Jones Beach State Park
2400 Ocean Pkwy Wantagh, NY 516-785-1600
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.
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.
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.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.