Fire Island

Fire Island is a 32-mile (51.5 km) barrier island off the coast of Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. Most of Fire Island National Seashore is on the island.


Other destinations


There are no paved roads going to most of the island and vehicle traffic is not permitted in summer. A plan to create a paved road across the island resulted in such resistance that it was abandoned. Over the years each of the island's seventeen communities has developed its own unique personality. Several of the villages restrict access by tourists or do all they can to be unwelcoming of tourists. If you are visiting Fire Island, make sure you find the appropriate community to visit. In some cases, visiting the state parks, instead of the towns, might be a better solution. In addition to the state parks at either end of the island, public bathrooms and snack bars are in the National Seashore facilities at Atlantique, Sailor's Haven, and Watch Hill. Restrooms can also be found in Ocean Beach and Fair Harbor but may be hard to find.

Fire Island is home to many vacation communities on the western part of the island (Ocean Beach being the most populous, with the most restaurants and bars that make for an excellent day trip). The eastern part of the island is home to the largely gay communities of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines.

It is advisable to bring an amount of cash with you on your trip to Fire Island as most businesses will only accept cash payment. (This includes parking, transportation fees to and from the island, on many of the small on island shops)

Get in

Note that most of these methods must be used in combination. For example, to reach Fair Harbor from Manhattan, you could take the LIRR, then a taxi from the train to the ferry, and then the ferry to the Island. The car methods mentioned are usually only good for day trips, and there is no way to get from the parking lots to the main parts of the island other than walking.

By air

The island is located about 60 miles from Manhattan (the drive can range anywhere from 1-4hrs based on traffic. It averages about 1.5). You can fly into LaGuardia or Kennedy Airports in New York City or Islip MacArthur Airport on Long Island, then use a rental car, taxi, or train to your destination.

By car

There are only two bridges to Fire Island. The Robert Moses Causeway on the western end of Fire Island leads to parking lots at Robert Moses State Park. The William Floyd Parkway leads to Smith Point County Park on the eastern end of Fire Island, where there are also parking lots (fees charged). Fire Island has no public roads.

By bus

By train

By boat

Western Fire Island is reachable by ferry from Bay Shore on Long Island. Bay Shore is about an hour train ride on the Long Island Railroad from Manhattan, and the ferry ride from Bay Shore is another thirty minutes. Ferries to Ocean Beach from Bay Shore run about once every hour during the summer. Cherry Grove and the Fire Island Pines are reachable by ferry from Sayville. The easternmost community, Davis Park, is reachable by ferry from Patchogue.

Get around

There are three easy ways to get around on Fire Island. The first is to walk. The second is to use a bicycle. It should be noted, however, that not all areas have pavement or boardwalks to ride upon. Boardwalks and sidewalks sometimes end abruptly into sand so beware. The last way to get around on Fire Island is to use a boat. There are various water taxi services (if running) and a lateral ferry that runs during the peak of the vacation season.



Nude Beaches

There are several nude beaches on Fire Island. In addition to the recognized nude beaches, discreet nudity is frequently practiced on isolated stretches of sand in between towns. Topless sunbathing, long legal in NY state, is found just about anywhere, other than in the busiest areas of town beaches.

A website with more information about Lighthouse Beach can be found at;





Hotels are seasonal (approx mid May-Oct) unless marked otherwise.

Guest Houses


Stay safe

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.