VIDEO: A Day in Long Beach, New York, a Surfer's Paradise

Explore this charming seaside town located just an hour from downtown NYC

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Attention, surf enthusiasts. There is an impressive beach with strong waves only an hour from the Big Apple.

On any given morning in Long Beach, New York, the Atlantic Ocean's robust waves crash ashore, while diligent runners traverse the city's historic and beloved boardwalk, rebuilt in 2013 after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Out in the water, surfers with their boards bob in the waves, just waiting for a chance to catch an exhilarating ride.

Seaside Escape

The wide stretch of golden-sand beach, which sits between Atlantic Beach to the west and Lido Beach to the east, is the main draw in Long Beach, appropriately nicknamed the "City by the Sea." Long Beach was thrust into existence as a resort town and a comfortable suburban community in 1880, when the Long Island Rail Road was extended from Lynwood to Long Beach.

Before long, hundreds of thousands of visitors were flocking to this coastline, eager for a break from hectic city life.

Photo: Theresa Boehl Photo: Theresa Boehl

Resorts like the massive Long Beach Hotel (destroyed by fire in 1907) were built to welcome beach-goers, and by the 40s, the town attracted fashionable stars like Mae West, Humphrey Bogart, Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino and other famous entertainers.

Like many other American cities, Long Beach experienced a slump in the 80s and a subsequent revival in the 90s. These days, it's a vibrant beach community popular with young professionals who relish its quiet streets, modest bungalows and easy access to the city.

Photo: Theresa Boehl Photo: Theresa Boehl

The most happening nightlife joints are concentrated on Beech Street and Park Avenue, and the vibe in these places is worlds away from the haughtiness you might find in some high-end Manhattan establishments.

Long Beach - Surf City

If you're in need of a good spot to surf, Long Beach will certainly do the trick. For one thing, the climate here is classified as humid subtropical. Long Beach is one of the northernmost areas to be designated as such, so you might even spot a palm tree here and there – not something you'd expect from New York.

And when the cooler autumn breezes start blowing through the coastline, surfers simply suit up and continue in their quest to conquer the ocean swells.

Photo: Theresa Boehl Photo: Theresa Boehl

There are plenty of surf shops on the island (Long Beach Surf and Maritime Surf on Park Ave are highly rated), and a strong surfing culture certainly pervades here.

In fact, the Quiksilver Pro New York competition was held in Long Beach in 2011, proving that this beach spot has what it takes to be a true surfing mecca. Take a look at this live beach cam to get an idea of what the waves are like right now.

The Long Island Rail Road train terminal at Park Place and Park Avenue is the gateway to the great city beyond. Within an hour from leaving the beachfront, you can be smack dab in the middle of NYC, conveniently dropped off at Penn Station.

Craving your own beach adventure? Browse our beach deals and find your own awesome vacation destination.

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