A section of the boardwalk in the Rockaways

These neighborhoods at the far reaches of New York City are unlike anything else in the five boroughs. Some parts look like the rest of southern Queens, others like a mid-Atlantic sea town that happens to be reachable by subway. Most people come for the beaches, known for their surfing, but it's worth sticking around as the neighborhood has been working hard to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. There is plenty to enjoy on dry land that is worth the trip.

If traveling by train, it's important to know that there are two parts of the Rockaways: one off the A train, and one off the shuttle train, which you catch from the A. The section off the A train is very residential, while the part off the shuttle train is more commercial and home to the more popular beaches and attractions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Queens attractions

1. Rockaway Beach

0.25 MILES

Surfboards on the subway? A discordant sight no doubt, but it's only a 75-minute ride on the A train from Midtown, or a 57-minute ferry ride from Wall St,…

3. Riis Beach & Fort Tilden

3.13 MILES

All the way at the bottom of the city, to the West of the quaint Rockaways, are Riis Beach and Fort Tilden, where New Yorkers of all stripes come to let…

4. Wyckoff House Museum

6.82 MILES

Built in 1652, Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House is New York City’s oldest building and one of the oldest in the US. A working farm until 1901, this Dutch…

5. Weeksville Heritage Center

8.36 MILES

In 1838 a former enslaved man by the name of James Weeks purchased a tract of land on the fringes of Brooklyn’s settled areas to build a free African…

6. New York Aquarium

8.36 MILES

This kid-friendly aquarium has several different exhibits around its central courtyard. Penguins, otters and seals frolic in the Sea Cliffs display. The…

7. Long Beach


Beautiful Long Beach, one of the best stretches of sand in the area, is only a few miles outside New York City’s limits. It’s easily accessible by train…

8. Luna Park

8.54 MILES

The original Luna Park, the most famous of Coney Island's competing amusement parks, opened in 1903 and reigned for decades until destroyed by fire in the…