Locals Only Guide to Rockaway Beach


If you're a New Yorker and don't have the luxury of friends with a house in Montauk or only have one day free....or you're a surfer, Rockaway is your ideal destination. It's the closest beach to the city and one of our favorite spots to spend a long summer day. With a local in our office, we're able to offer you the Locals Only Guide to enjoying Rockaway...
Get there: Hop on the A train in Manhattan - make sure you take the Far Rockaway bound train, not the Lefferts. If you want the bustle of vendors, music and herds of people, transfer to the Shuttle train at Broad Channel and take it one stop to 91st.   If you want a more mellow experience, but harder access to food and bathrooms, take the A train straight to 67th St. For a dose of salt air, take your bike on the ferry.
Eat: Rockaway Taco often has a line down and around the block on the weekends. If you can stomach the wait, get a fried fish taco and some sweet plantains. Or try an arepa at Caracas, a warm cornmeal pita stuffed with avocado, beans, cheese, plantains.....mmmm.  For coffee and fresh juices pop into the cool little corner shop, formerly Veggie Island. You might also catch an artisanal ice cream sandwich at Holland Helado later on.
Sleep: Playland Motel is bustling with young "hipsters" and is a fun spot to have a drink, play cornhole out back, dance if you want to, and sleep. Their rooms are beautifully decorated by different artists. If you've got a car, stay at Truck-a-float, for the best night of sleep in a strange place. Make sure you go with someone you adore because quarters are close. If bound to Manhattan, stay at the W Hotel Union Square - they'll transport you out to Rockaway and provide you with the full beach experience.
Drink: The concessions stands on the beach are always fun, but for sunset head to The Wharf on 116th. You won't be able to find it because there is no signage and it's tucked away in a parking lot behind a gas station.  The unappealing approach makes reaching the back deck even more refreshing. You'll get a stunning view of sunset and Manhattan...far in the distance.
Shop: Edgemere Farm is a community farm located in the 40s, offering cozy farm to table dinners on Thursday nights and Saturday farmers markets. Or, you can pop by to say hi and to learn more about urban agriculture - volunteers are always welcome too.
Photo by John Suhar
Surf: The Army Corps of Engineers has been working hard to rebuild the beach after Sandy. Too bad for surfers, the waves aren't breaking like normal. Still, there's something to catch at the designated surfing beaches at 67th and 91st St. If you have a car, you could go to the secret spot....but we can't tell you where that is. If you want a lesson, call Locals.
Photo by Reece Pacheco

Volunteer: Surfrider Foundation always has projects going on (e-mail volunteercoordinator@nyc.surfrider.org to get involved). Pay for your waves and just pick up trash on your own - on Sunday evening there is plenty! Beautify Earth is an organization painting murals all around town.

Enjoy! E-mail customercare@loomstate.org if you need more suggestions.