When we head out to a beach, it looks something like this: Long subway ride, transfer to another train, then a shuttle ride to a ferry, then, finally after a few hours, you’re there. But there’s a good ferry on your side—one that will pick you up in Manhattan and take you directly to Sandy Hook, a beach only 40 minutes away in New Jersey. You’d think this easy jaunt ($40 round-trip, but well worth it) would bring hordes of people to Sandy Hook, but think again. The beautiful seven-mile stretch of open beach is tucked away, hidden by a short walk from where the ferry docks, through a path between deserted barracks. (Although the defunct U.S. Army post Fort Hancock is open to the public.) Sandy Hook is quite the beach destination mostly because it’s not overcrowded, which makes the seaside scenery even more spectacular. It’s as if you’re on a secluded island, and, no, you’re not dreaming. sandy-hook.com.