You need a ferry to get there
You could drive or take New Jersey Transit, but you probably don’t have a car and according to Google Maps, it takes about 4 million hours on NJT. The ferry is a much better idea, and who doesn’t like boats? I arrived at the pier at E 35th St on a Thursday morning to take the ferry out to Sandy Hook Beach in New Jersey, which leaves NYC on weekdays at 8:45am and 11:15am. You can find all the details on its website. A roundtrip ticket will run you $45 aboard the Seastreak. The Seastreak. To the nude beach. You can’t make this shit up. And if we did, we probably would have called it the Booby Boat or something.
The 45-minute ferry ride over is more than pleasant as the trusty Seastreak cruises down the East River, giving passengers a good look at some sexy skyline eye candy. The ferry itself is air-conditioned, clean, and even has a fully stocked bar in case you’re feeling a little nervous about slipping out of that cumbersome swimsuit.
When the boat docks in Sandy Hook, a complimentary shuttle bus is waiting to drop passengers off at the various beaches along the point. (Yes, there are non-nude beaches at Sandy Hook, but why would you spend a $45 ticket to keep your clothes ON?) I boarded the shuttle bus and waited for the awkward moment when it would stop at Gunnison and I would have to get off, thus revealing to the other riders that today I was going to get naked. I specifically sat at the front of the bus to forego the long walk of shame past prospective judgers. But to my relief, when we stopped at Gunnison just a few minutes later, the bus cleared out in its entirety with me. I guess Thursday is a good day to get naked in New Jersey.
It’s just a typical day at the beach...
The bus leaves you in a parking lot and from there it’s a brief walk through some nature to get to the beach. Before you hit the sand, there’s a small plaza with bathrooms, outdoor showers, and a couple of food trucks selling cold drinks, umbrellas, towels, and tamales. I was starting to feel nervous, like maybe I had gotten off at the wrong stop. The lack of signage and abundance of tamales and elderly couples was signaling to me that perhaps this was just another day at the beach. Did I mess up?