So, I hinted at a fun adventure in my half marathon training week 2 wrap up, and here it is!
A few weeks ago our adorable, ingenious friends Debbie and Mike told Chris and I that they heard about a ferry that leaves lower Manhattan and takes you all the way down to Sandy Hook, NJ and asked us if we’d be interested in that.
Duh! Of course we were!
We’ve only been to the beach once this summer, and that’s pretty much unacceptable when you live in New Jersey, so we were ready to go again. Add in the bonus of not having to drive there, and we were sold.
So, Sunday morning, we woke up around 8 to eat some breakfast and pack lunches and snacks for the day. Sandy Hook is actually a New Jersey State Park, and while you can bike to different beaches and restaurants, not every beach has a lot of food options. After packing 2 sandwiches, kettle chips, carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter, and iced tea, we were ready to head out and meet our friends.
We met Debbie and Mike first at the Liberty Landing Ferry which would take us to New York. We’ve utilized this convenient boat before, and were excited to take it again. The boat is $7 per person each way, so it’s not wildly affordable, but it is convenient. We arrived at World Financial Center around 10:15 and began walking down to the South Street Seaport to meet ferry #2, the Seastreak, and get on the 11 am boat. The Seastreak costs $45 per person roundtrip, which is definitely a little steep, but if you’re feeling especially ambitious, they offer a coupon for their 8 am boat that knocks $15 off the price for a much more reasonable $30 ticket. The boat fills up quickly, so we were glad we got there early. Once we bought our tickets, we headed up to the top deck (although there are indoor, air conditioned decks with a bar on levels 1&2) to enjoy the view.
The ferry is a quick 35 minute option with great views of New York and New Jersey, and before we knew it, we arrived at Sandy Hook. We weren’t really sure of the layout of the island, so we took a (free!) bus to North Beach. It was only a 5 minute ride, and easily walkable, but we had to take the bus to figure that out.
The beach itself was really nice. It was quiet and spacious, and all our neighbors were really pleasant. In other words, it was nothing at all like the typical Jersey Shore beach (I’m looking at you, Belmar). When we finally settled in, we were all starving, so we dug into lunch. Unfortunately, we had a steady cloud cover all day, so there wasn’t a lot of sunbathing although I did get some color. It was quiet and cool and perfect for reading and relaxing.
Eventually, we walked all the way to the end of the peninsula chatting and collecting shells before walking back to the dock to catch the 5:45 boat home. We were warned that that boat is the most popular of the day, so we got there an hour early and relaxed on the grass while we waited.
The boat home was more or less on time, and after a windy but beautiful ride we were back at the seaport by 7:15. Once more, we walked across Lower Manhattan to the WFC to catch the very last Liberty Landing Ferry home. We were so hungry, that we went straight to dinner in all our beachy glory. I know it sounds like we had enough snacks to feed an army, but after all that walking and traveling, our John’s Pizza was probably the best tasting food I’ve ever had. We were hungry!
It was a ridiculously fun day. It’s something we probably wouldn’t have found on our own, so I was so thankful that Debbie and Mike made this discover. The trip was a really unique experience and a perfect way to enjoy these last few summer weekends.