Beaches in Brooklyn: Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach

One of the many advantages of living on an island is waterfront access, and Brooklyn has that in spades. Head to the bottom of the borough and you’ll find areas where New Yorkers have been taking close-to-home seaside getaways for almost 200 years. You won’t find serene, deserted stretches of sand here (we don’t really do serene here in Brooklyn), but you will find expansive Atlantic beaches full of humans of every lifestyle, creed and nationality. Everyone loves sun and surf, after all. A pro tip: All of these beaches are easily accessible by subway, so save yourself parking fees and hassle and leave the rental car at your hotel.

Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk
Despite a rash of recent real-estate developments, Coney Island remains one of the most delightfully strange and colorful neighborhoods in the city. A resort town since the 1840s, the area is home to a three-mile-long beach in addition to its amusement parks and midways. Walk along the historic boardwalk to the sand, complete with fake palm trees and a southern view toward New Jersey and beyond. There’s also plenty to distract, from volleyball courts to food stands and the nearby MCU Park, where the minor-league baseball team Brooklyn Cyclones play. 

A calming sunset at Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach
East of Coney Island you’ll find this slightly less-crowded playa, situated in a largely Russian and Jewish neighborhood that’s sometimes known as “Little Odessa.” (Neil Simon’s semi-autiobiographical play Brighton Beach Memoirs is set here.) Like its neighbor to the west, this has been a resort town since the early days of Brooklyn. A few blocks from the water, you’ll find some of the best Russian and Ukranian food this side of the Carpathian Mountains.

Come on in, the water’s fine! | via NYC Parks

Manhattan Beach
Don’t let the name fool you; this beach is indeed situated in Brooklyn—in fact, at its southernmost point. Smaller than its counterparts but also less packed, this spot also has places to grill, tennis courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds. Bring your own food along to picnic on or barbecue—there aren’t many nosh options nearby. This park is a good place for families to while away an afternoon in the sun away from all the boardwalk madness.

Businesses Mentioned Above