Ft Tilden is an abandoned military base in the Far Rockaways, accessible via bike or my personal favorite: boat from Lower Manhattan. However, it was battered pretty badly by Hurricane Sandy, and it’s not clear the beach will even be open this summer, despite clean up efforts, sadly. Jacob Riis is right next door, and will be open. It’s much less secluded, but has all the facilities that Ft. Tilden lacks.
My second favorite NYC beach is Robert Moses, located on the tip of Fire Island If you don’t have a car, it’s a LIRR ride to a bus ride to the beach, but definitely worth it.
Honestly, it’s the one I’m on…and there are so many I’ve yet to visit.
But a few of my personal favorites (each for entirely different reasons) are Ft. Tilden here in NYC, Butterfly Beach in Montecito, Surfrider in Malibu, and Wailea in Maui. xo