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If you feel the need to escape New York City and Central Park simply will not do the trick, we have picked 5 amazing beaches within a short drive of New York, that are perfect for a day trip or even an overnighter.

Pack your picnic hamper with sandwiches and meats and slip in a bottle of AIX Rosé which is perhaps the perfect tipple for a sunset drink. Not only do the pink hues of this drink match the sky but Rosé is well known as the ultimate summer drink. A nice glass of chilled AIX from Provence (bring your cooler) is hard to resist when popped open on the beach.

1. Orchard Beach, Bronx

New York City itself has 14 miles of beaches so you can stay in the city to enjoy a beach. Our first pick is a New York beach that was widened with the sand from from beaches in Queens and New Jersey. When it opened in 1936, it was nicknamed the “Riviera of New York,” and 50,000 people arrived the first weekend. There are now playgrounds and facilities and the beach remains pretty nice and just a short drive from Manhattan.

2. Fire Island

The best way to get to Fire Island is to park your car at the ferry and leave it there. Once on the island, walking and bicycling will get you around. Fire Island is known for protected beaches interspersed with seasonal resort communities. On the western tip, Robert Moses State Park offers the best sand and scenery in the area and offers the perfect picnic spot along with access to the 19th-century Fire Island Lighthouse.

3. Cooper’s Beach, Hamptons

This seven-mile stretch of gorgeous white sand along the Atlantic shoreline consistently shows up on lists of the top beaches In North America. Cooper’s Beach (pictured above) costs $40 for a day pass in season. You can then pay more for chair and umbrella rentals, bathrooms, showers, the beachside grill and a large concession stands for ice cream and snacks. It can therefore get quite pricy. I suggest going just before the high season begins, when parking and the entire beach is free and the sunbathers are sparse.

4. Ocean City, New Jersey

At about a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Manhattan, Ocean City is the perfect weekend break from New York if you don’t mind a bit of action (this city is not for those looking to get away from it all!). It features miles of beach and a wooden boardwalk lined with restaurants, shops and hotels. At the boardwalk’s southern end, there are loads of theme-park attractions.

5. Shelter Island

Shelter Island is a 2 hour 30 minute drive from New York. It has 20 miles of coastline that range from sandy beaches with shallow waters and lifeguards, to rustic spots that offer beauty and seclusion. Visitors can purchase a parking permit at a cost of $35 per week and some local inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts offer complimentary stickers for their guests.

There are three main beaches to choose from. Wades, which is on the south side of the island and fronts Shelter Island Sound, with lifeguards, toilets and a gently sloping, sandy swimming area, ideal for families with children. Crescent, or Louis Beach, on the north of the island also has lovely sand, toilets and a lifeguard. On the other side of the island from Crescent is Shell Beach. Shell beach has no amenities, but offers sparkling warm waters, pretty wildflowers and stunning views.

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