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Sandy Hook Beach Excursion
An easy day trip from New York City

Seaside bliss on a hot day

One of the amazing things about New York City is how many fine beaches are near it.

Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, sits at the entrance to New York harbour.

Sandy Hook has sand and surf as fine as any on the east coast.

You'll love it!

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You could drive to Sandy Hook, but traffic backs up when the parking lots fill early on warm days.

Instead, take a Seatreak ferry. (During winter, you may find no information about this service on the website.)

During the summer and sometimes until late in September, Seatreak leaves from two piers in Manhattan, one near the United Nations and one in the Wall Street area.

You can take your bike onboard.

Reaching Sandy Hook

Getting there is half the fun.

Your Seatreak ferry follows the Manhattan and New Jersey skylines down the Hudson River to the tip of Manhattan. You'll see the best sights found on the regular harbour tours.

You pass close to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the main point of entry of millions of new Americans at the end of the Nineteenth and beginning of the Twentieth centuries.

Then, you enter the most impressive area of New York Harbour, surrounded by large ships and other water traffic, with the Wall Street area skyline to your left.

Container facilities and other piers mostly on the New Jersey side of the harbour handle more than half of the cargo entering Canada and the U.S. from the east. Activity continues around the clock.

Passing under the high Verrazano Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn, you glade through the wide mouth of the harbour looking out at the open Atlantic.

Garrison Beach

Docking on the calm side of the Sandy Hook, it's a short walk to the beach. However, most passengers take the small bus included in your ferry fare.

If you walk, walk slightly to the right toward the southern part of Garrison Beach.

The northern section of Garrison is a fine traditional beach.

The southern part is the most popular clothing optional beach in the eastern U.S.

If you want to practise naturalism, stay within the area marked clothing optional by the National Park Service.

Passengers who do not want a clothing optional environment can just walk straight ahead after debarking from Seatreak.

Little mini-vans, too, meet your boat to take you to other beaches at Sandy Hook.

You can also explore the old military buildings that are part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Sandy Hook once protected the entrance to New York Harbour.

Because parking is so limited on Sandy Hook, the wide beaches are never really overcrowded. This is in marked contrast to Coney Island and Jones Beach.

The surf is often excellent, as are the views toward Long Island and the ships entering New York Harbour.

There are life guards in case you need them.

Be prepared

Although there are washrooms, showers, and a rudimental food service available at Garrison, you will be here for some time.

You absolutely have to remember to bring a powerful sun block, as well as regular sun tan lotion. These are essential. There's almost no shade.

You should also bring along a picnic lunch—bread, cheese, and other items that will not spoil in the heat.

The food service there offers few choices.

If you miss your boat back, getting back to Manhattan could be a real hassle—quite difficult and expensive.

Be on time.

Besides, the ferry ride back to Manhattan is even more spectacular than the outbound trip.

You sense the excitement of the millions of new Americans who entered the U.S. via this route.

Have a great time at Sandy Hook!

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