Jacob Riis Beach

Jacob Riis beach


Last weekend I discovered Jacob Riis Park. I’ve been here for many years now and yet I didn’t know about it until just a few weeks ago. Located closer to the west end of the Rockaways, it’s easily the best and instantly my favorite beach within New York City. I can’t believe I hadn’t been there until last week.

Lots of Beach

There is so much sand area that the beach feels enormous and you’ll never be short of space. It’s also just a plain better beach. In the Rockaway Beach, which is actually walking distance from Jacob Riis.

More Secluded Yet Easier to Get To

There is something about a secluded beach that makes it so much better. The A-train goes to the Rockaways (which is east of Jacob Riis), but does not extend all the way there. Even though it’s public and it’s still New York City, for most people it’s really hard to get to. There are a few miles between the train until you get to that beach, thus making it more secluded. However, thanks to a little Google mapping, I figured out it’s actually a lot easier to get to (from Brooklyn where I live) than any other beach in NYC. The secret is the Q35 Bus which is literally down the street from where I live. The Q35 takes you straight through Flatbush Junction and crosses the Marine Parkway Bridge and badabing, badaboom, you’re there. Thirty minute ride.

Better Beach

No needles, no garbage. Maybe I’m imagining it, but it’s just so much cleaner. It almost does not feel like you’re in New York City. Brighton Beach and Coney Island, both popular beaches in Brooklyn, are somewhat obstructed by this strip of land—so their waves are rather flat. In Brighton Beach, especially, the waves are so weak it feels like the Mediterranean. But in Jacob Riis, it’s just sand and the Atlantic Ocean, so the waves are bigger.

Food at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar


All along the promenade there are lots of food vendors. There is ice cream, a coconut stand that serves actual coconuts, bbq, pizza, tacos, lemonade stands, Caribbean food, Bolivian, Moroccan, and of course, tacos. Dude!

My only regret is that summer is winding down and I didn’t discover this place earlier.


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