Long Beach is a city on the rise since Hurricane Sandy ravaged its shores and parts of its lively downtown in October 2012. Since then the city has celebrated the grand opening of its brand-new 2-mile boardwalk fortified to withstand future storms. Food trucks, a trapeze school, and mini golf, as well as beach volleyball tournaments and live music events have also breathed new life into a city already known for food and fun. Check out the weekend Farmers’ Market at City Hall and a multitude of festivals throughout the year.
Named for its 5-mile-long stretch of pristine coastline, Long Beach was established as a warm-weather resort community for the rich and famous in the 1870s. Thanks to the ocean breezes and its location on a barrier island, the weather is moderate—on average 10°F warmer in winter and 10°F cooler in summer than the rest of the county. Teeming with restaurants, nightlife, and shops, it's still a popular vacation spot, with some of the most powdery soft sand around and a vibrant surf culture. The Long Island Rail Road makes it easy to get here from New York City, and the water's edge is only a third-of-a-mile walk from the last stop on the railroad's Long Beach line.