Rockaway Beach "Surf Access"
Surf’s up in Queens. You heard me: Queens. This year, the NYC Department of Parks designated a beach destination between 88th and 90th Streets as an official “surf-access” zone. While the Rockaway and Howard Beach boys have been surfing that break for years (ALL YEAR ROUND—and they say the best breaks happen after November), prior to 2005, waveriders had to get tickets for surfing in the Rockaways. Now city surfers from all five boroughs hit this beach for a pretty consistent jetty break. Parking is easy before sunrise and harder on the weekends, but you can also take the A train to Far Rockaway (the looks you get when wetsuit clad, board under your arm during rush hour are worth the trip) if you don’t want to drive. I’ve definitely paddled out in “garbage soup,” but it’s always been worth it. The waves are usually perfect for beginners, and on a summer day there are a good 30-or-so boards in the water. First timers pay attention, and yield to the locals. After all, they were here first; this is their backyard.