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Five Essential Long Island Beaches

Being that Long Island is surrounded by water, it should come as no surprise that one of our greatest natural assets is our beaches. The ones on the South Shore in particular regularly pop up on “Best of’ lists alongside more exotic locales like Hawaii, California and Florida. The following are a quintet of seaside destinations that we’re fortunate enough to be within driving distance should the mood hit us.

Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY

This Long Island favorite is a summer must. There are six and a half miles of ocean beach, and for those not ready to brave the waves, a half-mile of bay beach and two swimming pools. The two-mile boardwalk offers plenty of concessions and activities and summer concerts will keep you entertained even after the sun goes down.

Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, NY

Looking to rub elbows with the rich and beautiful? This pristine Southampton beach is a magnet for celebrities, and the big white sand beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the country. Beware, parking is pricy, so you’re better off leaving the car in town and biking to the beach.

Long Beach, NY

This popular summer staple was battered during Superstorm Sandy. But the classic boardwalk is currently being rebuilt and the town is ready for a new summer season. The long stretch of white sandy beach is maintained by charging admission, a non-resident day pass is $12. But for the price you’ll get more than just a day in the sun — the summer concert series offers music several nights a week.

Montauk, NY

Montauk rightfully enjoys a reputation as a gorgeous slice of coast and is popular as a gateway to Block Island, RI (a round trip ferry departs daily). Montauk can also be a vacation destination all its own, there is plenty to do from hiking and camping to the annual sandcastle contest.

East Hampton, NY

A photo-ready Hampton classic: The wide white sand beach boasts sand dunes and beautiful clean and clear blue water. Many celebrities make the small idyllic village their summer home. As with the other Hampton beaches, parking here can be pricy and hard to find.