I am from the south of Spain…so I am a summer and beach “person.” I grew up spending my summers at the beach and I must admit I was a bit homesick this summer, not having enough beach days. Just as I was starting to think that the only beautiful beaches were far out on the eastern end of Long Island (i.e. Hamptons and Montauk), I was amazed to find beautify beaches just 45 minutes from NYC. Rockaway Beach, incredibly accessible by car, subway and ferry, was just the “fix” I needed. Head to Beach 96th Street if you want to find a vibrant beach crowd with music and good food (i.e. arepas from the famous NYC Caracas Arepas Bar) or if you are looking for something a bit more remote and secluded head to Fort Tilden or Jacob Riis Park. The tip of the Rockaway peninsula offers more seclusion (don’t count on great cell service out here). Either way, whether you head to 96th Street, Tilden or Riis Park, you cannot go wrong with a visit to Rockaway Beach. Rockaway Beach has a long shore line that runs for miles and is connected by a great board walk. The boardwalk is dotted with food stands and bars where you can get a cold bear to enjoy while you soak up the sun. The wide sandy beaches are great for throwing a frisbee with friends or playing football. The cool ocean temperatures are perfect for cooling off on a hot NYC summer day. On this particular visit to Rockaway Beach, I arrived late in the afternoon and stayed to watch the sunset. After spending an afternoon at the beach with friends I wasn’t homesick any longer and I was reminded of the wonderful things that NYC has to offer. You can start you day in the bustling city and end it swimming in the ocean under the orange rays of a setting sun. If you are coming to NYC, don’t miss a trip to Rockaway Beach.