By far the most fun new piece of transportation to the Rockaways is the NYC Ferry Rockaway Route. Depart every hour from Pier 11/Wall Street or Brooklyn Army Terminal/Sunset Park and arrive at Beach 108th Street in well under an hour. This is probably the only legal way to travel to Rockaway and have a glass of wine along the way - there’s an onboard bar serving snacks, beer, wine, and coffee. Did we mention it’s only $2.75?
As an added bonus, NYC Ferry operates two free shuttle bus loops to take you either East or West within the Rockaways once you’ve gotten off the boat. The shuttle bus also runs the loops to pick passengers up on their way to the ferry once they’re ready to leave the peninsula.
Passing through 4 of the 5 boroughs, the A train is a direct mode of transportation to the Rockaways, no matter where in NYC you’re coming from - just make sure you get on the A train to Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park! You’ll be late for the waves if you catch the A train to Lefferts.
From Queens: take the Q52 or Q53 anywhere along Woodhaven Boulevard or Crossbay Boulevard. Just note that the Q52 heads east (downtown) of Beach 94th Street and the Q53 heads west (uptown) of Beach 94th Street.
From Brooklyn: the Q35 leaves Brooklyn College and travels southeast along Flatbush Avenue all the way to Rockaway. The first stop in Rockaway lets you off right near the Riis Park Beach Bazaar and the last stop lets you off right along one of Rockaways many commercial corridors - Beach 116th Street.
From Midtown: the QM16 and QM17 travel along 6th Ave for pickups and then drive straight to Rockaway along an express route. Again, note that the QM16 heads west (uptown) of Beach 94th Street, and the QM17 heads east (downtown) of Beach 94th Street.
From Long Island via the LIRR or any of the many buses: use the Q22 to travel East/West within Rockaway.
One of the most popular (and healthiest) ways to make your way to the peninsula is via bike. With lots of places to lock your bike up along the boardwalk, new bike paths all throughout the peninsula, and an ocean view unlike any other in NYC - biking never sounded so serene! From points west, connect to the Belt Parkway bike path and merge onto the Flatbush Avenue bike path. Continue riding along Flatbush and over the Marine Parkway Bridge, arriving at the western tip of the peninsula at the Riis Park Beach Bazaar - Jacob Riis Park. Now that Google Maps has bicycle routes, feel free to click the link below and add in your starting point to get directions directly to the Rockaways!