Rockaway beach in Queens has got be one of my top NY chill out spots and it’s no surprise that over a million visitors end up here every year.
Located in the Rockaway Peninsula in the NY borough of Queens and on the south shore of Long Island, Rockaway beach is actually the name of the whole neighborhood and I absolutely love the area in summer. The Rockaway Peninsula faces the Atlantic Ocean and it’s famous for being home to the biggest urban beach in the whole of the U.S.
Going to Rockaway right after Labor Day means the beach is packed with surfers, families, creative types and your typical old school New Yorkers. The beach is so clean and the stretches of soft white sand are really pristine. The beach is run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation so that must have a major impact at its amazing condition. I LOVE being able to lie in the sun on a beautiful beach right in the heart of one of NY’s busiest neighborhoods and should we visit, I would love to spend loads of time reading and playing games at Lucky Nugget casino -it’s the perfect way to relax! There are some really fun playgrounds and other activities in the neighborhood too, and if I have more time there I intend to investigate them all thoroughly.
Rockaway Beach is a little retro and very, very cool and it’s in the middle of a sort of mini renaissance period after years of economic decline followed by Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc. A couple of years back it started marketing itself to the local surfing scene and all of a sudden it became the most hip and happening spot with cool little bistros and cafes on every corner, a design motel and regular dance parties.
One of my favorite things to do on Rockaway beach would be to enjoy the food, not just the really quirky and trendy cafes but the beach concessions that offer everything from Mexican and Venezuelan street-style food to handmade ice pops. Rockaway has put a new spin on traditional food stands and you can even get quality coffee at the beach.
Rockaway Beach is an incredible place and you definitely need to check it out if you are in NY in the summertime.
We had the opportunity to drive through the charming town of Catskill, NY, again this summer. What a treat! I love parking the car and walking down Main Street. The shops are wonderful and I LOVE the famous Catskill Cats!
In case you missed it, I wrote about who does the Catskill Cats and why in a previous post, newyorktraveler.net/the-quirky-main-street-cats-of-catskill-ny. The post also contains many photos of the 2011 cat brigade. I suggest you visit that page and enjoy a little bit of the history behind the cats. I just love them!
So here are this year’s cats, with a few surprises, too. Click on any photo for a description of the cats.