Summer is finally here. And there’s nothing like feeling a gentle sea breeze blowing through your hair and the warm summer sun on your face while enjoying a beautiful ocean scene. If you use a wheelchair, we want you to know that, with a little research, you can find accessible beaches with accessible boardwalks, beach wheelchairs, and long rubber mats that lead to the shorelines.
Here are some of the best accessible beaches in the United States, and in New York state, in particular. Just a quick note first: If you’re planning on using your wheelchair accessible van for a road trip this summer, be sure to come to Bussani Mobility for a maintenance check beforehand so we can help keep you safe during your adventures.
New York Beaches
Brighton Beach on Coney Island is a summer getaway for New Yorkers looking for a place to unwind from the daily stresses of life. It’s also perfect for tourists looking to cool down after sightseeing in the city. This beautiful beach welcomes all visitors. Like many of the other beaches on this list, Brighton Beach provides beach wheelchairs for anyone who needs them.
One of the most wheelchair-friendly towns in New York, Long Beach is also called the “City by the Sea.” In Nassau County, just over the border from NYC, this beach town is really beautiful and easy to navigate. There’s plenty to do, from food to events to shops, and a classic boardwalk. All-terrain beach chairs and wheelchair Mobi-Mats are available upon request at all of the beaches.
Cedar Grove Beach
This beach is relatively new and has a modern flair. Cedar Grove is a smaller beach known for its charming and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s made more accessible with beach mats that provide a smooth, hard surface to make navigating the sandy shores in a wheelchair easier.
Orchard Beach is nicknamed “The Riviera of New York.” Located in the Bronx, it’s a high-traffic beach that offers both beach wheelchairs and beach mats for people who use wheelchairs. Always bustling, this beach is a great choice for those looking to have an active, good time.
A popular summertime destination in Queens, here you’ll find a wonderful beach and annual events that include adaptive surfing, along with designated spots for saltwater fishing, and plenty of fun boardwalk activities and food spots. Beach wheelchairs and beach mats are available to rent.
Other Beaches Around the U.S.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
As with most of the South, Gulf Shores, Alabama is tops as a gracious host, with its welcoming Southern hospitality. Here you’ll find friendly locals and pristine sandy beaches. To fully experience these beaches, you’ll probably want to rent a beach wheelchair, enabling you to travel along the shore. When possible, plan ahead and book a reservation for a wheelchair accessible charter boat, where you can go out into the water and see dolphins and sea birds up close.
Panama City Beach, Florida
One of the appealing features of Panama City Beach, Florida is that you can go out and experience the beach in your own wheelchair. Take in the beautiful turquoise waters, and roll out the red carpet, also known as the Mobi-Mat. In Panama City Beach, you can roll directly from wooden walkway ramps onto the smooth rubber pathway, making the beach accessible for every type of wheelchair.
San Diego Beaches, California
Located all around San Diego, there are over a dozen wheelchair-accessible beaches, including Coronado City Beach, Mission Beach, and Imperial Beach. At Coronado City Beach, the sand sparkles because of the mica (a gold-like mineral that’s found in abundance here). At Mission Beach, there’s a classic bustling boardwalk offering a variety of places to stop and grab a bite to eat. And Imperial Beach, located just four miles from Mexico, offers a serene atmosphere to take in some breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific. Not only does San Diego offer some of the most beautiful beaches around, but they also have motorized and manual beach wheelchairs free of charge for visitors, along with accessible parking and restrooms.
Key Largo, Florida
Key Largo, Florida is also home to a variety of wheelchair accessible beaches. Here you’ll find golden and white sand leading right up to the water. Consider chartering a wheelchair accessible boat for an eco-tour. Because of its close proximity to the Everglades, tourists can see native mangroves, underwater coral reefs, and possibly an alligator lurking along the shorelines.
Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Hanauma Bay features 1,800 feet of breathtaking crescent-shaped beaches. This natural wonder is carved out among the cliffs of an ancient volcanic crater, with the beaches nestled up against a mountainous backdrop. It’s accessible via the road or a transport shuttle. The shuttle is recommended, as the steep road is known to burn out power wheelchair motors. Hanauma Bay also offers beach wheelchairs free of charge for those who want to explore and get close to the water.
Before You Go
Important note: Before you set out to visit any beach this summer, check with your local authorities to see if they’re open, as the global coronavirus pandemic is an ever-changing consideration that continues to affect our daily lives and the availability of outdoor activities around the country.
At Bussani Mobility, we’re all about independence and helping you get mobile. Our customers often become our friends and we want to provide information that builds a sense of community where we can improve accessibility for all, together. If you’d like to see more helpful resources, visit our blog. And, if you’re thinking about buying a wheelchair accessible van to improve your mobility, our mobility specialists are standing by ready to help.