Best Urban Day Trip New York 2013 - Orchard Beach
Hamptons, Shmamptons. Between May and September, you can't even make a left turn out there. We have the Bronx Riviera, aka Pelham Bay Park: a 13-mile, polyglot blue-collar crescent of sand backed by 2,772 acres of parkland and forested trails. Orchard Beach was created in the 1930s to give New Yorkers who didn't have the ways and means to sally forth to Long Island a place to go. There are two snack bars, barbecue facilities, two big playgrounds, and several basketball courts. (The highly competitive Hoops in the Sun tournament takes place here.) And there are the regulars—tipsy, over-tanned folks straight out of Central Casting. Had enough of the beach scene? Venture southward across the bridge to our very own fishing village, City Island. Settled back in 1614, the town developed industries in oystering and shipbuilding. During World War II, the builders produced minesweepers and tugboats, not to mention elite racing yachts. The fishing's still decent, but the island is mostly a Manhattan bedroom community—albeit one that features several dozen seafood joints stretching along the main drag, City Island Avenue. The whole shebang's accessible via the good old MTA.