Paying to get on a beach is lame. Not a fan of commuter trains, either. So for a beach getaway that's as stress-free as the local train ride over there, try Brooklyn's own Coney Island. The new beachfront amusement park, Luna Park, has plenty of diversions for the young at heart, along with staples like the death defying Cyclone roller coaster and the classic treat, Wonder Wheel.
Carnival games, boardwalk grub, and sandy beach bars abound, as Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and crispy powdered-sugar-topped funnel cakes steal the show.
Its best bet? Friday nights boast the duo of favorite American pastimes: fireworks on the beach and Brooklyn Cyclones baseball (the Mets' minor league team) under bright lights.
Pros: Games, Beach, Fireworks, Tradition, Accessible
Cons: Dirty, Crowded, Long Local Train Ride