Jones Beach State Park (colloquially, "Jones Beach") is a state park of the U.S. state of New York. It is located in southern Nassau County, in the hamlet of Wantagh, on Jones Beach Island, a barrier island linked to Long Island by theMeadowbrook State Parkway, Wantagh State Parkway and Ocean Parkway (Long Island).
The park is renowned for its great beaches, 10 mi (16.1 km) in length, facing the open Atlantic Ocean and furnishes one of the most popular summer recreational locations for the New York metropolitan area. It is the most popular and heavily visited beach on the East Coast, with an estimated six million visitors per year.
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, an outdoor arena in the park, is a popular musical concert venue. The park also has a 2 mi (3.2 km) long boardwalk. It once featured dining and catering facilities that were popular sites for private parties and weddings; these have been shut down.
Development by Robert Moses
Unusual for the time, no carnival type amusements were permitted in the park area.
The primary buildings on the Jones Beach site are the two enormous bathhouses (west and east) and the 231-foot (70 m) water tower, all built to Moses's specifications. After rejecting a number of submissions by architects for the bathhouses, he selected the designs of the young and relatively inexperienced Herbert Magoon. Moses also picked out building materials - Ohio Sandstone and Barbizon Brick - two of the most expensive materials available.
Jones Beach is accessible by car, boat, bicycle, and in the summer season by bus. Most visitors arrive by car via the Meadowbrook State Parkway or the Wantagh State Parkway. A significant portion of visitors take the LIRR to Freeport and then a bus to Jones Beach. Boaters often anchor on the bay side of Jones Beach (i.e. "Zachs Bay"), especially at night during a show such as the fireworks show on July 4.
A Greenway alongside the Wantagh State Parkway allows bicycling, skating or walking about 4 miles (6.4 km) from Cedar Creek County Park on Merrick Road into the State Park. A similar route to Long Beach is under consideration.
As of 2010, parking costs $10.00, though a NY State Empire Passport ($65 for the April 1 - March 31 season) can be used to park for free. The parking fees are charged from 6 am - 6 pm Sat-Sun-Hol, 8 am - 4 pm weekdays from Memorial Day through Columbus day. The six main public parking areas along the boardwalk can handle as many as 250,000 vehicles. The center parking fields are the busiest on summer weekends. Bicycle parking is free, but bike riding within the park is not allowed during the summer and bikes must be locked at the racks at the end of the Wantagh Parkway bike path.