fireisland New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide

Fire Island, NY

Fire Island, located along the Long Island shore, is New Yorkers’ place to be in the summer time. The long main island surrounded by several small islands can be reached by a ferry ride across the Great South Bay of Long Island.

Planning Your Trip

fire island app New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


Before traveling out to this island, download the free Fire Island iPhone app to help you prepare. It will give you access to the ferry schedule and a list of things to do.

Getting Around The Island

bikes on fire island New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the busy season. As a visitor, you should know that no automobiles are allowed on the island with the exception of emergency and service vehicles. Walking and biking are the only way to travel the island, which makes it a unique getaway from New York City. Opposite to the city, there are few ATMs on the island, so bring lots of cash.

Island Destinations

cherry grove New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


Fire Island is the ultimate vacation getaway featuring pristine beaches and hot dining and nightlife spots. At the narrowest portion of the island, you can visit Atlantique surrounded by sand dune guided walkways. This small, close-knit community is devoted to boating and home to the Cherry Grove, the gay-friendly summer retreat location.

Beaches and Resorts

ocean beach New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


The island also features several resort villages including summer club rentals, bed & breakfast resorts, charming hotels and accommodations. Most of these can be found in Ocean Beach and Ocean Beach Park.The beaches are free and open to the public, expect for the Fire Island Summer Club and Point O’ Woods. Follow the rules of the beaches, otherwise your vacation could become rather expensive.

Shopping On Fire Island

whitneys market New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


There are only nine grocery stores to shop at, and Whitney’s in Ocean Beach is the best choice for whatever you are looking for. Since there are just five liquor stores, visitors should consider the island to be BYOB. Make sure you read over the Island’s Alcohol Policy carefully. You’ll also find multiple small boutiques to keep you entertained.

Parks And Nature

fire island national seashor1 New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide

(credit: National Park Service)

The island boosts of three parks perfect for biking, hiking and simply observing wildlife. You can choose from Fire Island National Seashore, Smith Point Country Park and Robert Moses State Park. These parks encompass about 20 percent of the island, while the majority of the island is environmentally protected and undeveloped.


ocean beach dining New York’s Fire Island: The Seasonal Guide


When dining on the island, make sure to order a summery drink like a strawberry margarita, sea breeze or mai tai. You can find best bars and restaurants located in the hot spots of Ocean Beach and Cherry Grove.

Erin Semple is a writer, editor and book author living in the New York City area.

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