Photo Credit: Fran Polito
7 Great Beaches On The East Coast
When hot weather hits, plenty of people flock to the beach for some fun in the sun. The East Coast (particularly the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) probably can’t rival the sugary beaches of Turks & Caicos, or the gold sands of St. Martin, but there are a few spots here and there that are serviceable.
Here are seven great beaches on the East Coast to consider.
1. Gunnison Beach
This beach in New Jersey deserves to be top of the list, especially if you like to be in the buff.
It’s a bit of a hassle to drive there, but you can cut the time in half by taking the ferry, which you can catch in Lower Manhattan a handful of times a day. Get round trip tickets, and be sure not to miss the last ferry coming back, unless you have another return plan.
Once you arrive at Sandy Hook, there are free “shuttles” (yellow school buses, actually) that take you to the clothed and nude ends of the beach.
When you pull into the parking lot, you’ll have to walk through some jungle- style foliage, recalling a stage in Crash Bandicoot. But not to worry, there aren’t any wild animals here.
Once you’ve cleared that, you’ll see a sign that says, “Beyond this point, you may encounter nude sunbathers.” There’s no may, though, you will, and depending on when you go, a lot of them.
You can strip down right by the sign, but keep your flip-flops on if the sand is hot. There aren’t any trees, so hopefully you’ve got a parasol, tent, or something else for shade.
Gunnison is clean, friendly, has lifeguards, and you can keep your clothes on if you wish. No hanky-panky though, that’ll get you arrested.
2. Kennebunk Beach Trifecta
According to Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club, Kennebunk Beach in Maine (also known as the Kennebunk trifecta) has “three distinct areas offering variety for those who want to park once and play by the sea all day.”
There’s Mother’s Beach, which, as the name suggests, is great for families with small children.
To the north of that is the pebbly Middle Beach, a great spot for photoshoots.
Lastly, there’s Gooch’s Beach, where you can set up your lounge chair and enjoy a good book.
3. Brighton Beach
The great thing about Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach and Coney Island Beach next to it, is that swimming isn’t your only option.
Make your way along the boardwalk, where you’ll find restaurants and concession stands, and check out Luna Park, home of the famous Cyclone, a wood coaster first built in 1927. It’s still a fun ride after all these years, if you don’t mind a bit of whiplash.
Not interested in swimming or rides? Treat yourself to a Nathan’s hot dog, or stuff your face with some cotton candy while people watching.
4. Coopers Beach
Coopers Beach, one of the many beaches of The Hamptons (specifically Southampton), gets high points for its pretty dunes, sparkling sand and absolutely ridiculous real estate.
There are a few ways to get there, but the Hamptons Jitney may be your best, most comfortable bet. If you’re looking to save money, the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) is more economical.
No need to bring your umbrellas and chairs- you can rent them right on the beach.
5. Kirk Park Beach
Kirk Park Beach in Montauk lacks the snobbery of The Hamptons beaches, though you may cat ch a celebrity or two trying to be incognito.
According to Thrillist, this chill stretch of sand “draws a diverse crowd of locals, city dwellers, families, and co-eds,” and there are a few places where you can grab delicious seafood, a sandwich, or iced coffee.
6. Calf Pasture Beach
According to Planet Ware, the shores of Connecticut are more tranquil because “the coast faces Long Island Sound, creating a stretch of beaches with calmer waves.” That said, if you do go to any beach, you still ought to be aware of undertow and keep an eye on smaller children.
Calf Pasture Beach stretches for three miles, and guests can rent boats, kayaks, and learn how to sail. In the summer, there are concession stands, restaurants, classic car shows and live music.
7. Sherwood Island State Park Beach
Located in Westport, Connecticut, you’ll notice the tri-color sand on sight.
Aside from swimming, there are facilities for kite flying, volleyball, and saltwater fishing (the latter is permitted in non-swimming areas close to the shore.)
Bring the family to the local nature center, exhibiting “the unique flora and fauna of Long Island Sound and animal shows.” The center also hosts nature walks and outdoor activities.