Hit the beach like a lo­cal on your next trip to New York City

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL - By Beth J. Harpaz

NEW YORK» Vis­it­ing New York City this sum­mer? Take a break from Times Square, shop­ping and mu­se­ums and do like the lo­cals: Hop a train or ferry to the beach.

The beach at Coney Is­land, at the tip of Brook­lyn and reach­able by four sub­way lines from Man­hat­tan, is bor­dered by a fa­mous strip of amuse­ment park rides.

You can also go by sub­way to Rock­away Beach, Queens, but a new ferry ser­vice now departs for the Rock­aways from Wall Street’s Pier 11 on the East River in Lower Man­hat­tan, with one stop in Sun­set Park, Brook­lyn.

Here are some tips for a beach day in the Big Ap­ple.

Coney Is­land

Take the D,F, N or Q sub­way train to the end of the line in Brook­lyn ($2.75 each way). Sev­eral small amuse­ment parks sit side by side across from the sta­tion, with the board­walk and the At­lantic Ocean just be­yond.

The fa­mous Cy­clone ride is to your left when you get off the train. It’s a wooden roller coaster that will rat­tle your bones. And it’s easy to spot Deno’s Won­der Wheel amid the col­or­ful jum­ble of attractions. It’s a tow­er­ing Fer­ris wheel with two types of cars. One car slides out to the edge and back in as the wheel turns; the other car is sta­tion­ary. You’ll be asked which car you pre­fer when you board.

Have a hot dog from Nathan’s and wan­der down to the wa­ter to dip your toes or take a swim. To your right as you face the ocean, there’s a pier where you’ll find fish­er­men chat­ting in var­i­ous lan­guages — Rus­sian, Span­ish, Chi­nese — while tend­ing to their catch.

Just re­mem­ber: This isn’t Dis­ney World. It’s a place with old­fash­ioned charm — the sea­side park dates to the 19th cen­tury — as well as a big dose of ur­ban grit. You may see litter on the beach and on a hot day, smell garbage in the al­leys be­tween the rides. Wel­come to New York, folks!

Don’t worry about wa­ter safety, though: Wa­ter qual­ity is mon­i­tored by city health of­fi­cials and life­guards watch the swim­mers. But don’t leave your be­long­ings unat­tended. Have one per­son in your group stay with them on the sand while oth­ers get wet.

Daniela Prankl, vis­it­ing with her sis­ter from Aus­tria, said the long sub­way ride from Man­hat­tan to Coney Is­land “was ab­so­lutely worth it.” She en­joyed


The trip by ferry from Wall Street in Man­hat­tan to Beach 108th Street in the Rock­aways is only an hour on the wa­ter. But hun­dreds of peo­ple have been lin­ing up for the boat at times, so the wait to board can be long, though ex­tra de­par­tures have been added to the one-boat-per­hour sched­ule ($2.75 each way, tick­ets sold on­site or on­line). The ferry of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views of One World Trade and the sky­scrapers of Lower Man­hat­tan.

Rock­away is fa­mous for big waves and even has des­ig­nated surf­ing ar­eas. Else­where, body­board­ing and body-surf­ing rule. Just watch out for strong cur­rents and churn­ing wa­ter that can dis­lodge sand be­neath your feet as you wade in.

Af­ter the ferry ar­rives, you can hop a free shut­tle bus to var­i­ous beaches, or walk the few blocks from the bay side of the Rock­away penin­sula where the boat drops you off, to the ocean side where the beaches are. You’ll pass shops and eater­ies along 108th Street as you walk from the ferry to the ocean side, or look for con­ces­sion stands at Beach 106th Street, Beach 97th Street and Beach 86th Street.

Fa­vorite lo­cal foodie spots in­clude Ta­coway Beach, at 302 Beach 87th St., and Cara­cas Arepa Bar, 106-01 Shore Front Park­way.

Rock­away was hit hard by flood­ing from Su­per­storm Sandy in 2012. Restora­tion in­cluded beach grass plant­ings and a new con­crete board­walk.

Mary Altaffer, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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