A short train ride from Manhattan is rewarded with the glistening seas and sandy shores of Long Island, which is home to some of the USA's top beaches (and some that could give the Caribbean a run for its money). The Hamptons are of course some of the best contenders on the island, but the rest of Long Island doesn't leave much to be desired either. Alongside spectacular beaches prime for swimming, sunbathing, sandcastles and beach sports, many of Long Island's coastal stretches offer even more family-friendly activities like water sports, and hiking and biking trails, as well as events, live concerts, dog parks, and photography worthy seafront boardwalks perfect for taking a leisurely stroll or gentle bicycle ride.

Long Island's official beach season starts on Memorial Day weekend in May, and comes to an end during Labor Day weekend once September arrives, and from April to May visitors can expect lifeguards on duty and a charge for vehicle entry. Still, year-round, these Long Island beaches attract locals and tourists to enjoy their irresistible sands, inviting waters, lengthy boardwalks, pretty nature trails, and stunning views no matter the season. Despite there being plenty of lovely sandy stretches to consider all across this picturesque NY tourist trap, these are undoubtedly the ones that Long Island-bound travelers should be adding to their vacation itinerary.

10 Long Beach

It's hard to believe that it's really New York when one's toes touch the powder-soft sands of Long Beach with its shimmering ocean, and jaw-dropping vistas that wouldn't look out of place in the tropics. The dazzling Long Beach extends for three miles on the South Shore and boasts its famed boardwalk (which offers free Wi-Fi!) perfect for taking a stroll on and absorbing the scenery. There are also lots of great restaurants and shops on the street near the beach, so visitors will never go hungry. And kids and adults who crave a little more energy and fun will love the opportunity to take a surf lesson with Skudin Surf school nearby.

9 Coopers Beach

Southampton's Coopers Beach is consistently named as one of the USA's top ten beaches, and it's easy to see why it retains such a prestigious title. The impeccable sand combined with the Atlantic Ocean's gentle waves perfect for swimming has a fascinating backdrop of stately mansions peppered along the dunes, which make for unique scenery while frolicking in the sea, as well as great photography opportunities. Beach-goers can also rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach's concession stand, and enjoy food and drinks at Coopers Beach Cafe - boasting utterly charming views.

8 Gin Beach

On Montauk Harbor's east side inlet is Gin Beach bathed by the gentle waters of Block Island Sound. This is a fantastic spot for children due to the calm waves here, as well as the interesting boasts coming in and out of the harbor that never ceases to excite little ones. Pet owners can also rejoice, for all areas of the beach permit dogs - even off-leash.

Visitors to the very picturesque Gin Beach have a designated sectioned area for swimming, convenient restrooms, and even outdoor showers to wash off the sand and saltwater before heading home. What makes this shoreline even more special is that there are no houses, businesses, or buildings, maximizing the peaceful environment away from urbanization.

Conveniently, RV camping is available close by at Montauk County Park RV Beach, and people that stay at local hotels can receive a parking permit for Gin Beach (just ask the hotel for one if planning a beach day).

Related: Long Island's Most Beautiful Places Also Offer Some Unexpected History

7 Jones Beach State Park

6.5 miles along the South Shore forms Jones Beach State Park - which is one of Long Island's most popular and busiest beaches, and for good reason; powder-soft sand; calm waters; gorgeous views, and a wealth to do. Unfortunately, pets aren't allowed on the beach or boardwalk, which is something important to keep in mind when considering a visit.

Sunbathing and picnicking are top pastimes here, but if they're too relaxing, then the shuffleboard, volleyball, and basketball courts will liven up the day. Still not enough? Then perhaps the pools, golf course, and two-mile-long boardwalk prime for walking, running, and rollerblading might be tempting enough.

Lining the boardwalk and nearby streets are typical Long Island eateries and restaurants serving up all kinds of cuisine - from sumptuous seafood and quintessential New York pizzas, to delicious desserts and shakes - so it's impossible for beach-goers to remain hungry for long. What's more, the nearby Northwell Health Theater hosts fantastic live concerts during summer, as well as unmissable Memorial Day celebrations.

6 Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island

Robert Moses is another superb stretch of sand and sea that's achieved the title as one of New York's best beaches in past years. Although it's technically off the mainland (albeit only 30 minutes by ferry) it would be a crime not to include it on the list as its beauty and character fall nothing short of a picture-perfect beach vacation. Five miles in length, this State Park is situated on Fire Island's west side and is a quieter alternative to Jones Beach - which can get rather crowded in summer.

The pristine seafront, refreshing ocean for swimming, and superb surfing, boogie-boarding, and fishing here all combine to make Robert Moses one of the most incredible beaches in the region. There's also a Pitch and Putt golf course and a volleyball court open from April to mid-November just a stone's throw away, both of which are ideal for fun-loving beach-goers who've had enough swimming and sunbathing for the day. Throw in the Fire Island lighthouse nearby to complete the postcard-perfect scenery, and this sensational shoreline is an all-rounder for the perfect seaside day out.

Related: All Your Fire Island Travel Questions, Answered: Must-Have Tips From A Long Island Local

5 Sunken Meadow Beach State Park

Sunken Meadow Beach is situated in Smithtown in Suffolk County and is another popular stretch on Long Island Sound attracting locals and visitors to its 1,287 acres of state park and almost-mile-long boardwalk - which offers a joyful jaunt along the North Shore. This massive state park has everything that visitors could ever need to enjoy an amazing day out, including three playgrounds, a 27-hole golf course, baseball and soccer fields, and sprawling green lawns prime for picnicking, playing, and relaxing. It's also useful to note that pets are allowed here, but they're limited to wooded areas only.

Those wanting wet and wild have the calm coastline spanning three miles, where stunning beaches boast bountiful blessings of kayaks, canoes, paddle boarding, and windsurfing amongst many other water sports. Near the shores are scenic nature trails for hiking, so there's plenty else to explore once bored of the beach (yeah right!) And when all that sunbathing, sports, swimming and strolling set the stomach screeching for sustenance, starved sun-lovers have concession stands selling sumptuous seafood, fries, ice-cream, and other sensational New York treats.

4 Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

The home of the 26th US president - Theodore Roosevelt - is nestled in the Incorporated Village of Cove Neck on the North Shore, where history combines with the charm of nature on 95 acres of lush forest and salt marshes. The area's pretty nature trails ripe for hiking and photography lead to Eel Creek Boardwalk, which opens up a beautiful beach on Long Island Sound. Here, the historically significant and famous Sagamore Hill - which is both a museum and national park - allows fascinated guests to discover President Roosevelt's gorgeous Victorian-style summer home that's surrounded by majestic nature trails beckoning for exploration.

Kids will equally love the experience to be had here thanks to the Junior Ranger Program designed to ignite their interests in the history of the area, and the nature and beauty of Long Island. And, the best news of all about this place: visitors are welcome to have their dogs tag along (as long as they're on leash).

3 Orient Beach State Park

Orient Beach is a unique candidate along Long Island's south shore in the sense that it usually remains uncrowded throughout the seasons. This stunning stretch of pebbled shoreline situated at the tip of North Fork isn't the liveliest, but what it lacks in hustle and bustle it makes up for with calm surf, great water sports and fishing, and magical nature trails playing host to rich wildlife and foliage.

Visitors have the special chance to explore the seaside maritime forest here, which is home to intriguing flora and fauna, including prickly-pear cacti, red cedar, and black-jack oak trees - all of which are granted National Natural Landmark status by the park. And with serene protected nature spots comes diverse wildlife and impressive bird action that never fails to excite the area's bird-watching community, with the likes of egrets, ospreys, and herons stealing the spotlight.

Related: Forget Napa And Give Long Island Wine Country A Try

2 Hither Hills State Park

It's beach camping galore at Hither Hills State Park's 189 campsites and RV Parking spots, and they get booked up well in advance so be sure to make a reservation many months in advance. This family-friendly state park near Montauk is the one and only place to be for those who wish to sleep under the stars with the sounds of waves crashing nearby.

There are many things to do and see here, with venturing up and down the sand dunes of Napeague Harbor and visiting the nearby forest full of towering oak and pine trees being at the top of the list. Also, families with children have a superb playground and huge playing fields to go wild in, and those seeking a little more adventure will enjoy the park's year-round fishing and cross-country skiing in the winter.

1 Watch Hill, Fire Island

Another one of Fire Island's picture-perfect shorelines off the mainland takes the baton as one of New York State's top beaches. The island itself is quiet and crowd-free, with the added benefit of no vehicles permitted - which makes for a peaceful, pristine, and perfect environment across this 32 mile-long barrier island on the south coast. It's the ultimate spot in the state to enjoy impeccable beaches without hoards of people nor pollution, and to watch wildlife and nature in its raw state; friendly deer grazing on grass dunes; birds flying without disturbance; and expansive beaches with almost nothing and nobody to spoil the view.

Watch Hill in particular is located in the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, which is accessed via a quick ferry ride from Patchogue LIRR train station. Like much of Fire Island's clean, serene beaches, the draw of Watch Hill is its lack of buildings and man-made distractions - there's only a single restaurant and a few bathrooms with showers for campers' use.

It's not just tranquillity and lazing around in an untouched natural environment that tantalizes visitors though - there are a number of fun and fascinating activities to indulge in, such as guided canoeing trips, hiking the area's charming trails, and bird-watching in the local wilderness. Overall, the peace and serenity of the place are what makes it so unique to spend the day at (or camp for a few), and it's almost unimaginable to believe, as peaceful and paradisiac as it is, that it's so close to the crazy that is New York City.

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