Jones Beach State Park

2400 Ocean Pkwy Wantagh, NY 516-785-1600

Beachgoers hit the shores at Jones Beach on

(Credit: Photo by Howard Schnapp)

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Type: State beach, State park, Beach, Amphitheater, Latin music, Miniature Golf, Fishing Venues, Surfing, Kids, Playground, Miniature Golf Price: Call; $10 per car daily May 23-Sept. 7; $8 weekends and holidays March 30-May 22 and Sept. 13-Nov. 16 Special features: Live music Description:

For the kids

If parents park at Field 6, they can escort the kids right onto the boardwalk instead of schlepping them under the roadway to cross to the beach. Field 6 is the shortest walk from a parking field to the ocean. Of course, it usually fills up before 9 a.m. (Spots typically open up later in the afternoon, though).  Field 6 allows kite-flying, and as the family walks the boardwalk they'll pass basketball courts, a lighted playground for evenings and a band shell that offers evening entertainment. A recent addition to the park is the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center (West End 1) with outdoor and indoor displays, hands-on children's activities and programs. It's open year-round.

For everyone

Jones Beach is the crown jewel of Long Island beaches. It has everything you need in a beach: sand, sun, surfing, major concerts, free music nightly, fishing piers, boardwalk, games, volleyball and umbrella rentals.

Inside tips

Here's a secret no one talks about - Field 2 is basically the same as Field 6, just on the other side of the big pencil.

Field 4 is your basic meat market of flesh and suntan lotion, which is never a bad thing. It also has the mini-golf, pitch-and-putt, beach volleyball, beach shop, first aid, main concessions and the Boardwalk Bandshell.

If you have concert tickets, park in Field 5.

If you let the summer go by without going to Latin Night one summer Sunday in the Bandshell, don't talk to us anymore.

The bike path along Wantagh Parkway begins at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh and feeds into the Theater lot in Field 5. Enjoy the stiff headwinds going to the beach and the nice backwinds on the way home.

Surfers prefer the waters by the jetty near West End parking field 2. Surfing is permitted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Hours: Call Season: daily, hours vary Beachfront: 6.5 miles on ocean (8 beaches); part of a 2,413-acre park Lifeguards: May 24-Sept. 1, call for hours.