Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont—these, and their more urban counterparts (New Rochelle and Port Chester) are Westchester’s “beach towns.” Here are the best places to exprience the Sound Shore’s salty waters, sandy beaches, waterfront greens, and protected marshlands.
*Unless otherwise noted, parks websites are accessible via parks.westchestergov.com
Five Islands Park
Three of the five islands in this small archipelago are accessible via a steel connecting bridge. The park features a pavilion, sunbathers’ beach, horseshoe courts, a dock for fishing, and barbecue pits. The largest island has an outdoor amphitheater.
Le Fevre Ln, New Rochelle
(914) 654-2087; www.newrochelleny.com
Glen Island Park
Glen Island is the second-most widely used park in Westchester after Playland. There is a beach, the Glen Island Harbour Club (formerly the Glen Island Casino), a boat ramp that handles around 70 launches per weekend on average, picnic pavilions, and a bathhouse.
1 Pelham Rd, New Rochelle
The Harbour Club at 105-acre Glen Island Park is the site of Westchester Magazine’s Best Of Westchester party.
Harbor Island Park
The saltwater beach is the main draw at Harbor Island, located at the end of Mamaroneck Avenue. But there’s much more than sand and calm (kid-friendly) water here—baseball fields, tennis courts, and prime boat-watching round out the offerings.
123 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
â€‹(914) 777-7784; www.village.mamaroneck.ny.us
Larchmont Manor Park
Larchmont residents flock here for the private beach, but the public can enjoy the “park section,” which offers walking trails and green space along 5,000 feet of shoreline.
â€‹(914) 834–4309; www.larchmontmanorpark.org
Three miles of trails and a half-mile of shoreline along the Long Island Sound draw locals for hiking, nature-center perusing, and bird watching—the Conservancy is situated along the Atlantic migratory flyway. Group environmental-education programs are offered to schools, clubs, etc.
220 Boston Post Rd, Rye
Otter Creek Preserve
This “productive tidal marsh,” is an essential breeding ground for migratory birds and a natural sea barrier to guard against land erosion. A half-mile loop carries you through deciduous forest and wet woodland depressions where you can observe more than 100 species of plants and birds.
Taylors Ln, Mamaroneck
Pelham Bay Park
Technically a New York City park, it’s located in the Bronx but extends into Westchester. Three times the size of Central Park, it offers 13 miles of saltwater shoreline, two golf courses, hiking trails, Orchard Beach, plus fields and courts.
Bronx County Line and Middletown Rd, Bronx, NY
(718) 430-1891; www.nycgovparks.org
Rye Nature Center
The Nature Center offers programs for kids like weekly ecology classes, a June preschoolers’ class aptly named June Bugs, Summer Ecology Camp, and a variety of one-off and annual family events.
873 Boston Post Rd, Rye
(914) 967-5150; www.ryenaturecenter.org
Smaug has nothing on the dragon of Playland’s most famous ride.
Westchester’s favorite and most widely used park since it was opened in 1928. This amusement park is owned and operated by the county. Open from May to September, it offers a large variety of attractions from full-scale thrill rides (the Dragon Coaster is the most famous) to the ever-popular Kiddyland. Check out the calendar of events for fireworks, concerts, and more.
100 Playland Pkwy, Rye
(914) 813-7010; www.ryeplayland.org
Rye Town Park and Beach
Rye residents have been staking their umbrellas in the sand at this 34-acre beach, next door to Playland, since 1907. Dine at Pier Restaurant Tiki Bar or Seaside Johnnies, the seafood restaurant overlooking Oakland Beach and the Sound.
95 Dearborn Ave, Rye
(914) 967-0965; www.townofryeny.gov
Sheldrake Environmental Center
Offerings here include camps, events, and activities for kids, plus community/family eco events, like “Reservoir Cleanup” and composting workshops.
685 Weaver St, Larchmont
â€‹(914) 834-1443; www.sheldrakecenter.org