A short bike- or shuttle-bus ride from town, Jetties Beach is popular with families because of its calm surf. It's also a good place to try out kayaks and sailboards. On shore it's a lively scene, with a playground and volleyball nets on the beach and adjacent public tennis courts. There is a boardwalk to the beach (special wheelchairs are available). You'll have a good view of passing ferries—and an even better one if you clamber out on the jetty itself. (Careful, it's slippery.) Amenities : food and drink; lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for : swimming; windsurfing.
Surfside Beach, accessible via the Surfside Bike Path (3 miles) or shuttle bus, is the island's most popular surf beach. This wide strand of sand comes fully equipped with conveniences. It draws teens and young adults as well as families and is great for kite flying and, after 5 pm, surf casting. Amenities : food and drink; lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets. Best for : surfing; swimming; walking.