North Hempstead Beach Park

West Shore Road Port Washington, NY 516-869-6311 (outside town) or 311 (within town)

The lifeguards at North Hempstead Beach Park.

(Credit: Newsday photo / Nina Ruggiero)

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Type: Outdoors, Beach, Sports and recreation, City and Town beach, Kids Price: Parking fees apply Memorial Day through Labor Day. Description:

It's best to think of North Hempstead Beach Park (formerly Bar Beach and Hempstead Harbor Beach before the two combined), as just a park.

When it comes to the beach the water is worse than murky, the sand is dirty, and the lifeguards are bored out of their minds. No wonder when you consider that there are more bugs than humans hanging out at this beach.

At least there's a little snack bar if you feel the need to drown your sorrows in some candy after wasting $15 (Nassau county residents) or $20 (non-residents) to get in there for the day.

 That being said, the staff is friendly and the park offers basketball, volleyball, handball, shuffleboard, and bocce courts. Young skaters enjoy the space as well. There are plenty of barbecues, shaded picnic tables, and playgrounds. Across the parking lot is a boat ramp that is open 24 hours.
Concerts of various genres are held Sundays at 1 p.m., and Mondays are senior fun days from 9 a.m.-noon, when volunteer groups come in and host activities.
Memorial Day fireworks and Beach Fest, a festival to celebrate the end of summer in September, are annual traditions. At the end of the beach is a fishing pier, although it's hard to imagine any fish surviving in that water. Families enjoy kayaking in the calm bay and nearby high school crew teams come here to row.
 -- Nina Marie Ruggiero
Beachfront: 3/4-mile on Hempstead Harbor, off the Sound Lifeguards: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day Weekend


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