As temperatures warm, a migration of sorts occurs as northeasterners are instinctively drawn to the beach after months of deprivation. The need to insert ourselves into a Slim Aarons photograph is almost palpable as throngs of us load our cars with beach supplies for day trips to the waterfront. What many Westchester residents, however, may not realize is that this need can be satisfied in mere minutes by a number of hidden gems within the county lines.
Westchester County Parks Deputy Commissioner Peter Tartaglia said, “With warmer weather here at last, we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the beaches when our pre-season begins on Memorial Day weekend. Croton Point Beach is attached to a 500-acre park with everything from a nature center to a full-service campground; Glen Island Beach offers beautiful views of Long Island Sound and of course Playland Beach is part of our iconic Playland Park amusement complex. So there is always a lot to do and see.”
Grab your beach bag, toss in your county park pass or proof of residency and get going! Be sure to go online in advance of your expedition to view specific hours and applicable fees for each location.
Croton Point Park Beach, Croton-on-Hudson
Situated on the Hudson River’s largest peninsula, this 508-acre park boasts stunning views of Haverstraw Bay as sailboats dot the water and low mountains line the horizon. Beachgoers will be thrilled to see that this location offers a wide expanse of sand suitable for spreading out a full service set-up. History buffs may be interested to learn that archeologists confirm that this land was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 7,000 years ago.
1A Croton Point Avenue Croton-on-Hudson
Glen Island Park, New Rochelle
Among Westchester’s jewels, Glen Island was initially developed as a summer resort in the late 1800s. In the 1920s, Westchester County acquired the property and connected it to New Rochelle by a drawbridge. Today, this 130-acre property features a beautiful crescent-shaped beach with access to the Long Island Sound in addition to picnic pavilions, boat launching, pathways, a restaurant and more.
Weyman Avenue New Rochelle
(914) 813-6720 or 6721
Stephen E. Johnston Beach, Mamaroneck
Located on Harbor Island Park, known as the “jewel of Mamaroneck,” this lovely 700-foot beach flanks a wide range of amenities. There’s something for everyone including a playground, spray ground, pavilion, showers, marina, boat-launching area, docks, fishing floats, tennis club, ball fields and more!
123 Mamaroneck Avenue Mamaroneck
Orchard Beach, Bronx
Orchard Beach, located in New York City’s largest park, Pelham Bay Park, is the Bronx’s sole public beach and can be reached by car in approximately 45 minutes. This artificial beach is 6,000 feet long and was created in the 1930s, when it was proclaimed “the Riviera of New York.” The property features a promenade, pavilion, snack bars, food and souvenir carts, two playgrounds, two picnic areas, a large parking lot, and 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball. Overlooking the Long Island Sound, this beach offers calm waters and has earned it’s designation as an NYC icon.
Bruckner Blvd. & Westchester Avenue Bronx
Playland Beach, Rye
There is no other beach in Westchester where sun soakers can alternate between dipping their toes in the water and going on the rides at Rye’s Playland amusement park. This stretch of sand offers general-public access to the Long Island Sound and convenient access to Playland’s park and pool and a range of restaurants overlooking the water. And, animal lovers can rejoice – it’s also dog friendly!
100 Playland Parkway Rye