Best Subway Train to Ride for Leisure (2013)

A to Rockaway Park

By the time the A to Rockaway Park passes JFK Airport, its cars are mostly empty. Folks kick their legs up, stretch their arms out, and glance out the windows at the rows of trees and suburban-style homes. Then comes the water. It trickles in at first—narrow rivers and shallow ponds. But within minutes, the land disappears from under the train. Out each window there is nothing but blue. It feels like the train is floating down Jamaica Bay. The pace has slowed, now, the thunderous rumble replaced by a humming glide. After half a mile on water, the tracks enter the lush grasses and wetlands of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. By the time it eases to a stop at Broad Channel, it's been about 10 minutes since the last time the doors opened. Then it's back on the water, past houseboats and homes on stilts above the tide. Soon, the white sands of Rockaway Beach appear beyond the windows, stretching for miles.


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