Which Brooklyn Beach is Best for You?

Guide to Brooklyn Beaches

••• Coney Island Boardwalk. Photo by E. Freudenheim

It's a hot day and you want to take the kids to the beach, somewhere local. Where to go? Brooklyn has three Atlantic oceanfront beaches, all of which are public and free. And, for more info and pictures, see Brooklyn's best Atlantic Ocean beaches.

The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Coney Island

Coney Island is easily accessible by public transportation. It's big, busy, and it's advisable to wear beach shoes on the sand.

Extras include the boardwalk, proximity to Coney Island amusement park rides, a long fishing pier, the baseball park at which Brooklyn Cyclones play, and the NY Aquarium. There are fireworks on Friday nights after sundown. There's cheap food aplenty. The area is historic. This seaside stretch of Brooklyn has been undergoing a transformation in the past few decades. Recently the area became home to a new concert venue, The Ford Amphitheater. If you're on a budget and looking for some fun free (or almost free) activities in Coney Island, put these on your beach itinerary

The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Brighton Beach

The beach in the neighborhood called Brighton Beach is about a mile and a half walk down the boardwalk from Coney Island. It is also busy, and it's advisable to wear shoes on the sand. Extras include the ability to go two blocks to the main shopping drag that is very Russian; one can find ice cream of course, but also borscht, Russian-owned cafes and food stores, and colorful people-watching.

Public transportation is good. Before you go to Brighton Beach, check out our list of the best things to do in Brighton Beach. 

The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Manhattan Beach

The beach at Manhattan Beach is the smallest and perhaps the most family-friendly of Brooklyn's three public beaches.

It is surrounded by various park facilities such as playgrounds, bbq areas, and ball fields. It is the only Brooklyn beach where visitors can have a BBQ near the beach. However, it is less accessible by public transportation, requiring either a subway ride and long walk or a subway ride and then a bus.

Edited by Alison Lowenstein