One of our favorite things to do as a family is to squeeze in one last bonus beach weekend after school starts up. Sneaking a September beach trip in helps take the sting out of the last lifeguard whistle on Labor Day.
For the past several years we have spent that bonus weekend in September renting an adorable 2 bedroom Airbnb in Rockaway Beach on 97th Street. We love this apartment because it is less than a block from the beach, its always clean, and the owner Noelle is super easy going. Here are our favorite ways to spend a September weekend in the Rockaways:
1. We start each day at Surfside bagels on Rockaway Beach Blvd and 96th street and then walk over to the boardwalk. Warm beverages and a breakfast sandwich are a great accompaniment to watch the surfers at Beach 92nd.
2. The bike rental on the boardwalk at beach 96th st. is next on the list. After Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, more than $140 million was invested in the repair and restoration of the beach and boardwalk. Rent a bike at Beach 98th street and take a ride on this beautiful boardwalk. You can go as far up as 126th street and as far down as 19th street with lots of interesting stops along the way.
3. The entire food court at beach 96th st including Uma’s, Breezy’s BBQ, Palenque, La Fruiteria, and the Lobster Joint are good for lunch. A family favorite are the arepas from Palenque pictured below. We also love spending the evening on the boardwalk at 96th for various forms of entertainment from talent shows to live music.
4. The gorgeously clean & wide beaches are an obvious choice. While they are pretty crowded on summer weekends, after Labor Day the crowds diminish greatly. At least one of us in the family won’t even go into the ocean until mid August, so September water temps are perfect!
5. An afternoon snack at Rockaway Beach Bakery is a must for some of the most delicious croissants you have ever had. Finish up the day back on the boardwalk or head over to Rockaway Beach Surf Club at Beach 87 for tacos and margaritas!
And our #1 favorite thing about a weekend in the Rockaways is… We take the A train directly there from NYC! Seriously, how lucky are we to live in a city where we can hop on the subway and end up one block away from a beautiful beach? The whole trip takes about an hour from Manhattan.