Department of Environmental Conservation

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Jones Beach State Park

Wantagh, Nassau County

diamondback terrapin, beach, harbor seal

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Located on a barrier island, Jones Beach State Park is internationally known for its white, sandy beaches. Yet more than half of the park is in a natural state with ephemeral pools, interdunal environments and salt marshes. Many species of fish come into the estuary, including bluefish, striped bass and even exotic tropical species such as butterfly fish and puffers from the south.

The spring provides opportunities to view a wide variety of migrating songbirds and shorebirds, passing through on their way to northern nesting grounds. Summer is the time to view horseshoe crabs, diamondback terrapins and the New York State endangered Piping plover, all species that utilize the beach environment for nesting. Hundreds of hawks, kestrels, falcons and osprey fly over during the peak fall migration. Each fall thousands of monarch butterflies continue their southward journey through Jones Beach State Park where visitors delight in their beauty. The winter brings harbor seals, which can be seen in the surrounding waters or hauled out on a marsh island. The snowy owl often frequents the beach during the winter months.

Wildlife to Watch

Where to Watch

  • Interpretive trails
  • Ocean and bay shoreline
  • Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
  • Environmental boardwalk
  • Viewing platform

Recreational Opportunities:

  • Swimming beaches (ocean and bay) and pools
  • Surf fishing
  • Picnic facilities
  • Boating
  • Boardwalk, miniature golf and beach volleyball

Accessible Features

International Symbol of Accessibility

This Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation site has accessible features that include fishing, visitors center, beach and recreation programs. A full list of DEC's accessible recreation destinations is available on the DEC website.


2,413-acre barrier island with 6.5 miles of ocean coastline

Closest Town



See Google Maps and enter your address for step by step directions to Jones Beach State Park. (leaves DEC website)

Contact information

Address: 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, NY 11793

Telephone: 516-785-1600

Website: Jones Beach State Park (leaves DEC website)

Photo credits: NOAA, NYS Parks and Recreation, USFWS