It’s the summer of Covid-19 and the beaches are finally open. But social distancing and mask-wearing requirements are in place just about everywhere, making this beach season different from all others. Local restrictions aside, many beach goers remain reluctant to get up close and personal to sand, waves and anyone for good reason. WellWell is trying to help out by identifying less frequented beaches in the tri-state area that may offer a little more piece of mind. These bits of shoreline probably won’t be deserted, but they may be a little less crowded. Plus, they’re a little different, so consider giving them a try. But remember to be safe.
Stone Point Harbor, Stone Harbor
Stone Harbor Point is designated conservation area, making it not only special but generally less crowded. This beach, however, isn’t for swimming, boat landing, picnicking or walking your dog. Visitors go here to take a nature walk, fish, beach comb and bird watch. Make sure to give nesting birds—and all others feathered ones a wide birth.
Strathmere Beach, Upper Township
This beach runs along the Cape May County town of Strathmere and also boasts being one of the state’s few free beaches. There are designated areas for fishing and surfing and lifeguards are on hand during the season.
Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township
Looking for a fresh water beach? Round Valley Reservoir may be your answer, although it can attract a fair number of swimmers, boaters and fishermen on the weekend. Visitors come to take advantage of the reservoir’s 2,000 acres of deep blue water, colorful shoreline and abundant fish stocks.
Sunset Beach, Cape May
One of the few beaches in the state where you can catch a sunset on the water, see dolphins swimming in the distance and grab a glimpse of a ship wreckage, the S.S. Atlantus, peaking above the waves.
Island Beach, Lanoka Harbor
Island Beach State Park is a wonderful place to connect to nature. A preserved barrier island that protects a number of natural habitats, the park’s almost ten miles of sandy beach is home to foxes, ospreys, other wildlife and more than 400 species of plants.
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park
This state park provides a most stunning view of Long Island Sound with Connecticut, along with having a wide menu of flora and fauna. Sunken Meadow Creek runs in the interior of the park, eventually connecting to tidal flats at the mouth of the Nissequogue River. Acres of undeveloped and heavily wooded rolling hills are to the south.
Wolfe’s Pond Park,Prince’s Bay, Staten Island
Wolfe’s Pond is one of Staten Island’s largest parks. But it has more than just a beautiful beach. Wolfe’s Pond is also a wildlife and plant preserve to explore.
Fort Tilden Beach, Rockaway, Queens
This may be New York City’s best kept secret, a lifeguard-free three-mile stretch of clean sand, trees and grassy dunes that usually feels isolated even in the summer. One reason it is so quiet is that the beach is nearly inaccessible by subway or car. Biking may be the best way to get there.
Breezy Point Tip, the western tip of the Rockaway barrier beach
Breezy Point Tip is a natural paradise that holds over two hundred acres of ocean-front beach, bay shoreline, sand dunes, marshes and coastal grasslands. It is also a critical nesting area for the threatened Piping Plover. If that’s not enough, it is also a great place to fish for striped bass, blue fish and fluke.
Shelter Island, Shelter Island Heights
Shelter Islands’ beaches are a pleasant, less-crowded alternative to the crazy, crowded Hampton beaches. They are great for kayaking, paddleboarding or hiking, especially in the Mashomack Nature Preserve.
Dubois Beach, Stonington
DuBois Beach is a hidden gem that is regularly identified as one of New England’s best beaches. Nestled at the end of Water Street at Stonington Point, it gives up a great view of Stonington Harbor, Fisher’s Island Sound and Little Narragansett Bay.
Jacob’s Beach, Guilford
Jacob’s Beach and its 25 acres of sandy shoreline is the pride of Guilford. It is beautiful, family friendly, quiet and crowd free.
McCook’s Beach, East Lyme
Perched over Niantic Bay, McCook Point Park has been a central part of East Lyme life for more than 50 years. Consisting of an amazing bluff between two white sandy beaches, it is a wonderful place to hang out, enjoy the water and engage in some quiet time.
Do you have a favorite beach we’ve missed that you’re willing to offer up? Let us know at email@example.com and we’ll pass it on.