A cool drink in hand, thatched roof overhead, breeze blowing off the waves, live music to lift the mood, and the serene expanse of the water lapping almost to (and sometimes over) your toes. You don’t need to visit the Caribbean to enjoy this experience, just come to New Rochelle’s Hudson Park.

Since it opened about a month ago, the Beach Bar at Hudson Park has been a smashing success. Last week we held a belated ribbon-cutting ceremony, which you can read about on Patch. Frankly, we didn’t need to bother, because even without our shining a spotlight on it, the Beach Bar has attracted hundreds of residents, who have discovered (or rediscovered) the pleasures of our shoreline.

And don’t forget that Hudson Park continues to be a terrific beach destination for both adults and children. I’ve taken the kids several times this summer, and they’ve had a wonderful time. Day passes are available, but an Omnicard from Parks & Recreation is a better deal.

New Rochelle’s waterfront has been an underutilized resource for decades. Upgrading the Beach Bar is a good example of how improvements can be made even during this difficult economic climate. The operators of the Beach Bar invested nearly a quarter of a million dollars in the facility, and it shows.

Summer’s not over yet, and there should still be a few good beach days left before Labor Day, so if you haven’t already, make sure you visit.