Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area

In A Nutshell

Operating Hours & Seasons

Gateway National Recreation Area is open year round from sunrise to sunset.



National Parks are special places; places that tell the fascinating stories of our country and its vast and diverse natural and historical heritage.  At Gateway, these places tell the stories of our nation's defense, the golden age of aviation and the evolution of aviation technology, maritime safety, public recreation, natural resource protection, and the history of New York.


  • The New York metropolitan area experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderate in the spring and fall, but range into the 90's during the summer to below freezing in winter.

Fees & Reservations

Gateway National Recreation Area has no entrance fees. However, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day a $10 Beach Parking Fee is charged from 7:00am - 4:00pm at Sandy Hook (732-872-5970). A $50 Seasonal Beach Pass is also available, and Golden Access and Golden Age Passport holders receive a 50% discount.

At Jacob Riis Park in Queens a $5.00 per car Parking Fee is charge from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and a $40 Season Pass is available. Call 718-318-4300 for further details.


Most public programs and organized group tours are free of charge but some require advance reservations.

America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes

Beginning January 1, 2007, the new America the Beautiful Pass Program becomes effective. A description of the four main Passes is below. You can get more information and purchase passes by calling the USGS Store at 888-ASK USGS, Ext. 1, or by visiting them on the Web at

Annual Pass $80 - Annually

A new annual interagency pass for visitors to multiple federal sites, the pass offers unlimited coverage of entrance and standard amenity recreation fees. The new pass covers recreation opportunities on public lands managed by four Department of the Interior agencies—the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation, and by the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service. The new interagency pass is good at vehicle-based entry sites for all occupants in a single, non-commercial vehicle. At walk-up sites, the pass is good for the pass holder and three adults (total of four adults). Non-transferable. There is no charge for children under 16.

Senior Pass $10 - Lifetime

A lifetime senior pass for U.S. citizens 62 or over that offers entrance to all areas covered under the America the Beautiful Pass, non-transferable.

Access Pass Free

A lifetime access pass for citizens with permanent disabilities, offering entrance to all areas covered under the America the Beautiful Pass, non-transferable.

Volunteer Pass Free

For park volunteers acquiring 500 hours of service on a cumulative basis. Provides entrance to all areas covered by the America the Beautiful Pass, and is non-transferable. Volunteers should contact Gateway's Volunteer-in-Parks Coordinator at 718-354-4564 for Pass details and for information on volunteer opportunities at Gateway.

Traffic & Travel Tips

Traffic in the New Jersey / New York metropolitan area is frequently heavy, regardless of the time of day or weather. If traveling by car to scheduled events in the park, allow extra travel time, or use public transportation.

Summer weekends can be busy at Sandy Hook. When parking areas are filled, the park closes to new traffic until spaces become available. You can avoid traffic and delays by arriving before 10am or after 2pm. Traffic is never a problem on weekdays.


What an amazing oasis literally 20 minutes from Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Kites were flying, waves crashing, bikes everywhere. You can literally be boogie boarding and staring at the Empire State Building at the same time. And it's NOT CHEEZY. Really beautiful. I'm a decade long New Yorker and had no idea. The Park Service should really put more into this place!