Your Summer Guide to Westchester's Public Beaches
No need to trek to Long Island when there's plenty of surf and sand in our own county.
Photo courtesy of Fotolia/forestpath
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 surfside havens.
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. Glen Island Park is open seven days a week from 8 am-dusk, and parking is 10 dollars, but five with a park pass.
1 Pelham Road
(914) 813-6720 or 6721
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.
1A Croton Point Avenue
If you’re looking for a stretch of sand ideal for sitting and chilling, this park’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 the beach. For non-residents and non-permit holders, parking is 20 dollars per car and additional 15 dollars for weekend beach access, or 15 and 10 on weekdays.
Harbor Island Park/Stephen E. Johnston Beach
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 paddleboat rentals and rides are also available. The beach is open from 9 am-8 pm everyday from July 6 to Labor Day. Admission is free for children 2 and under, $4 for children 3-12, $7 for adults, and $3 for seniors (62 and over).
123 Mamaroneck Avenue
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. The beach is open weekends only in June, and everyday from Monday, June 25 through Monday, September 3, from 10 am-6 pm. Parking fees will be in effect from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. For residents the daily parking cost is $5 and for non-residents it's $10.
1 Hudson Park Road