It's a hot day and you want to take the kids to the beach, somewhere local. Where to go?
Brooklyn has three oceanfront beaches, all of which are public. Here is a thumbnail sketch of each.
The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Coney Island
Coney Island is easily accessible by public transportation. It's big, busy, and it's advisable to wear beach shoes on the sand. Extras include the boardwalk, proximity to Coney Island amusement park rides, a long fishing pier, the baseball park at which Brooklyn Cyclones play, and the NY Aquarium. There are fireworks on Friday nights after sundown. There's cheap food aplenty. The area is historic.
The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Brighton Beach
The beach in the neighborhood called Brighton Beach is about a mile and a half walk down the boardwalk from Coney Island. It is also busy, and it's advisable to wear shoes on the sand. Extras include the ability to go two blocks to a main shopping drag that is very Russian; one can find ice cream of course, but also borscht, Russian-owned cafes and food stores, and colorful people-watching. Public transportation is good.
The NYC Parks Department Public Beach in Manhattan Beach
The beach at Manhattan Beach is the smallest and perhaps the most family-friendly of Brooklyn's three public beaches. It is surrounded by various park facilities such as playgrounds, bbq areas and ball fields. It is the only Brooklyn beach where visitors can have a BBQ near the beach. However it is less accessible by public transportation, requiring either a subway ride and long walk, or a subway ride and then a bus.