May-Sep: daily, 10am-6pm; Oct-Apr: daily, closed
B, Q at Brighton Beach
Located on the southeastern end of Brooklyn and bounded by Raritan Bay, the quarter-mile Manhattan Beach was once christened the "World's Largest Privately Owned Playground" by Life magazine. The popular summertime getaway was converted into a Coast Guard base with bathhouses and sun soakers replaced by outposts and sailors after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Robert Moses later reclaimed the land and returned it to the civilians. Stately mansions still line the surrounding streets and the concrete promenade—while less impressive than those at Coney Island and Brighton Beach—merits a stroll. Nearby Kingsborough Community College hosts free outdoor summer concerts on its well-manicured, peninsular campus. And though many families arrive by car with picnic baskets and packed coolers, fresh seafood can be found at local eateries.