Long Island’s Rockaway Beach stretches along the Jamaica Bay oceanfront a short distance from the take offs and landings of JFK Airport. Forming the southernmost parts of the Borough of Queens, it holds the record for being the largest urban beach in the United States.
Sometimes called the ‘Irish Riviera’ because of the number of residents in the neighbourhood with ancestors back on the Emerald Isle, Rockaway Beach had to undergo significant restoration by the US Army Corps of Engineers because of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It is now close to being back to its former glory.
In total, the beach runs uninterrupted for over 6 miles, and the vast majority of it consists of a narrow ribbon of golden sand. Its main portions are echoed by a concrete decked boardwalk which runs for five miles.
Well served by buses, it can also be reached via several stations of the subway’s Rockaway Line and has ramps for easy accessibility at a number of points. It is patrolled by lifeguards because of the sometimes heavy surf, with several sections given over to those with boards tucked under their arms.
Together, Rockaway Beach and its boardwalk have a great range of sports facilities including handball and basketball courts, skate parks and children’s playgrounds. There are also a number of public restrooms.
- Kite surfing
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