When you think of New York City, you think of crowded trains, pissed off pedestrians, and expensive food. In essence, you think of stress. Despite the fact that NYC is one of the most densely populated places on the globe, it’s surrounded by water—a lot of it.

Basically, this means there are miles of beaches you should check out this summer, without leaving town. All of these beaches have free admission and are open to the public. If you’re interested in seeing breathtaking fireworks, Coney Island offers a free show every Friday, including July 4th. A full schedule of the day can be found here. Relaxation is just a subway ride away:

Brighton Beach
Brightwater Ave, Brooklyn (Stretches from Corbin Pl. to Coney Island)
You Won’t Miss: The Russian-speaking men and women flying kites and getting a tan; don’t forget to check out those hole in the wall eateries, usually specializing in borscht and kielbasa.
Getting there: B, Q to Brighton Beach

Jacob Riis Park
From Beach 169th St to Beach 149th St
You Won’t Miss: While it may be known as a shabbier version of Rockaway Beach, it’s also less crowded, which means less screaming children. It’s part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.
Getting there: 2 to Flatbush Ave., Q35 Bus to Riis Beach

Manhattan Beach
Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn (Extends from Ocean Ave to Mackenzie St, the eastern end of Coney Island)
You Won’t Miss: You may not realize mansions surround the beach, making a walk on the beach a necessity.
Getting there: B, Q to Brighton Beach, then 5 minute bus ride on B1 Bus to Oriental Blvd.

Orchard Beach
Pelham Bay Park at Orchard Beach Rd, the Bronx
You Won’t Miss: This beach includes Pelham Bay, which is three times the size of Central Park. The beach also contains 26 courts for tennis, paddleball, and basketball. It’s also man-made, designed by the famous Robert Moses.
Getting there: 6 to Pelham Bay, transfer to the Bx12 bus to Orchard Beach

Rockaway Beach
Beach 9th to 149th Sts, Rockaway Beach, Queens
You Won’t Miss: Whether you’re into surfing or photography, this beach has everything.
Getting there: A to Broad Channel, transfer to the S to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th St.

Coney Island
Stillwell Ave at the tip of Brooklyn, NY
You Won’t Miss: Just to name a few landmarks: the Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone Rollercoaster, the Freak Show, and lots of food at the boardwalk. Nathan’s anyone? There are also free fireworks every Friday night, which started on June 14th.
Getting there: N or D to Coney Island (which is the last stop, so you can’t miss it!)