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Beaches and Swimming

Soak in the Sun at Lake Ontario, Jones Beach, Long Island & More

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Swim at the best beaches in New York – and discover some of the most beautiful summer vacations in the entire world! Grab your towel, sunglasses and lotion, a good book and dive into a beach vacation on the east coast.

Along the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, enjoy the sun and surf at the expansive (and sometimes exclusive) Long Island Beaches. South Shore, it’s The Hamptons, Southampton and Fire Island, or dig your toes into miles of fine white sand closer to New York City at Jones Beach. On your way to or from Montauk Point (Ocean Beach Resort has private sundecks just steps from the water and Camp Hero State Park has surf fishing, leashed-dog walking, bird watching), you could linger on public beaches near Amagansett or enjoy sunset cocktails and a beach stroll at Guerney’s. North Shore beaches, which are usually a bit stony and smaller, are more secluded.

Check the Long Island surf report to see if waves are gentle enough for the kids or if you should bring your surfboard. Orchard Beach at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx (aka “The Riviera of New York") is popular, public, great for osprey-watching - with several ball courts too!

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In the Adirondacks, Inlet Arrowhead Park has a sandy beach and accommodations with lakefront swimming – and there are many more lakes with beaches and swimming in the Adirondack region.

Central New York’s Green Lakes State Park boasts two glacial lakes, with swimming, boating, camping, an 18-hole golf course and more, nestled in verdant upland forest. Sandy Island Beach State Park, the only significant freshwater dune site in the northeastern US, is 17 miles of swimming, birding, boating and other natural delights. And, on eastern Oneida Lake, the Sylvan-Verona Beach resort area has sandy beaches, fantastic fishing, and a beautiful setting for a summer vacation at the lake, along with a kid's amusement park.

Krull Park/Olcutt Beach on Lake Ontario is 325 acres of lovely summertime respite. Beach vacationers will enjoy swimming, playing fields, picnic areas, playgrounds, places to read, shady naps….yes, you can have it all here. Ahhhh….

Beaver Island on the upper Niagara River has swimming, plus boating, fishing, nature center, championship golf course, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, picnic areas and more, so plan to stay a while! Farther south, Chautauqua County has several swimming and lakeshore pleasures. Enjoy a beach vacation at Lake Erie at Point Gratiot Park, Sunset Bay or Barcelona. A few miles inland, you’ll find charming small towns and lakeshore pleasures on Lake Chautauqua, Findley Lake, Cassadaga Lake and Bemus Point.

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Many New York State watering holes are closely guarded secrets, but the Millstream in Woodstock is easy to find and quite refreshing on a hot summer’s day. In fact, the entire Hudson Valley and The Catskills are replete with mountain streams, small lakes, public beaches and lots of not-so-secret swimming holes and waterfalls perfect for a beach vacation.

It’s summertime, and the swimmin’ is easy – all over New York State!

Related Sites:

Official Long Island Tourism Site: Beaches 
New York State Parks: Regional Swimming Facilities 

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