check out the Long Branch beach. We promise it's worth it - you can enjoy more than two miles of sandy coastline with areas for volleyball, swimming and picnicking. If you get tired of baking in the sun, take a quick break in any of Long Branch's numerous restaurants, bars or stores along the boardwalk. Stick around until evening, and you might even be able to catch one of the summer's free concerts.

How to get there:You can get to the beach from Penn Station by taking the North Jersey Coast Line towards Long Branch.

How long it takes:About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Penn Station.

How much it costs:Beach entrance is$5 for a daily badge, $7 for weekends and $45 for a season badge. For youth 14 to 17 years old, $3 daily and $30 seasonal. Those under 14 and over 62 are admitted free.

 
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