Hey you, with the pallid skin! You could wait for Columbia to bring the sunshine to you with a cheesy Coney Island-themed event. Or you could go hang out at the real thing, as Bwog did one lovely Friday afternoon. Brighton Beach welcomes thousands of urban refugees every summer with miles of umbrella-freckled sand and a calm surf that washes away stress and the sweat of the city.

Of course, Brooklyn’s south shore offers much more than a place to tan your hide. Coney Island itself is worth at least look-see during your time at Columbia, offering a bunch of free concerts and a touch of the bizarre. Plus, the neighborhood Brighton Beach contains possibly the best little Russia this side of the Ural mountains–you really owe it to yourself to throw down a towel and soak in the rich confluence of Slavic and Brooklyn accents as you slurp a fudgsicle.

If you go: Pack your sunscreen and take the 1 downtown to 42nd street, where you’ll transfer to the Brooklyn-bound (not Queens-bound) Q. Get off at Brighton Beach and follow signs to the boardwalk. Coney Island is farther west.