5 U.S. Beaches You Can Get to Without a Car

Beaches with a car - Chicago's Oak Street Beach
Flickr, Tom Gill

Summer may be winding down, but there are still a few weekends left to spend at the beach. Rather than sit in traffic or rent an expensive car, you can ride public transportation to many beaches in the U.S. Seasonal routes are especially likely to be popular, so go early and pack light.

Boston – CapeFLYER train to Cape Cod
Reintroduced this summer, the CapeFLYER train goes every weekend from Boston out to Hyannis, connecting to ferries for Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and buses up and down Cape Cod. Fares are from $18 from South Station, with a few bucks’ savings if you buy round trip. You can bring a bike, get concessions onboard and get free Wi-Fi. The train will run through Columbus Day, October 14.

Chicago – El train to Oak Street Beach
Not everyone thinks of this city smack in the midwest as a beach town, but thanks to Lake Michigan, there are more beaches around Chicago than Bermuda. There are many to choose from, but Oak Street Beach is the most central with the most spectacular skyline view. It’s a few blocks from the El train at Clark and Division, though a bus up Lake Shore Drive will get you there closer. Beaches are free and open until Labor Day, but you can enjoy the water views year round. CTA fares are $2.25, with deductions for transit cards.Los Angeles – Big Blue Bus to Santa Monica
While it’s a major car city, there are ways to get to Santa Monica and Venice Beach from downtown Los Angeles without wheels. The Big Blue Bus serves all of Santa Monica and connects to Venice Beach as well. Fares are just $1, with day passes available. LA Metro has rapid buses to Venice Beach, with fares from $1.50. A new light rail line will connect Santa Monica to downtown LA, getting you on the beach even faster.

New York – A train to Far Rockaway
New Yorkers are lucky to have lots of options for sand and swimming, from Brooklyn‘s Brighton Beach to Long Island‘s Jones Beach, and Rockaway Beach in Queens has long been an urban favorite. While it suffered a lot from last year’s superstorm Sandy, it’s back in a big way, with many boardwalk concessions reopened and a new boutique hotel. A $2.50 subway fare gets you there on the A train, and there’s also a weekend-only ferry from downtown Manhattan if you’d like a more scenic (and spendy, at $20 one way) ride.

Washington, D.C. – DC2NY bus to Delaware beaches
While a bit much for a day trip, budget bus company DC2NY offers seasonal shuttles to Delaware‘s Rehoboth (one of Dr. Beach‘s favorites in the country) and Dewey beaches from Washington, as well as Wilmington and New York. The trip takes about 2½ hours, leaving Friday night and weekend mornings through Labor Day. Fares are $39 each way, but you do get Wi-Fi, a power outlet and a bottle of water.

What are your favorite beaches to visit without a car?

Photo Of The Day: Beach Cruiser

beach cruiser Costa Rica
ro_chelle, Flickr

Beach vacations can be more than toes-in-the-water, drink-in-hand. Hop on a beach cruiser and explore the local surroundings. And if you need any suggestions for where to ride, check out AOL Travel’s Best Beach Cruiser Rides.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Australian Man Invents ‘Sand-Resistant’ Beach Towel

Courtesy of Sandusa

After a long summer day at the beach, you’ll likely have tiny grains of sand everywhere. They invade your beach bag, your car and your hotel room. The most frequent culprit of this spread of beachy mess is a towel, which unavoidably gets loaded with clumps of sandy particles — until now. An Australian man has invented a “sand resistant” towel that has an underside with a waterproof nylon base. The top side is just like a regular towel, a normal cotton terry cloth that is soft and able to soak up moisture (so you can still dry off). Of course, the top side can still get sandy if you throw sand on it, but if you’re careful enough the towel could solve all your sand woes. If it’s an idea you’d like to get behind, the towel is currently being funded by an Indiegogo campaign.

Photo of the Day: Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road beach Australia
Imgur

What are you doing with your Sunday? If the answer is “sitting inside,” take a moment to flip through this album. Titled “A Few Weeks in Australia,” the beautiful photos may just inspire you to get out and enjoy nature around your neighborhood, whatever that might be.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Speedos Are Now Globally Approved?

Expedia.com

That’s right. The majority of the world — including Americans — believes it’s completely acceptable to wear Speedos to the beach. The skimpy swimsuit stat comes from Expedia.com, who surveyed more than 8,000 people across the globe. Here’s what the online travel agency has to say:

Much to our surprise (and some peoples’ disgust), it revealed that wearing a Speedo gets two thumbs up from most of the world. That’s right, Speedos are now globally-approved. 65% of beachgoers worldwide reported finding that Speedo-style bathing suits are “acceptable.” This percentage was highest in France, where 9 out of 10 respondents (91%) were A-Ok with Speedos. U.S. beachgoers, however, were split at 52%.

Other — ahem — revealing findings in the survey include the statistic that one quarter of beach-going respondents are comfortable with topless beaches (in France, that number skyrocketed to 73 percent of respondents) and 54 percent of Americans cited “having wallet/possessions stolen” as their biggest concern at the beach (even over shark attacks). For more findings, check out Expedia’s Flip Flop Report.