When you think of New York, chances are you’re thinking of New York City, home to towering skyscrapers, bustling city life, theater, nightlife, and one-of-a-kind cuisine. But New York state is known for much more than the “Big Apple” – and one of those things is its stunning beach towns. With white sands and sparkling blue waters, there are many idyllic New York beach towns to consider moving to in the state.
But if you’re not sure what coastal cities in New York to check out, we’ve got you covered. To help you find the right coastal area, Redfin has gathered a list of 11 awesome New York beach towns from Coney Island to the Hamptons. Let’s explore some of the state’s top beaches, listed in alphabetical order, and you might just be tempted to move there.
Beginning our list is Babylon, one of many towns located along Long Island. About 210,400 people live in this coastal New York town where you’ll find beaches like Southards Pond Park. Living in Babylon, take a stroll around Argyle Park, check out the downtown area, or hop on the Great South Bay Bridge to explore Captree Island.
Another one of New York’s great coastal towns to consider buying a home in is Brookhaven, home to 482,400 residents. There are plenty of beaches to visit like Bay View Beach and Fireplace Neck Tidal Wetlands Area, and you can also explore the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.
#3: Coney Island
One of New York City’s many iconic neighborhoods, Coney Island has about 24,700 residents. There are lots of beaches to explore on a warm New York day like Brighton Beach, Coney Island Beach, Manhattan Beach Park, and Seagate Beach. Make sure to ride one of the many amusement park rides like the Cyclone Roller Coaster, grab one of the many iconic boardwalk treats, and stop by the Coney Island Lighthouse.
#4: The Hamptons
A collection of quaint villages, mainly known for their summer homes for New York City residents, the Hamptons are one of the most recognizable beach areas in the state. With communities like East Hampton, Sag Harbor, and South Hampton there are lots of beaches you’ll want to spend time at. Some of these beaches include Coopers Beach, East Hampton Beach, Indian Wells Beach, Sagg Main Beach, Two Mile Hollow Beach, and W. Scott Cameron Beach. You’ll find plenty of other activities like surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, or lounging at one of the beaches, visiting historic sites like Montauk Point Lighthouse or the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, or strolling down Main Street in East Hampton where you’ll find many farm-to-table restaurants and local shops.
Home to beautiful beaches like Islip Beach and Town Beach, there are countless places to spend a beach day in the charming town of Islip. There are about 330,900 residents living in Islip, but there are plenty of quaint spots to check out overlooking the Great South Bay. Other than a beach day, you can explore the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge and stop at one of the local restaurants in Islip.
The quaint coastal town of Montauk has about 3,600 residents, making it another great place to add to your list. Montauk is located at the eastern end of Long Island where you’ll find stunning beaches such as Amsterdam Beach State Park, Ditch Plains Beach, Kirk Park Beach, and Lake Montauk. In Montauk, you can check out the views at Hither State Park, spend the day at Fort Pond, and hike through Camp Hero State Park.
With roughly 1,000 people calling this area home, Orient is a great beach town to consider living in. Some beaches you can visit include Long Beach, Orient Beach, and Truman Beach. You’ll have easy access to what makes this hamlet special, so make sure to visit Orient Point County Park and check out the downtown area.
#8: Rockaway Beach
A neighborhood of Queens, Rockaway Beach has a population of close to 13,500. There are plenty of scenic beaches to explore including the namesake Rockaway Beach. If you’re going to call this beachfront neighborhood home, plan time to stroll through the downtown area and check out the beachfront parks.
#9: Shelter Island
There are amazing beaches on Shelter Island, such as Gibson Beach and Wades Beach, all perfect for a picnic. Living in Shelter Island, make sure to spend the day exploring Mashomack Preserve, check out downtown Shelter Island, and take the ferry to nearby North Haven.
Roughly 5,900 people live in Southold where you’ll find beaches like Cedar Beach Park, Goldsmith’s Inlet Park, Goose Creek Beach, Horton Lane Beach, Paradise Shores Beach, and Town Beach. Other attractions in Southold include having a meal at a waterfront restaurant, exploring the downtown area, or spending the evening at one of the local wineries.
#11: Staten Island
This coastal town has a population of 475,600 and there are lots of beaches to spend time outside at. In Staten Island, you can visit Cedar Grove Beach, Crescent Beach Park, Great Kills Beach, Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, South Beach, and Wolfe’s Pond Beach. There’s always something to check out while living in Staten Island, like visiting the Staten Island Museum to learn about the island, checking out the historic town of Richmond, and exploring the Greenbelt Nature Center and its many hiking trails.
Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the beach towns in New York. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during June 2023. Average rental data from Rent.com June 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.