Monday, August 30, 2021

List: Top ten best Long Island beaches according to a local.

 I got way too excited yet again, when I got a private message on Pinterest with the question "What is the best beach to visit on Long Island?".  While I happily told her my top favorite places, I figured it was worth a series of posts since my beach pins are some of my most popular ones.

Today we're going to talk about the top ten best beaches on Long Island according to me.  We're going to skip the touristy places like Jones Beach (link), Long Beach (link), and Fire Island (link).  You all know that these beaches are amazing.  Although, as locals, we tend to stay away since they're always packed with tourists.  Instead, we tend to favor the less popular shore lines.

what is the most family friendly beach to visit on long island that's safe for kids

Top ten beaches on Long Island.

1.  Short Beach - Smithtown, NY (link)
Of all the beaches, this is the one that we frequent the most.  Why?  Because it's conveniently located and it has everything that we would ever need.  The water is calm and great for the kids since it faces the Long Island Sound.  They have restrooms, showers, a playground, a refreshment stand, volleyball nets, and much more.

Tip:  A very short like literally 4 minutes drive from Short Beach is a place called Long Beach (link).  While I wouldn't recommend this area for a typical beach day, it's a great place to bring your kayaks and other forms of calm water sports.

Almost every Long Islander goes out of their way to visit Coopers Beach.  This gem is a little pricey with a $50 parking fee and $10 per chair rental fees, but it's totally worth it!  It's the epidemy of a day out in "The Hamptons".  Pack your floppiest hat, biggest rimmed sunglasses, and come prepared to beach in style!  Unlike every other beach mentioned, this posh shoreline doesn't have a concession stand but a fabulous café with a view to die for!  Ok, you won't die, but your wallet might..

Note:  This is also the location of the famous Polar Bear Plunge charity event that happens every Winter.  That makes Cooper's beach worth the visit for a swim in freezing temperatures.

cupsogue beach northampton long island new york

We love this beach because it's so versatile.  One side of the parking lot faces the bay which is a calmer, more kid friendly beach.  The other side of the parking lot faces the ocean which has much rougher waters and appeals to the older crowds.  While this is a great stop during the Summer months, Cupsogue Beach is just as fun during the Winter.  During the colder seasons, you can hike along the bay side of the water until you reach roped off overlooks.  This is where you can observe and enjoy the seals that live on Long Island half of the year!

Despite the bad rep this beach got thanks to its own local serial killer, this is a beautiful beach to visit.  This public beach has a private beach feel.  It has several amenities that include bathrooms, a playground, showers, and concession stands.

As much as I love the vibe of Montauk, it's the North Fork's beach that I tend to favor.  The water doesn't try to murder you with every wave and is calm.  It's the home to beautiful nature trails including some rare wildlife habitats.  Many people swim, fish, kayak, windsurf, and more.  This beach in Orient Point also has impressive playgrounds, a refreshment stand, and showers.

Tip:  Orient Beach is the location where people can visit four lighthouses at once including the Orient Point Lighthouse, Plum Island ooooo spooky Lighthouse, Long Beach Bar Lighthouse, and the Cedar Island Lighthouse.  While we haven't done this yet, it's definitely on my bucket list!

top ten beach long island beaches new york

Ladies and gentleman, if this was a contest, this would win my #1 most favorite beach.  Why?  Stay tuned for a future post explaining.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a picture of it's pristine loveliness above.

Tobay Beach is where the Jones Beach lovers go that dislike the crowds.  Like Cupsogue Beach, it boasts both a rougher ocean side and a calmer bay side.  The have the regular amenities plus waterfront dining, live entertainment, and a Spray Park for the kiddies.  Many of you may know this place as the backdrop to one of Marilyn Monroe's famous photoshoot!

We can't talk about Long Island beaches without at least mentioning one Montauk beach.  I mean we can, but not in good conscience.  This beach is known for its campers, but it's not uncommon to visit just because.  They have everything from fishing to playgrounds to equestrian trails.  The water is super rough so I wouldn't recommend this beach for the younger kiddies, but for the older ones that want to ride a killer wave, it's perfect!

This is the Long Island beach you go to for a fun day or even night out.  You'll find endless rows of volleyball nets and countless amateur players enjoying the sport.  Don't like volleyball?  No worries, you can always enjoy the basketball courts, handball courts, or just go swimming.  While I personally could care less about the activities, I do love the drinks!  It's the home to the famous Salt Shack where you can listen to live music, enjoy a cocktail, and eat some delicious food!

This beach is known for it's options.  It has five different fields and miles upon miles of beach!  While the water is rough, there are some more kid friendly fields such as #2 with a public mini golf course and field #3 with its picnic areas, fishing and crabbing areas, and boat basin.  Each field has concession stands, shops, restrooms, and showers.  Some fields are surf board and surf fishing friendly as well.  In other words, this is your one stop shop for LI beaches!

Tip:  Robert Moses is the home of the Fire Island Lighthouse.  A short walk from field #5 will bring you to the beautiful, historic structure.  It's definitely worth the walk to visit this magnificent lighthouse.  If you made it this far, you may as well hike the extra bit to visit the nearby Fire Island towns of Kismet and Saltaire.

What is your favorite beach?



  1. Well, I’ve heard of Fire Island, thanks to the Real Housewives of NY, but besides the town names, I’m unfamiliar with the rest. $50 to park is outrageous and my husband would drive right on by! My favorite beach? Wailea on Maui, but for great seashell collecting, I loved Palm Beach, Florida.

    1. We went to Palm Beach for our honeymoon. My in laws surprised us with a honeymoon since we really weren't planning on taking one. I'm not a huge fan of the beach and I was even impressed with Palm Beach! We just went to the beach yesterday to end the Summer. $30 to park for the day.. They're all really expensive!

  2. Must be nice living near the ocean. I haven't been to a beach in like thirty five years or so. I've recently read somewhere that black people of Africa who live in seaside countries never swim. For some reason most of them are afraid of water so you will see mostly just white people in the beaches of Kenya or Zanzibar, even though it is tropical like hell down there.

    1. Oh really? That's interesting! I'm TERRIFIED of the water, so I don't blame them. The most I'll do is stick my toes in. My husband on the other hand is like a fish..

    2. Well, according to the Spanish exchange student Allison dated last year, the Africans like to swim to Spain. Honestly, I hardly see any African Americans on our beaches here. I always wondered why that was.

  3. Just wonder that; is anyone being anywhere who lives seaside but doesn't see sea?!?! I have heard one who works in cocoa farm but no eating chocolate in her life (in the documentary). Bye the way our number 1 beach is in Antalya city / Turkey but it has so many sea urchin. What about there?

  4. Very interesting post! Lovely photos, thanks for sharing.

    Infinitely Posh

  5. This reminds me that I'll be visiting Miami come November. It'll be nice to be somewhere warm in a colder month

  6. Yeah, that $50 parking fee would be a no-go for us. I balk when I have to pay $11 because even though I'm right on the Michigan line, I have to pay the out of town fee to use my favorite Michigan beach.

    You're nice to share your list of non touristy beaches, but I'd keep those gems to myself LOL. Nothing I hate more than dealing with throngs of people when I want to relax.


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