Best Beaches near Westchester for Kids and Families
As you plan your summer must to-do's, a lazy day at one of these beaches near Westchester is worth adding to your list. We think a beach day ranks right up there with visits to swimming pools and splash pads for cooling, wet and wild summer fun. There are a few local beaches in Westchester, which boasts 36 miles of coastline along the Long Island Sound, as well as a whole slew of beautiful beaches nearby in Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey.
Here’s a look at our favorite beaches near Westchester, where kids can play in the sand and you can bask in the sun. Be sure to bookmark our Guide to Summer Activities for Westchester Kids for more seasonal fun.
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Most of these beaches near Westchester open for the season over Memorial Day weekend and are open weekends in May and early June, before operating daily once school is out. Click through to each venue's website for current hours and fees, and keep in mind, that some residency restrictions may apply.
Best Beaches in Westchester
Playland Beach – Rye
Between the beach, the pool, and Playland park itself, you could easily spend all day at this Westchester institution. There's a small admission fee to the beach for everyone over 2 years old, and you have to pay to park—but if you don’t feel like packing a chair or umbrella, you can rent one for $5 each. Also important: You don’t have to be a county resident to visit.
Rye Town Beach – Rye
If you’re looking for an alternative to Playland, consider heading right next door to Rye Town Beach. Just like its neighbor, the beach isn’t huge, so it’s manageable with little kids. On the town side, you’ll also find lots of grassy space to run around, plus The Barley Beach House restaurant. You can rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak on the weekends.
Glen Island Beach and Park – New Rochelle
The second most frequented beach in Westchester behind Playland beach, this New Rochelle beach was originally developed as a destination summer resort. Guests at this Westchester beach can enjoy plenty of fun on the sandy shore and in the expansive park that spans 130 acres. There's also a boat launch, restaurant, and a stunning Neo-Georgian bathhouse. Glen Island Beach is open to Westchester residents only, and there is a parking fee on weekends.
The perennially popular Jones Beach State Park is a great summer day trip destination. Photo courtesy of NY Parks and Rec
Best Beaches Near Westchester
Jones Beach State Park – Wantagh, New York
Located about an hour from central Westchester, this Long Island state park has more than six miles of beach to choose from. There are plenty of other things to do as well, from bocce ball and shuffleboard to playgrounds and the Wild Play Adventure Course. You can pack a cooler of food and snacks or try one of the concession stands. Parking is only $10 per car in-season (some activities are extra). Visit the park's website en route to see which lot has the most open spots via the Realtime Parking Assistant.
Ocean Beach Park – Long Beach, New York
This spot is another Long Island beach near Westchester, that offers lots for families: from a renovated boardwalk that’s great for walking and biking to lots of beach time. There are designated spots to enter the beach where you can purchase a day pass for $15 per person for nonresidents. Starting Saturday, May 28, the beach is open daily, and there are lots of spots to eat and places to play, plus free parking on the street. Read about more fun things to do nearby in our guide to Long Beach.
Calf Pasture Beach in Connecticut hosts special events all season long! Photo courtesy of the City of Norwalk
Calf Pasture Beach – Norwalk, Connecticut
If you have little kids, you’ve likely already been to Norwalk to visit Stepping Stones Museum for Children or The Maritime Aquarium, but this beach near Westchester is another reason to make the quick, half-hour drive. Along with playing on the beach, there’s a playground and a splash pad—and if you’d rather not pack lunch or snacks, you can pick something up at Ripka’s Beach Cafe. Parking for nonresidents comes at a steep price, and the limited spots are filled quickly, so arrive early.
The beautiful beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is worth the drive. Photo by Louise Finnell
Sandy Hook National Seashore – Highlands, New Jersey
It’ll take about an hour and a half to get to this New Jersey beach from central Westchester, but once you’re there, you’ll be rewarded with some prime sun and sand time. The beach is FREE and opens every day in the summer, but parking is $20 per day. A word of caution: Arrive early as space is limited. When Sandy Hook reaches capacity for the day, which it often does on weekends in the summer, the gates are closed. Unfortunately, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and visitor center are closed until further notice.
This post, originally published in 2019, is updated annually.