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  1. Alerts In Effect
  2. Fire Island National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)
  4. Indulge in a Coastal Kaleidoscope

Alerts In Effect

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Beachgoers similarly enjoy swimming, fishing, pitch-and-put golfing, concession stands, marinas, picnicking, surfing and boogie boarding at both parks. Robert Moses is also the first state park on Long Island.

Suffolk County, Long Island

It was originally called Fire Island State Park when it opened more than a century ago in It was only accessible by ferry until the bridge connecting it to mainland Long Island opened in Field five also used to be known as the gateway to the nearby clothing-optional Lighthouse Beach, but FINS banned that nude beach in This six-mile-long oasis on the eastern tip of Fire Island is the largest oceanfront park operated by Suffolk County, running from the wilderness preserve to a half mile short of Moriches Inlet.

The park is also home to the Fire Island Wilderness Center that serves as the interpretation center and gateway to the east end of the federal preserve. A short walk away is the Schooner Inn, another bayside restaurant—possibly the only one on Fire Island with a sandy beach instead of a bulkhead.

Fire Island National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)

Coast Guard stations, a history that is not uncommon in other large, old structures across the island. Like many communities on Fire Island, the only government building in the hamlet is the local fire house. Visitors should use caution swimming in the ocean here, however, since it is one of the few communities where there are no lifeguards on duty and the riptides are historically bad in this section of the island.

The westernmost community on Fire Island is this fateful spot about a mile east of the Fire Island Lighthouse, making it a popular destination for those who walk there from neighboring Robert Moses. The tiny bayside downtown area also packs a market, liquor store, cafe, ice creamery, snack stand and gift shop, most of which is feet from the ferry dock.


The Surf Hotel became a popular destination in the mids well before the establishment of modern-day Kismet. But in the s, the state bought the hotel and used it to quarantine cholera patients during an outbreak—a move that historians say nearly caused a riot and later led to a drop in guests before it burned down. These days, Kismet is better known for hosting its annual clam shucking contest—among the most popular summer events on Fire Island—and for having the best view of the Fire Island Lighthouse.

NEW YORK: How to spend a gay summer on Fire Island!

Seabay Beach, a one-block-long residential neighborhood just east of Kismet, is widely considered as part of the Kismet community. The barhopping crowd may want to skip Davis Park, Fair Harbor and Atlantique—the only three of the 17 communities on Fire Island that have just one restaurant each to call their own. A half mile east of Fair Harbor and about a mile west from the Village of Ocean Beach is Atlantique, a six-block-long neighborhood adjoining a town-run park of the same name, where The Shack is the only commercial establishment.

For those who like music with their fun in the sun, The Shack has live bands play every weekend during summer. This remote hotspot also regularly hosts live music.

Three of the smallest park facilities on Fire Island also rank as some of the most remote, hardest to get to locations on the island—Ho Hum, Great Gun and Barrett beaches. Ho Hum Beach, conveniently located in the middle of the federal wilderness preserve, is about four miles east of Watch Hill, but the ferry there is only open to Village of Bellport residents and their guests.

Indulge in a Coastal Kaleidoscope

The ferry there, Whalehouse Point, is named for an area just west of the park that was one of three former communities that were condemned and returned to their natural state when FINS was established. Great Gun Beach, just west of Moriches Inlet, is even more basic. But unlike Ho Hum, Great Gun is open to the general public. The island is also known for the abundance of wild deer that roam freely. The Fire Island Ferries have three terminals on Long Island, each serving different communities on the island. For schedules and other information, please visit www.

Shuttle service is available from the train station to the ferry terminal. Transportation directly to the ferry terminal from Manhattan is also available.