In the United States, what is considered to be a “beach town” can vary from state to state. On the east coast alone, there’s everything from the rocky beaches of Maine to the no-holds-bar of Rockaway in Queens to the sexiness of Miami.
So, in honor of the end of COOLS’ “Wet” month we wanted to get a taste of what beaches really look like across America and enlisted the help of two local photographers in Queens, New York, and Miami, Florida. We also talked to beachgoers about what they’re wearing, and what they love about beaching it on the East Coast.
Miami, Florida: Photography by Alexa Merico
Miami is known as much for its nightlife as it is for its beach life. That’s why somehow the styles blend here—and we have the photos to prove it.
My name is Sydney, I’m visiting Miami from NYC. My bikini is from a brand called Shantal Beach, and I paired it with this retro headscarf I found thrifting. What I love about Miami is the energy and the people, not to mention I can be in a bikini every day.
Queens, New York: Photography by Jena Cumbo
When you think of New York City, you don’t automatically think of a beach scene, but au contraire. Between Coney Island in Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach in Queens, it feels like half the city escapes to these mini getaways for some time in the sun.
“I’m from Ecuador and am hanging out in the Rockaway for the day with siblings. I’m wearing a bathing suit from Target, and I like high-waisted for coverage.”
Terrance Chillious and Mike Farley:
“We’re cousins and we both live in the Rockaway. I’m wearing just some casual basketball shorts with some high-top Vans—and you know the polo boxers to keep it fashion for the weather. My friend has a clothing line, so that’s where the bandana comes from. I like yellow for the summertime.”
“I’m eight months pregnant and from Brooklyn—basically just spending the hot day at the beach with family. I’m wearing my Calzedonia bikini because it’s both comfortable and accommodates my baby bump.”
Judit Szucs Paksi:
“I’m spending the day in the Rockaway at the beach with friends. Wearing a bikini top with a skirt I got from Rainbow stores as a cover-up because it easily transforms my bathing suit to something I can wear at the boardwalk bar and restaurants.”
“I’m from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and came to Rockaway for a beach swim. I’m wearing crew trunks and Gucci loafers.”
“I’m from Woodside, Queens, but I’m spending the hot day at the beach with friends wearing this wrap and bottoms from T.J.Maxx, and top from Nordstrom Rack.”
“I’m from Albania but I’m living in Bushwick now. I came to the beach for the day to escape the concrete jungle, and I’m wearing a mix-matched bathing suit from Forever21.”
“I live in the Rockaways and own Zingara Vintage. I’m on the boardwalk for the day selling my clothes. I’m wearing these vintage overalls because they are both fashionable and functional.”
“I’m a Rockaway local. I’m wearing a shirt I stole from my brother years ago, with swim trunks layered with jean shorts so that I’m always ready for a swim.”
“I came out to spend the day at the beach, wearing these striped pants and coral bikini—all from a European website. I took the hat from my mom’s garage.”
“I came out to skateboard and ended up breaking my board at the Beach 91 skate park. I am also a performing musician, and am about to do a show on the boardwalk at Caracas at Beach 105th street. I’m wearing Nikes that I took from a friend and drew on.”
All quotes have been edited for clarity.