4. Manhattan Beach

Kingsborough College on Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach, notably not in Manhattan but rather east of Brighton Beach, is a rather calm beach opened in 1877 by real estate developer Austin Corbin, who also owned the Long Island Railroad from 1880 until 1896. Manhattan Beach was developed on 500 acres of salt marsh, and it became a tourist destination following the construction of the Oriental Hotel and the Manhattan Beach Hotel. John Philip Sousa even composed the Manhattan Beach March in honor of the latter resort.

The neighborhood of Manhattan Beach quickly transitioned to residential homes in the early 1900s, and the beach became a rather quiet alternative to Coney Island. Today, the beach includes an ocean-themed playground, a small promenade, and a number of barbecues.