Over the weekend I took a day trip with a couple friends out to a New York beach town called Long Beach. Although it’s just a short drive or train ride from where I grew up on Long Island, it was only in recent years that I discovered the awesomeness that is Long Beach.
It feels like such a departure from the towns and cities that surround it – as soon as you step foot into the town, you’re surrounded with sand, water, seashells, surf shops, surfer boys, and everything else associated with the beach. You’ll find rows of beach houses in pastel colors, and a general vibe of laid-back nonchalance.
Unfortunately, the town was hit incredibly hard by Hurricane Sandy. The famous boardwalk was destroyed and homes were lost by tons of families – including the family of one of our friends. :( I was so happy to see, though, that the town seems to have bounced back incredibly. Homes and buildings are still being rebuilt – as is the boardwalk – but you may not really know it just upon passing through.
Our first stop was The Cabana, where our friend Mary works. Even though we were there during her shift, Mary was actually able to sit down and hang out with us for a while with no questions asked – just to give a sense of how chilled out this town is. Naturally, I picked her brain for some of the best spots to visit while in town.
It just so happened that we started the day at the right spot – The Cabana has an awesome weekend brunch deal… and killer margaritas. We ordered a guava, which was just as delicious as it looks.
According to Mary, Long Beach locals usually start their nights with a Cabana marg, and slowly make their way to The Saloon — a local bar with a poppin’ dance floor… a dance floor that her crew has nicknamed SDF (Saloon Dance Floor, of course). “Meet me at SDF” is a typical text you’d either send or receive during a night spent out in Long Beach.
After our margs we took a nice walk down to the beach. You can buy single or seasonal beach passes – and you can also get a Long Island Railroad ticket and a beach pass together as a package.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, so we lounged in the sand for a bit, but we didn’t dare touch our toes in the blue water – we’ll give the summer sun a few more weeks to heat that baby up.
Our next stop was a surf shop – just because. None of us are surfers (I mean, I tried once!), but we couldn’t spend a day in a beach town without checking out a shop! According to Mary, the surf shop gem of the town is Unsound Surf. We didn’t have a chance to stop at that specific shop on this trip, but you better believe I’ll be there next time!
We had a little more time before I had to head back to Philly, and we knew exactly where we needed to go: Marvel Ice Cream. While this place is technically located in Lido Beach, it’s been known as a Long Beach staple for years. That vanilla yogurt with rainbow sprinkles, man. That’s a treat from paradise for sure.
If you find yourself in New York this summer, spend a few hours in Long Beach! Day or night, it’s the place to be when the weather’s hot – and the money you spend for your beach pass will help to revive all that was taken from the town during the hurricane. :)