New York is by no means an affordable city, but it’s still possible to plan a beach day for just $2.75.
That’s the fare for the ferry from Pier 11/Wall Street out to the Rockaways (you could take the subway, but the ferry offers a sunny and scenic alternative). August is a slow month in New York; the streets are strangely quiet, restaurants are often half empty, and subway cars that should be stuffed are oddly pleasant (if the air-conditioning is working).
When the forecast recently called for an 80-degree and sunny day, I packed my beach bag and climbed aboard the ferry (buy tickets via the NYC Ferry app). The ferry has a top deck for taking in views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, and the Verrazzano Bridge on the approximately one-hour ride out to Rockaway Beach. This peninsula has over 5 miles of sandy beaches plus a boardwalk with affordable tacos, ice cream, and more.
Shuttles meet the ferry to bring beach-goers to all sections of the peninsula, or you can simply walk from the bay side a few blocks across to the ocean side and stretch out a towel on an empty block of sand.
There’s nothing quite like wading into the ocean for a swim when you’re supposed to be working.