I am now fifty two years old and have been going to Jones Beach most of my life. What I see now is UNBELIEVABLE!
I remember as a kid from the city having my mom and dad and relatives take me to Zach's Bay for family outings. As a bay, it is a very calm and a very pretty expanse of beach. Next to it stands the Jones Beach Theater, that now has contemporary music most of the Summer. It used to feature Broadway shows etc in the days of Guy Lombardo. My wife and I have enjoyed standing on the chairs singing along with the Beach Boys and having soft breezes on us as we listen to Kenny G. My children enjoy Nsync and other such groups. The beach has a very diverse concert schedule. Tonight the theater will feature Jimmy Buffett. That makes me want to write a review about Key West and Margaritaville. Look for it.
As I grew up and moved "out to the island" as Long island is known as I started going to the beach with my buddies. At the time we would hitch a ride everyday. I do not recommend that practice any longer. My buddies and me were getting real well known the bad guys ..... whoops getting into an old Beach boy song. My buddies and I would spend time body surfing in the water. I haven't found anyplace else where you could find body surfing seas so readily available so often. I still body surf when I get the chance. We would also walk the beaches meeting all the new girls that would be there. This scene still goes on at the Central Mall, beach five and the west end beaches. It may happen elsewhere but after thirty years of marriage I'm a bit out of the loop.
I did meet my wife at Jones Beach in the summer of '66. I was fifteen years old saw this gal with food and it was love at first meal! We got to know each other. She went away to school for a year and then finished here on Long Island at Hofstra and Adelphi. After graduation we were married. Jones Beach holds a very special place for both of us.
Speaking of marriage, A cousin of mine was recently married and held her reception at the Jones Beach Restaurant. It was a great day and the place did well for us. We have frequented the restaurant over the years. It is constantly changing hands, a bit pricey and has never been consistently good. Everything is location,location,location, so we continue to go there for the views.
Update 2008 in Ref to Restaurant
The restaurant is now gone due to physical disrepair of the building and inconsistent management of the restaurants. There will be a new restaurant that has been proposed by Donald Trump and Long Island businessman and restaurateur Steven M. Carl.
The place is to be named Trump on the Ocean and its size and other matters are being discussed in forums that have some people actively against it for aesthetic reasons and because of tax breaks set up. There's also the thing of a huge TRUMP in gold followed by the words "On The Ocean". The sign though big will only be dwarfed by the man's ego.
I have very mixed feeling about this one. I'll update as I pick up more information about this restaurant that is scheduled to open in the spring of 1009 allowing walk in guest and having affairs at $300 a plate.
I am no longer having mixed feelings about this restaurant. It's a shame! It's still a hole in the ground on one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate on the east coast.
Though we do go to this restaurant we often frequent the restaurants in our home town of Freeport. The Freeport Nautical Mile was recently redone and it is now a fantastic destination.
We live just eight minutes from the beach. In the last year we have had day guests from overseas. One stop is to take them to Jones Beach. They are constantly impressed with the place and tell us they had no idea that such a beautiful, uncommercial park beach was so close to New York City.
The area of Jones Beach is about to miles long with the Atlantic on one side and bays on the other. The place was a grand idea of Robert Moses as were the roads and much of the planning.
The beach is one continuous line of white sand stretching over two miles. It is glorious!!
Most of the buildings are stone in an art deco style. Very attractive. There are two bathhouses that have huge pools with showers etc. These bathhouses must be seen.In the West Bathhouse you will find an "old time" ice cream parlor. The East Bathhouse has a mini museum dedicated to the planning and building of the state park. I found it very interesting with all it's facts and pictures.
Jones Beach offers much as far as activities. On weekends there are endless baseball, softball, and soccer games going on. They are great games and fun to watch. You also get to see the diversity in population that are here on Long Island. I love watching the "footbal" games. Not American. Also available into the night are shuffle board, mini golf, paddle ball, kiddie playgrounds, and a host of other activities. I do miss the archery and the skating rink they have closed over the years. They do continue to improve the facilities and are constantly introducing new things.
I have not mentioned the boardwalk from which most of these activities are accessible. It's grand!. At the Central Mall it is the center of all that is Jones Beach. There are outside food places, huge flags, places to sit etc. Right of the board walk at central mall you will find a small souvenir store. The beach has a couple of small convenience stores also in each of the beach houses. Sun lotion,postcards and the like are available. Next to the store in the central mall is the park office. You can get further info there about the park and scheduled events. You can also pick up an overnight fishing and parking permit for those who want to fish from the beach at night.
After the park office and store you will find a small outside "shell" where they have square dance bands, line dancing, Gospel music and other types of events.That's why you want to get the schedule.This is a great place for people watching.
The boardwalk stretches about a mile and is also a place for exercise. People will be seen walking at a fast pace or just strolling along. There are exercise stations along the walk also.
One of my highlights every year are the fireworks show on the Fourth of July. I have seen fireworks in many places but nobody puts the music, and fireworks together the way they are done there. It's magnificent!!Just be prepared to wait a long time to get out of the parking lots that night. Bring a little picnic goodies and enjoy yourself. It's one of the few nights where you are not chased off he beach after sunset. Bummer, they cancelled this great show. Perhaps they will bring it back one year.
What is spectacular is the Air Show every Memorial Day weekend. It's NOT to be missed!!
There is an eighteen hole pitch put golf course (Sorry, this is closed due to the restarant problem on the property.) next to the central mall. It's a lot of fun being mostly par three holes. Just look out for the geese dropping,a major problem.
Beach six is the beach we generally go to when just wanting to sun. The parking lot is on the ocean side therefor closer to the beach. It also has a handicapped walk and ample nearby parking. Some of the other larger lots are on the bay side of the island and you must cross under an overpass to get to the beach. These paths are bordered by lovely plantings that are changed two or three times per season. Beach six is our preference because of it being a short walk, it's more of a family beach, and it is a "no radio" beach. Beware though if you are with the kids and certain things bother you. On the eastern end of the lot many sun worshippers walk down a bit and do some "complete" sunbathing. You may find some openly gay couples holding hands and strolling the beach. So don't be surprised.
There are many places where you can bar-b-q along the different beach houses. Food in the beach houses is a bit pricey for hamburgers and hot dogs so if that's a problem bring a cooler with some food and enjoy.
My best time to relax at Jones beach is in late afternoon. The crows thin, the sun gives off beautiful lighting and is just warm on the body. I am so happy to live so close to Jones beach which offers even more than I have talked about.
Common down and enjoy! This place is more than you can imagine. It's UNBELIEVABLE!!
Pssst! Hey Buddy, looking for a good time? Click if you dare.
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