At the tip of the Rockaway Peninsula on Jamaica Bay, Breezy Point in Queens, often rhapsodized as the “Irish Riviera,” is a seaside community still overlooked by most New Yorkers planning their quick summertime escapes, which is good news for people who like a peaceful beach or bike ride—without losing sight of the Manhattan skyline on the horizon.
Breezy Point is situated near places like historic Robert Moses-designed Jacob Riis Park and its Art Deco bathhouse. Also in close proximity, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which offers 20 miles of scenic bike trails. Here amidst the sand dunes, marshes, and breeding grounds for birds like the black skimmer and piping plover, this 200-acre stretch of land is a sweet spot for surfers, families who nestle into their privately-owned beach cabanas at the Silver Gull Club, and fishermen in search of striped bass, blue fish and summer flounder.
While you are migrating far south of your borough to a much more quiet slice of the city, Breezy Point is not without its good eats. Dating back to 1910, Kennedy’s Restaurant located in nearby Rockaway Point offers beer battered fish & chips on Sundays and live music on Saturday nights. Snack shop by day, bustling beach bar by night, the Sugar Bowl is an essential stop to get a feel for the local culture, complete with dart board, foosball table and volleyball court (718.945.1409). When Sugar Bowl closes, head to the Blarney Castle for a fun night of DJed music and dancing in a kitchy, but classic, nautical-themed interior (718.634.4503). The shopping area has the basics—a modest super market, hardware store, liquor shop, bank, restaurants and beachy boutiques.
How to get there: Take the 2 or 5 to the Brooklyn College-Flatbush Ave. subway stop, and feel free to take your bike from there out to Jacob Riis Park or transfer to the Q35 bus to Riis Park.
Quick Trips: Things to Do in Breezy Point, Queens
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