Once used as a military base during World War I and later on converted into a recreational seaside park, Jacob Riis Park is a beachfront recreation area at the end of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Jacob Riis Park features a famous art deco bathhouse, plenty of space along the beach, and the Riis Park Beach Bazaar which is used for live music and other such events through the warmer months of the year. Away from the traffic of New York’s city streets, the park provides a much-needed getaway location for both locals and tourists to walk along the waves and enjoy wandering up and down the Promenade. While perhaps not ideal for the colder months in New York, late spring and summer are much better. Keep in mind that Jacob Riis Park does have rules for when dogs can and cannot visit, depending on some of the local wildlife nesting habits and seasons. Be sure to check ahead of time to be sure both you and your woofer will be welcome.
Even in the Rockaway Peninsula, the terrain is flat and is welcoming for walkers of any skill level. The sand along the beach may make for some interesting textures and a bit of a heavier step, but the area around it has plenty of paved sidewalks for an easier time. While there may be areas where pets may not be allowed, the park itself is large and there are also areas outside the park where on-leash pets can still enjoy themselves. As is the case with any beachfront property, be aware of the tide and the pull of the ocean’s current, as it can be a bit of a danger for animals or people who are not the strongest of swimmers. On the streets and in the park’s parking lot, there is bound to be an abundance of traffic during the busier seasons, so exercise caution as necessary.
While Jacob Riis Park is mostly sandy beach, there are a few large patches of dirt and grass for running, playing, or other exercise. Nearby is a golf course, basketball courts, and a few baseball fields for any sports enthusiasts, but the majority of the park is reserved for beach-goers. While some areas may not be available to the public, there is plenty of space for everyone along the Rockaway, even if its popularity may increase the crowd level during the summer. Be kind and courteous to others as you enjoy the surfside sun, and keep an eye out for any rules or regulations regarding pets when it comes to the local wildlife, such as the piping plover which is a protected bird species that nests in the area. Jacob Riis Park is a perfect place to get the feeling of a summer vacation while not wandering too far from the city.