2-mile long boardwalk, New York Aquarium, rides, eateries; outdoor spray showers
The most famous of all New York City's beaches, Coney Island can be a unique experience. The wide strip of beach gets so crowded on hot, weekend summer days, it's sometimes difficult to get to the water's edge. After soaking up the sun on the beach, visitors can soak up the atmosphere on the boardwalk and at the Astroland amusement park, where a ride on the Cyclone caps off the day.
Brightwater Avenue, Brooklyn
Extending east from Coney Island is a different beach experience. Brighton Beach is filled with Russian immigrants, and walking the boardwalk one feels transported to a foreign place. Be sure to factor in time for lunch or dinner at one of the many Russian restaurants in the neighborhood.
Oriental Boulevard from Ocean Avenue to MacKenzie Street, Brooklyn
Manhattan Beach is further east than Brighton Beach and the least accessible of Brooklyn's main beaches. Nevertheless, expect to find crowds at the height of the summer.