New York City may have once had a natural coastline but it was primarily marshland. Today, with continued human intervention on the landscape of the New York City waterfront, you can find some great beaches, albeit man-made. From Governors Island to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and two under-the-radar spots in the Bronx, here are seven man-made beaches to check out:
1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 4
Pier 4 Beach after restoration and redesign, photo by Etienne Frossard
You can’t go into the water at the beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park, but it’s still a great addition to the Brooklyn Heights waterfront. The beach at Pier 4 is built out of the remnants of a railroad float transfer bridge that collapsed into the East River. The park built the beach as a protected habitat preserve the includes Bird Island, just off shore. As the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy writes, “The beach design incorporates innovative structures designed by ECOncrete to mimic natural tidal pools typically found along rocky coasts.” More of these pool are located on Bird Island.
If you’re curious what Pier 4 Beach looked like before its redesign, check out these before and after photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park.