Fall may be approaching, but Long Beach has offerings that extend beyond the summer.
The streets are still lined with people dining outside, the boardwalk remains full of pedestrians and cyclists, and the surfing — well, as the owner of Long Beach surf shop Kevin Sime puts it, “That’s the best time of year. The water is still warm; best swell action due to hurricanes and tropical storms.”
And the appeal extends beyond surfers. “Late summer, early fall is every local’s favorite time of the year,” states Angela Skudin, owner of The Codfish Cowboy clothing shop. “The mild weather makes It the perfect time to take in all that Long Beach has to offer with its unique boutique-style shops, farmers markets, artisan bakeries, dining experiences, peaceful empty beaches. It’s a vibe.”
If you want to catch that vibe, here’s what you need to do in Long Beach and its neighboring areas:
THINGS TO DO
Walk or bike the boardwalk
About two miles in length, it’s a free place to stroll; the ocean crashes on one side and apartment buildings line the other, with occasional food stops open along the way, including the Shoregasboard food truck park at the Riverside Boulevard entrance. You can walk or ride a bicycle — and keep in mind the middle lane is the cycle lane.
Should you wish to join the cyclists, rental options are aplenty. At Long Beach Bicycles (755 E. Park Ave.; 516-517-2453, merrickbicycles.com), you can walk in and pay $50 to rent a bike for the day — but have it back by 5:30 p.m. Another option is Local Cycles (307 W. Park Ave.; 516-390-7085), which offers first-come, first-serve rentals; call ahead for rates.
Try surf lessons
Surfing in Long Beach is serious business, and if you want to hang 10 but have yet to learn how, Skudin Surf (516-318-3993; skudinsurf.com) has a shack on the boardwalk at the Riverside Boulevard entrance where you can meet up with an instructor. Private 75-minute lessons are available for all ages and skill levels for $110 per person, with $160 lessons available for two people or $225 for three. Fall weekends (starting Sept. 11) everybody pays $85 each (nonresidents will also need to buy a beach pass). Registration can be done online, but feel free to call the office to ask questions or make arrangements; boards are provided.
Take a charter cruise
Reynolds Channel lies north along Long Beach, passing by homes and small islands, and under small bridges. Long Beach Charter Cruises, led by Captain Paul Mistretta, offers private luxury tours available both day and evening, for up to 4 hours; complimentary sodas, waters and snacks are included. (516-630-3030; longbeachchartercruises.com. Cruises depart from 7 Railroad Pl., in Island Park)
Catch live music at the brewery
Walking distance from the LIRR station, Bright Eye Beer Co. is a casual spot for craft beer, plus it’s dog-friendly. Live music and other special events are scheduled on occasion, and new beers are released often. This fall, look for a new hazy IPA and a blackberry-blueberry sour beer only available on tap. (50 West Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-543-5736, brighteyebeerco.com)
Shop the farmers market
LI Greenmarket at Kennedy Plaza a is farmers market loaded with items raised here on Long Island. There are 26 different vendors who sell homegrown produce and other treats. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (until Thanksgiving), customers can look forward to peaches, corn and tomatoes, as well as breads, sweets, vegan foods, gluten-free edibles, fresh fish, kombucha and more — even homemade dog treats make the roster. On Saturdays, the Arts on the Plaza (artsintheplaza.com) arts festival featuring live music also takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (1 W. Chester St.; 516-670-5046, ligreenmarket.org)
Stay the night
A high-rise hotel is located right along the boardwalk, which means wide views in every direction. The Allegria is equipped with the Atlantica restaurant and L’Onda Bar (both open to the public), but for sweet treats outside, there’s a Marvel Frozen Dairy shack next door at National Boulevard. There’s also a heated rooftop pool open to hotel guests until Columbus Day (weather-permitting), who may also take part in rooftop yoga sessions; rooms start at $449. (80 W Broadway; 516-889-1300, allegriahotelny.com)
While there are shopping options aplenty, here are a few worth checking out.
The Codfish Cowboy
A boutique retail shop selling items both fun and funky, its focus for the fall is sustainably sourced products made with organic materials. Look for custom-dyed and screen-printed pieces done by creative hands as all stock is made by small independent artists and businesses. (162 E. Park Ave.; 516-442-5500, thecodfishcowboy.com)
Surfboards skateboards and related apparel and accessories are the name of the game here, and for the autumn, shoppers can look forward to a full line of wet suits, boots and gloves from Vissla and Dakine (for men and women) plus shorts, tees, pants, sweats and flannels for men by Vissla, Roark and Jetty brands; dresses, sweats, shirts, pants and flannels for women by Amuse Society, Rusty, Rhythm, Roxy and Sisstr. (879 W. Beech St.; 516-442-6900)
Family-friendly and open nearly 40 years, it’s still hanging in with bikinis and summer boardshorts, but for the fall is set to go with featured items such as jackets from Patagonia, hoodies from Dark Seas, transition flannels from brands Katin and Rip Curl plus, several new shoes from Vans. (70 W. Park Ave,; 516-431-5431, longbeachsurf.com)
Specializing in handmade women’s clothing and accessories, including both pieces made by hand-block printing and fully sewn garments, everything is created with eco-friendly materials. The fashion here is transitioning into fall-mode, and will feature items, some quilted, others embroidered. A line of jackets will also hit the racks, as will gifts such as candles, home décor and jewelry. (803 W. Beech St.; 516-569-8588, shadeamour.com)
Rose & Eye
The Long Beach outlet of this company (also in Rockville Centre) is very beachy Bohemian, but the clothing is slated to transition for the fall season into jeans, dresses and lightweight knit tops and bottoms. A free-size collection, meant to fit people of varying builds, is already in place, and handbags, wristlets, totes and jewelry is also to be expected. (893 W. Beech St.; 516-544-4477, roseandeye.com)
GRAB A BITE
For more restaurant picks in Long Beach by Newsday Feed Me critics, visit Newsday.com/FeedMe.
Dan Monteforte’s rollicking restaurant starts with the basics — pulled pork, brisket, chicken, ribs — and spins them into dozens of inventive dishes such as the “mac & Pete” (burned ends tossed with macaroni and cheese), the smokehouse cheesesteak sandwich or the smoke-pit tacos. Stop by on a Tuesday night for the fried chicken. (909 W. Beech St.; 516-431-3464; swingbellyslongbeach.com)
Lost & Found / Lost At Sea
This pair of bistros, roughly across the street from one another, are devoted to flesh and fish, and each excel at their stated pursuit. At Lost & Found, chef-owner Alexis Trolf presides over a rustic, bustling scene with a meat case out front, great beer and wine and changing weekly specials such as a whipped ricotta tartine with basil, lemon, grapes and thyme; duck breast au poivre; and steaks served in all kinds of ways, from tartare to frites. Across the street, Lost At Sea is a tiny, wood-paneled nautical parlor where co-owner Stephan Magliano greets diners warmly as he finesses superlative cocktails, such as a clarified old fashioned. Both are cash only. (951 W. Beech St. and 888 W. Beech St., Long Beach)
Tucked behind the dunes at one end of the Long Beach boardwalk, this light-flooded, flip-flop-friendly eatery and bar seems like an extension of the beach — but one with serious culinary firepower in the form of chef Brian Wilson, who has taken the kitchen reins from owner Craig Attwood. (5 New York Ave.; 516-517-2828, fiveoceanlongbeach.com)