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T-minus four days

Get excited, folks. It?s beach season. But as we know all too well, our beloved shores took a beating just six months ago. Things have changed, sure, but fun is still to be had. Here?s what to expect--and how to make the most of it.

Coney Island Have no fear: The Cyclone and all of Luna Park?s rides have been thoroughly restored and safely operating for several weeks, and the aquarium will reopen on Saturday. (The otters are really excited.) For all your chili-cheese-dog needs, stop by Nathan?s smaller waterfront location, as the main building continues repairs.

The Rockaways The boardwalks and the A train may have been wiped clean, but Rockaway Taco is back, baby. Borrow a car or hop on the bus--that plantain quesadilla is worth it. Hopefully, the parks department?s ?boardwalk islands? (with restrooms and concessions, like Caracas Arepa Bar) will be ready for the weekend. Sadly, Fort Tilden is closed for the season, but neighboring Jacob Riis Park is all yours (just pack your own snacks).

Long Beach NYC?s next closest beach also lost its legendary boardwalk. But we?re still eyeing a weekend trip to the gorgeous Allegria Hotel, with stops at sundress-stocked boutique Ooh La La and local watering hole Shine?s Bar (a former speakeasy with--get ready--house-infused banana bourbon).

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