South Beach, Staten Island | Kathleen Tyler Conklin via Flickr
Memorial Day in New York City marks the seasonal opening of the city’s 14 miles of beaches. Not to be outdone by the beaches on Long Island, Staten Island has some great beaches and boardwalks to check out.
On the Eastern shore of Staten Island, the wooden South Beach boardwalk, officially called the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk, stretches for over two miles. South Beach stretches from Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field in the Midland Beach neighborhood. There’s a view of the Verazzano Bridge and of the abandoned, man-made islands Hoffman and Swinburne Islands. You can also find a bike trail and one of the longest fishing piers in New York City. Don’t miss the Fountain of Dolphins on the boardwalk and for the more outdoorsy, there’s kayaking and tennis available. Over the summer, the boardwalk hosts concerts, festivals, and other events.
Midland Beach | Sunghwan Yoon via Flickr
Midland Beach actually shares the FDR Boardwalk with South Beach. If you’re looking for something quieter, this beach is for you. There’s a fountain for kids, playgrounds, and courts for tennis and shuffleboard.
Cedar Grove Beach | Garrett Ziegler via Flickr
Cedar Grove Beach
Cedar Grove Beach is part of Great Kills Park and is Staten Island’s newest beach. Staten Island’s fourth public beach was formerly part of a century-old beachfront bungalow community. The beach itself was always public, but residents tended not to visit because it felt private and lacked some key amenities, like bathrooms and lifeguards. This changed after the Parks Department terminated the lease to the Cedar Grove community in 2010.
Wolfe’s Pond Beach | allie via Flickr
Wolfe’s Pond Beach
Wolfe’s Pond Beach is a little wilder than the rest of the beaches on Staten Island. Maybe that’s because it was originally used as a quarantine station in the second half of the 20th century. When the polluted water started causing yellow fever outbreaks, the station was blamed and a group of arsonists literally burned it down to the ground. A private developer bought the land in 1907, and by 1929 when the city acquired the land, there were more than 90 cottages and bungalows. Today it’s both a popular recreational destination and a wildlife haven.
Bunker at New Dorp Beach | Alexander Rabb via Flickr
New Dorp Beach
New Dorp Beach, on the south shore of Staten Island, was the site of the second European settlement on Staten Island, Oakwood Beach. Over the years, it was home to cottages, bungalows, and a hospital — the remnants of many of those buildings are now under 10 foot dunes. One of the original colonial cottages was moved to Historic Richmond Town. Today, the New Dorp Beach area has many walking paths but the beach mostly serves to prevent flooding at Great Kills Park.
Other beaches in Staten Island — like Oakwood Beach, Graham Beach, and Fox Beach — have been part of state buyout programs in at-risk flood zones. Like New Dorp Beach, these lands will be returned to their natural state as barriers against erosion.
Read more about the city’s beaches at NYC Parks.
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