07/15/16 11:10am
Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Summer is here and that means it’s time to go to the beach! It’s a little counterintuitive, but it’s actually easier to take my five-year-old to beautiful Long Beach on the LIRR than taking public transportation to most of the beaches in New York City. Plus, there’s a sweet beach and train combo deal–when buying your ticket, choose the Deals and Getaways option which includes train fare plus a day pass to the beach all for $24. Consider that if you drove and paid for parking and for a beach pass (yes, you have to pay to get on to Long Beach). All you have to do is exchange your train ticket for a day pass to the beach at one of the kiosks along the boardwalk. Children under five ride for free and ages five to 11 ride for $1. 

Off we went on the sunny Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, starting at Atlantic Terminal, making an easy transfer at Jamaica, and ending up at Long Beach Station. The entire trip takes about an hour, but for my boy and his friend the train ride was almost as much fun as playing in the sand. The front of the train will be crowded as that’s where the exit is at Long Beach Station. If you want a seat, head toward the back. (more…)

07/19/13 3:15pm
Tue July 30, 2013

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As a long-time freelancer, one of my favorite summer activities is to play hooky on a weekday and head to the beach. Lately I’ve been loving Long Beach; it costs $12 for a beach pass, but if you purchase a combo LIRR beach getaway package your transportation and beach pass comes to just $22.75 for the day. You can buy tickets directly from an LIRR ticket machine; just select “Deals & Getaways” and then “Beach Getaways.” Trains leave at least once an hour in both directions, and you can hop on at Penn Station, or take the 7 to Woodside and transfer to the LIRR right there–the beach is just 45 minutes away, and the train is so much nicer than your average A to the Rockaways. It’s a four or five block walk from the LIRR station to the beach, and the water is right there–you don’t have to hike a mile over hot sand like some spots. Bring snacks (the concessions are much more limited than at the Rockaways, which is good for your wallet, but requires pre-planning) or grab some ice cream or a hot dog at stands near the beach entrance, and don’t forget your water and sunscreen. For surreptitious beach sips, I highly recommend this The Hydrator, a frozen rum and coconut water punch; it’s equal parts intoxicating and revitalizing.