Whether you are planning a romantic weekend trip or feeling spur-of-the-moment, the beach is the perfect place to strip off the stress—and on some shores, all the clothes. Board a subway, train or bus to one of these seven sandy spots throughout the East Coast.
1. Robert Moses Beach, Long Island
A breezy hour and a half train ride from the city, Robert Moses Beach is located on the western end of Fire Island. The beach is five miles long, allows surfing, boating, and fishing, and has picnic areas and a golf course. There is a nude beach east of Field 5. The train costs $21.50, and beach admission is free.
How to get there: Take the LIRR from Penn Station to Babylon Station. Walk downstairs for the S-47 Suffolk Bus which will bring you to Robert Moses State Park Field in about three minutes. Runs daily June 18th to September 3rd, the buses operate every half hour on weekends and hourly on weekdays. The last bus leaves from Robert Moses at 6:30 p.m.
2. Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
This old fishing town outside of Boston is known for its Singing Beach, which is one of very few beaches in the world where the sand “sings” when you walk through it. The town has many other beaches, and you may want to break up your bronzing with whale watching. Manchester-by-the-Sea has served as the backdrop for films such as Mermaids and The Proposal, so it is incredibly scenic (and we don’t just mean the breathtaking rocky outcrops as nude bathers love to feel the wind beneath their everything here). Stay at the Old Corner Inn, which is within walking distance from the train station.
How to get there: Take the Acela Express 2190 from Penn Station to Boston Back Bay Station. From there, hop the Orange Line Subway to Wesley Street and transfer to the 426 Bus to Market Street. Take the Newburyport/Rockport Line Train to Manchester.
3. Old Saybrook, CT
Most widely known as the former residence of Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook is a small, charming Connecticut town set right on the shore where the Connecticut River meets the sound. Entry to the white sands of Harvey’s Beach is free and many go fishing and boating in its waters. Town Beach is another local favorite where fishing and kayaking are also popular. Other nearby waterside attractions are Indiantown Harbor and Plum Bank Creek. Stay at the Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B or the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, which features delicious local seafood at Fresh Salt restaurant.
How to get there: Take the Northeast Regional Train 66 from Penn Station to Old Saybrook Amtrak Station or the Shore Line East from Grand Central to the Shore Line East Old Saybrook Train Station. Call a cab (860.767.2152) from the train station. The Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B offers a ride from the station.
4. Cape May, NJ
Located on the southernmost point of New Jersey, Cape May is a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest seaside resorts in the country. There are many beaches to choose from (you will need a $5 beach tag) such as Higbee Wildlife Management Area, Cape Point, Steger’s Beach, Poverty Beach, and more. Sunset Beach is a local favorite for its free parking and crab cake sandwiches at the Sunset Grill. Keep your eye out for Cape May Diamonds, the pebbles of pure quartz that have washed up onto the shore, and make sure to attend the nightly sunset flag ceremony. Stay at The Albert Stevens Inn, where your third night is 50% off and after four or more nights your last night is free. $1 trolley rides and bike rentals are available to get around town.
How to get there: Take the NJ Transit bus 319 from Port Authority. Change to the 552 Bus at North Wildwood to Cape May Welcome Center in the heart of town on Lafayette Street. Make the ten-minute walk to the inn or enjoy The Great American Trolley.
5. Newport, RI
There are three public beaches in Newport, including Easton’s Beach. For those Zipcar-ing it, short-term parking is free on weekdays. You can buy lobster rolls at the snack bar, and kids and adults alike will love the 1940’s carousel. Stay at the the Town & Tide Inn or the Ivy Lodge, and don’t forget to explore the historic port city for a taste of old New England.
How to get there: Take the Northeast Regional Train 66 from Penn Station to Kingston Amtrak. Take Route 138 from Kingston to the Gateway Center at 60 Bus Berth in Newport. To get to the inns and the beach, take a scenic walk, rent a bike or scooter or call a cab.
6. Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY
Only a half hour from midtown, this Pelham Bay Park beach is jam-packed with activities. Complete with barbeque areas, basketball, tennis, and bocce courts, dog runs, hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing, a pavilion, and playgrounds, Orchard Beach is a perfect day trip. Beach admission is free.
How to get there: Take the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park, then transfer to the Bx12 bus to Orchard Beach.
7. Lake George, NY
There are a boat load of attractions and activities in the village of Lake George. Located in the upper region of the Great Appalachian Valley, Lake George has four local beaches, whitewater rafting, boating, parasailing, and you can rent camping sites for a day on one of the many islands in the lake. Stay at the Lake Crest Inn for $89-$189 a night, right on the lakeside and a 10 minute walk or a short bike ride from the village.
How to get there: Take Amtrak to Fort Edwards-Glen Falls, NY and then take a waiting taxi 30 minutes to the hotel.
For more beach getaway ideas, read Dude, Forget Your Car, Nine Easily Accessible Beaches Near NYC