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Pollepel Island, New York.   

12. FORT TILDEN, QUEENS
Minutes From Midtown: 80
Get There By: Subway. A to Rockaway Park–116th St., transfer to the Q35 to the Breezy Point–169th St. stop.
Cool Off: The most remote of the city’s public beaches fronts a ruined WWII Army base. Pack a fishing rod and wrestle bluefish from the shore.
Facilities: No toilets or facilities of any type; it’s just you and the dunes.
Know This: Watch your step—poison ivy grows in abundance. Info: 718-318-4300.

13. SOUTH AND MIDLAND BEACHES, STATEN ISLAND
Minutes From Midtown: 70
Get There By: Ferry. Staten Island Ferry to the S51 bus to the beach.
Cool Off: Staten Island’s adjacent beaches are both family- and fisherman-friendly. South Beach has a new fishing pier. Midland holds its next sand-castle competition July 17.
Eats: Seafood lunch at South Fin Grill on the boardwalk (718-447-7679).
Know This: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 a.m.

14. ORCHARD BEACH, THE BRONX
Minutes From Midtown: 60
Get There By: Subway. 6 to Pelham Bay Park; free transfer to Bx5 or Bx12 bus.
Cool Off: To avoid the crowds—the park can see some 80,000 people on a hot weekend—head out to the beach’s southern- or northernmost points.
Eats: Typical beachside concessions plus Puerto Rican food in the plaza.
Know This: Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

New Jersey


1. KITTATINNY POINT, DELAWARE WATER GAP
Minutes From Midtown: 90
Get There By: Car. Rt. 80 W. to Exit 1.
Cool Off: Follow the Blue Dot trail less than a mile along Dunnfield Creek to get to a small waterfall with an icy pool. It’s deep enough for a (very careful) jump from the ten-foot cliffs above.
Eats: Picnic on the summit of Mt. Tammany, picking your fill of wild blueberries along the way.
Know This: Grab a trail map at the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center, opposite the trailhead on the other side of Rt. 80 (908-496-4458).

2. DELAWARE RIVER, FRENCHTOWN
Minutes From Midtown: 80
Get There By: Car. Rt. 78 W. to Exit 15; follow signs for CR 513, left on Rt. 29.
Cool Off: Rent one tube for yourself and one for your beverages, and float together down a lazy, five-mile stretch of the Delaware River. The Delaware River Tubing Co. supplies rafts as well as tubes ($18 to $28; 908-996-5386).
Eats: “The Famous River Hot Dog Man,” Greg Crance, serves free barbecue on an island at the midway point.
Facilities: Changing rooms and key-check at the rental office; free busing to and from the parking lot.

3. D&R CANAL, PRINCETON
Minutes From Midtown: 75
Get There By: Train. New Jersey Transit to Princeton ($22.50 round trip).
Cool Off: Paddle a double kayak through the placid waterway (but don’t jump out; there’s no swimming allowed) and onto Lake Carnegie. Princeton Canoe & Kayak also rents single kayaks and canoes (from $10; 609-452-2403).
Eats: Cool off alongside mammoth beer vats inside Triumph Brewing Company (609-924-7855).
Know This Cash or check only for rentals.

4. TERRACE POND, WAWAYANDA STATE PARK
Minutes From Midtown: 75
Get There By: Car. Rt. 3 W. to Rt. 46 W. to Rt. 23 N. to Clinton Rd.
Cool Off: There’s technically no swimming allowed, but that doesn’t seem to stop people from plunging into Terrace Pond (really a glacial lake) about an hour’s hike up the blue trail.
Eats: Pack a lunch and eat it on any unoccupied cliff along the way. Know This: Info: 973-853-4462.

5. LAKE HOPATCONG
Minutes From Midtown: 60
Get There By: Bus. Lakeland Bus Lines ($20.60 round trip; 973-366-0600).
Cool Off: Swimming in the 2,500-acre lake is limited to a guarded beach, though many rent Jet Skis or boats at nearby marinas and set off for a private cove.
Eats: Stock up on hot dogs and buns at Pathmark, near the bus drop-off.
Know This: Info: 973-398-7010.

6. SANDY HOOK
Minutes From Midtown: 40
Get There By: Ferry. SeaStreak ($43 round trip; 800-262-8743).
Cool Off: If you like to play volleyball in your birthday suit, take the shuttle to nudist-friendly Gunnison Beach. If you’ve got kids, or a more modest disposition, opt for South Beach. Save your back by renting chairs and umbrellas at the beach.
Eats: The Sea Gulls’ Nest has typical bar food and atypical, 360-degree views.
Know This: The last weekend ferry leaves Manhattan before noon and departs Sandy Hook at 5:45. Info: 732-872-5970.

7. MONMOUTH BEACH
Minutes From Midtown: 90
Get There By: Bus. Academy Bus ($25 round trip; 201-420-7000).
Cool Off: Most of the shoreline is private, but the Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion is a decent-size stretch with public admission—and it’s less crowded than is typical in northern New Jersey.
Know This: $8 entry fee per person.


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