Those eager to lounge out by the ocean or splash around in the water needn’t drive an hour or more back and forth to Jones Beach. Unbeknownst to many is that Westchester County has several beaches open and available to the public. So pack up the car and travel the relatively short distance to one of the county’s several surf-side havens.
If you’re looking for more something on a wider expanse of land, then this 508-acre park on a peninsula along the Hudson River’s eastern shore is perfection. It’s also a rich locale for history buffs, as archeologists have dated human life there to as far back 7,000 years ago. The beach area wraps around the property and has plenty of space for lying out.
Open: 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. (final entry 6 p.m.) Sat, Sun, and holidays through June 20; Wed-Sun June 25 through September 6
Fees: $10 parking without a Parks Pass; $4 adults, $3 children
1A Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson
You probably don’t think beach when New Rochelle comes to mind, but this 130-acre property — connected to the city by a drawbridge that was built in the 1920s — is perfectly situated right on the Long Island Sound and offers picnic pavilions, reserved and open picnic areas, boat launching, pathways, a catering hall and restaurant, and plenty more.
Open: Currently closed until further notice
(Normally: 8 a.m. to dusk daily through mid-October)
Fees: $5 parking with Parks Pass, $10 without; $4 adults, $3 children
1 Pelham Rd, New Rochelle
If you’re looking for a more modest-sized getaway that still boasts plenty of amenities, Stephen E. Johnston may only stretch 750 feet, but that’s enough space to bask in the sun while enjoying the proximity to a playground area, picnic tables, a tennis club, ball fields, spray ground, and fishing docks, in addition to regular concerts and family fun nights. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard classes are also available.
Open: Swimming 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. when lifeguards are on duty; residents only weekends 9 a.m. to noon
Fees: $8 parking on weekdays, $12 weekends; $11 adults, $8 children, $6 seniors
123 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
If you want a beach that satisfies the perfect balance of relaxation and recreation, this is the one for you. At Hudson Park & Beach, you can read a book, take a nap, or just chill in the sand before heading over to the grassy recreation area which hosts a playground, music bandshell, and plenty of seating.
Open: Weekends-only in June; daily through Labor Day
Fees: $5 parking for residents without Park Pass; free admission
1 Hudson Park Rd, New Rochelle
Rye’s crescent-shaped, 1,200-foot long turf offers general-public access to the Long Island Sound via three separate gates (the center one, next to The Barley Beach House restaurant, is typically busiest). Rye Town doesn’t offer as many amenities as some of the others above, but it is located next to Playland, whose weekly fireworks displays can be viewed from either beach. For non-residents and non-permit holders, parking is $20 per car and additional $15 for weekend beach access, or $15 and $10 on weekdays.
Open: 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Sat, Sun, and holidays
Fees: $10 parking without a Parks Pass
Dearborn Ave, Rye
Immediately adjacent, Playland’s own beach adds concessions and privately operated bathrooms—both appealing options—plus the scenic vistas of the park’s architecture and rides.
Open:10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. (final entry 6 p.m.) Sat, Sun, and holidays through June 20; Wed-Sun June 25 through September 6
Fees: $10 parking; $4 adults, $3 children, free for kids younger than 5.