Sun, sand, and surf within the reach of MTA or your bike—that’s the Rockaways, the Hamptons of Bushwick. With the weather getting nicer and nicer every week, that’s the beach we’re obviously headed to. But the expansive neighborhood along the largest beachfront in the United States is so much more than that–it’s the community, classic as well as innovative local businesses and tremendous nature. How to get there you ask?
By bicycle (our favorite!)
Our favorite way of getting to Rockaways is by bike. With a hint of adventure, you will bike across diverse neighborhoods, natural sites and awesome bridges. Plus those tacos taste a lot better after a 12-mile bike ride! So bike from Bushwick, head towards Williamsburg, then go South on Wythe Avenue to Flatbush Avenue. Cross the Marine Parkway Bridge till you hit Jacob Riis Park. Approximate travel time is 1.5 hours from Williamsburg, so it’s a bit of a doozy. There’s no shame in riding there, and taking the train back. Feel free to print out the helpful map from our reader, Anna Hegarty (high res available here).
For some two-wheel sightseeing, head over to the Rockaway Gateway Greenway trails. You’ll find some easy asphalt riding from Floyd Bennett Field to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Here’s to a summer with no flat tires or slipped chains but, just in case, there’s Paul’s Bike Shop (located at 163 Beach 116th Street and reachable by phone at 718-318-2000) for all your repair needs along the Rockaways.
Take the A train to Far Rockaway, and transfer at Broad Channel to the S shuttle for the Rockaways main drag. Get off at 90th, 98th, 105th, or 116th. (If you want to spend a day at beautiful Jacob Riis Park, get off the S shuttle train at Beach 116th and hop on Q35 bus.)
Alternatively, stay on the Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue-bound train, which serves Beach 67th- Beach 36th Streets.
You can also take the J/Z to Woodhaven Boulevard, and take the Q53 or Q21 buses to 108th Street.
Bushwick Beach Bus returned for the second year in row to rescue our summer. Operating from Bushwick’s Pearl’s Social & Billy Club bar (40 St. Nicholas Ave) and newly also from Williamsburg’s Union Pool (484 Union Ave), the bus will take you all the way to the Rockaways with stops at Rippers (Beach 86th), Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park. The tickets include comfortable charter coach bus transportation to/from Brooklyn to Rockaway Beach, free Narragansett beer and exclusive deals at partnering local businesses. Tickets are $14.95 for a one way trip, or $24.95 for a round trip.
NYC Beach Bus is a slightly less comfy but more affordable option to get to the Rockaways on weekends and holidays through Labor Day weekend. Hop on at one of the three drop-off and pick-up times in Williamsburg (412 Metropolitan) and Downtown Brooklyn (168 Flatbush Ave) and the Rockaways (Beach 95 and Jacob Riis Park). Tickets are $10 one-way, or $14 round-trip, and include beer.
Rockaway Beach Ferry goes from Pier 11 at Wall Street to Jacob Riis Park Beach. The tickets are $20 one way, $30 round trip, $5 to carry on a bicycle or surfboard.