Just 60 minutes from Manhattan by train, Long Beach is often thought of as a seasonal sun, surf and sand destination.
The reality is that Long Beach — home to singer Joan Jett, Taking Back Sunday drummer Mark O’Connell and artist Chuck Close — is full of year-round activities and programming.
During the colder months of the year, bundle up and stroll the boardwalk, go for a bike ride or walk from Neptune Boulevard to the West End. If the cold isn’t your thing, get the muscles working with a game of indoor volleyball, swimming or hula-hooping classes with Long Beach Public Schools Continuing Education program. End the day with a dinner stop at Das Biergarten and a nightcap (or two) at Shine’s and/or the Knights’ Pub.
Head to Long Beach this winter to enjoy these recommendation from 5 Long Islanders:
Anthony Dalto, founder of the Sea By The City blog:
“For starters, I recommend checking out Earth Arts events. Also, the Long Beach Public Library has a lot of music events, including the Ukulele Orchestra playing at the end of January. Close to the library there’s the Long Beach Municipal Ice Arena with hockey games and ice skating.”
Rick Eberle, singer/songwriter and founder of the Rick Eberle Agency:
“In winter, Long Beach still has several great spots open for music, food and spirits. One such spot is Junction, at 20 West Park Ave, right across from the Long Beach LIRR station. Some highlights from Junction? Every Tuesday night at 8pm, local music hero Dave Kellan hosts an excellent open mic which, is frequented by some of the top musicians from the area and has a featured performer for 30 minutes each week — including yours truly on Tuesday, December 18th! And once every few months Raised Fist Propaganda hosts live shows on their ample stage with semi major acts like HR from Bad Brains, to LAW featuring Jakob Nowell (Bradley from Sublime’s son).”
“I have loved Long Beach since the first day I set eyes on this ‘City By The Sea’ just two years ago. I have learned that this is a wonderful all-year round place. Of course, one can enjoy all the summer water activities at the beach and pools, but the peace and solitude when 50,000 seasonal inhabitants leave for winter is really the nicest time to be in Long Beach. This is when one can really enjoy walks in the sand, rides on the boardwalk and the gorgeous sunsets… The ‘hushed sound’ by the sea is the absolutely best ‘quiet’ after a fresh snow!“
“A good winter-specific spot I would recommend would be WildFeast. Some restaurants cater more toward summer-style meals, but WildFeast rotates their menus along with the seasons to reflect what’s available locally and features unique food in a cozy atmosphere.“
Maggie LaCasse, Discover Long Island:
“Long Beach is absolutely a winter destination and for me the main attraction is the culinary scene. The restaurants are just so on-point. I would travel through snow for Lost & Found any night of the week. Beyond Lost & Found you just have some really killer chefs down there doing cool things, like the guys behind Swingbellys, and I’m a huge fan of the new Pure Shore Kitchen as well.”
How to Get to Long Beach from NYC
Public transit from Manhattan to Long Beach: Take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) which offers service throughout the day, with off peak fares starting at $9.75.
Once you’re in Long Beach, you can explore the majority of the town with the SoBi bike system which allows both residents and visitors to rent bikes . Starting at $8/hour or $50/season.
Or in the summer, take the open air Long Beach Trolley to sites along the board walk for $2.25.
Header photo by Melissa Paltrowitz.