NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Millions of people will be hitting the beach this Memorial Day weekend and if you live in the Tri-state area, you have a lot of beaches to choose from.

All of New York City’s beaches are open for business this weekend and summer thrill seekers can have even more fun at Coney Island this year.

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For the first time in more than 80 years, there are four new rollercoasters at Coney Island. One of the coasters, called the Sling Shot, will shoot riders 150 feet in the air.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Walking Along The Water’s Edge At Coney Island

“Last year, we had almost 18 million people come out to the beaches,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who added more than 1,300 lifeguards have been hired for the summer.

Coney Island (credit: John Montone/1010 WINS)

Benepe wants people to enjoy the city’s 14 miles of beaches says never go in the water where a lifeguard is not on duty.EXTRA: Ways To Observe Memorial Day

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports: Finally, It’s Beach Time!

If you do hit the beach this weekend, you may notice something different this year.

Under an expansion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s smoke free air act, people can no longer smoke in parks, public plazas and beaches.

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In New Jersey, towns on the Jersey shore will kick off the unofficial start of summer Friday in a variety of unusual ways, including a beachfront concert in Point Pleasant Beach where the alcohol starts flowing soon after sunup.

Orchard Beach on May 27, 2011 (credit: Al Jones)

LINK: Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips

In Ocean City, business people will march into the ocean carrying briefcases to the strains of “Pomp And Circumstance.”

Towns in several spots along the coast will turn keys to symbolically “unlock” the ocean for the season.

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In Belmar, Mayor Matthew Doherty says they’re rolling out the welcome mat for beach lovers, literally. The town has laid down blue mats on the sand extending from the ramps to make it easier for families to wheel their strollers and toy-filled wagons to the beach.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports: Laying Down The Welcome Mat In Belmar

Beachgoers will also be heading to the Hamptons this weekend, where business owners rely on Mother Nature for their summer success.

Boutique owner Kathy Siegler believes last year’s weather is a big part of the equation.

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“Last year, we had an unbelievable weather season. We had beautiful weekends, great temperatures, so everybody remembers what a great summer it was,” said Siegler. “I think that was in their mind and perhaps they’re coming out again, remember last summer how great it was.”

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1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports: Orchard Beach — It’s Close And Free! 

If you are heading to the Hamptons for Memorial Day, you could be soaking up the sun at one of the best beaches in the country.

Main Beach in East Hampton, NY was ranked number 4 in a study of America’s best beaches. The top spot went to Sarasota’s Siesta Beach in Florida.

GUIDE: The New Yorkers’ Getaway Guide To The Hamptons

The study ranks beaches on 50 criteria, including the look and feel of the sand, water quality, weather, facilities and crowds.

Where is your favorite place to spend Memorial Day weekend? Let us know in our comments section.

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