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Jones Beach State Park. Eleven miles east of Long Beach, the 6½ mi of white sand is one of the best known and most popular of Long Island's beaches. The 2,500-acre park is loaded with facilities, including two pools, bathhouses, piers, two surf-casting areas (by permit), picnic areas, concession stands, a restaurant, and four basketball courts. A 1½-mi-long boardwalk has deck games and hosts special events. Lifeguards are on duty from late May to mid-September. The park can be reached from the Wantagh and Meadowbrook parkways (head south). Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh, NY, 11793. 516/785–1600. nysparks.state.ny.us. Parking $8 June–Aug. The Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theater, a 14,000-seat amphitheater in Jones Beach State Park, presents such big-name musicians as Alanis Morissette, David Bowie, and Tom Petty, as well as other performers. The concert season usually runs June through August. 516/221–1000. www.jonesbeach.com.
Ocean Beach Park. Sun seekers throng this beach park, which stretches for 5 mi on the barrier island's south side, to play volleyball, surf, swim, and sunbathe—all under the watchful eyes of lifeguards (on duty weekends late May to mid-June, daily mid-June to early September). The park's indoor pool is open to the public all year. Magnolia St. between Nevada Ave. and Maple Blvd., Long Beach, NY, 11770. 516/431–1810, 516/431–1021, or 516/431–5533. Beach $6 (late May–early Sept.), pool $5. Pool daily 9–6.