Best Beachside Hangout
97-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., at Beach 98th St., Rockaway Beach; 347-954-9063
Playland Motel might have 12 rooms (from $69 a night), each designed by a local artist and outfitted with Eames recliners, but no one’s hitching the A train out here to catch up on sleep. Playland rose from the post-hurricane ashes last summer as a year-round retro beach getaway for the Rockaway set. The motel, housed in what was once a clam bar, has indoor and outdoor bars, and a Project No. 8–like boutique, plus a handful of tables for ordering snacks like locally caught fluke ceviche. During the warmer months, the back patio fills up in the afternoon with beachgoers sipping margaritas and cooling off in plastic kiddie pools; later, by the light of paper lanterns, the barefoot-and-swimsuit-clad crowd sways to the DJ’s disco beats.