In August, New York City’s summer sun turns up the heat — so count on USA Guided Tours NYC bus tours to help you stay cool! You’ll be particularly grateful for our climate-controlled buses in August, as well as the stiff breezes coming off the water on the fabulous boat cruise that concludes our award-winning “Discover NY” daytime tour.
This month, we’re going to take a look at a few of NYC’s best beachfronts. I’ll be honest: I grew up in Florida, so I had a very different notion of beaches before I moved to New York. Boardwalks were something you came across in Monopoly, not on the ocean! But, living here in the City has shown me the beauty of northern beaches’ unique sun and surf culture.
I covered the most iconic attractions on the Big Apple’s most famous beach, Coney Island, in our 2017 Fourth of July post. However, did you know that one of the most exciting city spaces in recent memory just opened on these iconic dunes? I’m talking about the New York Aquarium’s long-awaited “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit.
This 57,000 square-foot space is home to over 115 marine species, including sharks, all swimming peacefully together in 800,000 (!!) gallons of water. You can walk through a glass tunnel of beautifully-colored corals, or get up close and personal with a sandbar, sand tiger, nurse, and zebra sharks, as well as with loggerhead sea turtles and cownose and roughtail rays. (Just don’t take them home, as recently happened to San Antonio Aquarium’s horn shark, “Miss Helen”!) This new aquatic exhibit is truly a place of wonders — ocean wonders, that is!
When you leave “Ocean Wonders,” moreover, you’re right on the Coney Island boardwalk, where you can amuse yourself on two of the beach’s best parks: Luna Park, featuring the Coney Island Cyclone and other rides, and MCU Park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team.
Make sure to time your trip this August to include a stop at the Greenhouse Café in Bay Ridge for dinner as you return to Manhattan. Why? Because it’s Restaurant Week! Until August 17th, some of the best fine-dining restaurants in all 5 boroughs offer $26 2-course lunches and $42 3-course dinners. At the Greenhouse, keep your beach theme going with seafood classics like fried calamari or baked clams, along with roasted Long Island duck and rack of lamb.
You don’t just have to go south to see the best of NYC’s beaches, though! Once you’ve taken in the most famous sights on USA Guided Tours’s jam-packed yet easy-paced daytime and evening NYC bus tours, consider going north to the Bronx’s City Island. This charming neighborhood is 0.4 square miles of boutique shops selling local crafts and antiques, beautiful harbor views, and excellent seafood restaurants.
Artie’s Steak and Seafood has put some of its most famous delicacies on their Restaurant Week menu, including their award-winning New England clam chowder (this is the Bronx — no way are they doing it Manhattan-style!) and their saffron risotto with shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels. It’s a must-have on the Bronx’s closer and cheaper alternative to the Hamptons!
So, make sure there’s room in your vacation not only for the best of the Big Apple with USA Guided Tours but also for these amazing seaside spots in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Happy beaching!
Sara Murphy | USA Guided Tours NY Blog Contributor