With pristine beaches, an absence of cars and a fun, friendly atmosphere, Fire Island is the quintessential getaway. In this article, we’ll list out the best beaches that Fire Island has to offer, along with each one’s respective qualities and amenities.
Atlantique Beach is located right next to the Fire Island community of Atlantique. The beach takes up an 875 foot wide strip between the bay and the ocean and is situated between Atlantique and Lonelyville communities.
- 150+ slip public marina with electricity, fresh water hookup, and pump out station
- Handball and basketball courts
- Hot showers and restrooms open 24 hours
- Lifeguard protection on ocean and bay beaches
- Children’s playgrounds
- BBQ areas
- Snack bar
Located West of Saltaire, Kismet beach is a family friendly beach that attracts less crowds compared to some of Fire Island’s other beaches. Along with its beautiful beach, there is also a playground for children and nearby tennis courts.
Kismet nightlife is upheld by two popular bayside bar and grills, The Inn and Surf’s Out. Kismet also has a beautiful 100-slip commercial marina that is always packed with boaters. This quaint country-like atmosphere is a refuge from the seemingly congested beaches and towns to its east.
Arrive via the Kismet ferry line out of Bay Shore, NY. However, one advantage of being the most western of the Fire Island communities is that you do not need a ferry to get there. Many visitors park in Field 5 at Robert Moses State Park where Kismet is just a short walk east.
Sailors Haven Beach
Found between Point O’Woods to the west and Cherry Grove to its east, Sailors Haven is a Fire Island day-tripper destination and boaters’ sanctuary with a 45-slip marina with electricity and water hook-up as well as a pump-out station. The site is well equipped with a lifeguarded public beach, restrooms, showers, picnic area, snack bar, small nature museum, guided ranger tours – but no residential living. It has access to and is operated in conjunction with the adjacent Sunken Forrest.
This family beach is free to residents and non-residents. The only charge is for parking at the Sayville Ferry to purchase a ferry ticket. The area is perfect for boaters, swimmers, nature enthusiasts and families.
Barrett Beach Park
Centrally located on Fire Island between Fire Island Pines and Water Island, Barrett Beach Park is boating paradise and currently only accessible by foot, private boat, or via the charter ferry service from Patchogue or Sayville. Visitors will have access to majestic waterside views and park ranger-led family programs covering topics ranging from shelling to safe boating practices.
There’s not much going on here at Barrett Beach so if it’s seclusion and strictly a beach that you want, this is the spot for you.
Ocean Bay Park Beach
Largely populated by share houses, OBP knows how to party. This town’s laid-back, non-restrictive lifestyle is especially appreciated by young renters seeking a beach party environment. However, Ocean Bay Park also has its share of seasoned residents.
For such a small community (about 350 houses) Ocean Bay Park has a surprising abundance of bar/ restaurants, pizza places, two decent hotels, a tennis court, bike shop, and well-stocked grocery store. Ocean Bay Park also offers a direct ferry line though from Bay Shore, NY.
Cherry Grove Beach
Known as an LGBT favorite, Cherry Grove is located between Sailors Haven and Fire Island Pines. The beach is clothing optional and is frequently inhabited with nude visitors sunbathing, though it is not an official nude beach. The eastern dunes have even been nicknamed the “Meat Rack” by the locals.
Transportation to Cherry Grove is rather limited and is only accessible via ferry or private water taxi. The most common method for reaching the Grove is by taking the Sayville Ferry. You can also park at the Robert Moses State Park after reaching the Fire Island Lighthouse and take a water taxi to the Grove.
The unofficial capital of Fire Island, Ocean Beach is a 600-home community with the greatest concentration of bars, restaurants, and stores on the entire island. Overflowing with a small-town charm reminiscent of simpler times, main street walks are lined with mom and pop markets and boutiques. Local children sell painted shell souvenirs out of red radio-flyer wagons. Just outside of town, Ocean Beach walkways are lined with traditional summer cottages that are both home to longtime Fire Island families and home away from home for many share-house transients.
Seaview is probably the most conveniently located beach on Fire Island, and is snugly wedged between Ocean Bay Park and Ocean Beach. With a strong emphasis on residential living, Seaview maintains a kid-friendly feel with the community playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, ball field, and arguably, one of the finest lifeguard-supervised bay beach swimming facilities in the Fire Island community. Seaview is home to Fire Island’s only synagogue which was founded by Herman Wouk. The synagogue runs a youth program and community activities.
Today, Seaview is a quietly affluent community with interesting architecture on generously-sized green, shady lots. Amenities include a single but well-managed grocery store, a liquor store, plant nursery shop, and residential marina. Seaview does have a direct ferry line from Bay Shore, but it also depends on the Ocean Beach line.
Fair Harbor Beach
A quieter and more family-friendly beach, Fair Harbor Beach is nestled between Saltaire and Dunewood communities. You’ll find this area to be more reserved than Cherry Grove beach and a nice getaway from the “busier” communities.
There is a strip of beach on the bay side with lifeguards, along with a few shopping and eating locations, but the bigger Fair Harbor beach is on the ocean side. Both are great for swimming and sunbathing.
Robert Moses State Park
Attached to the mainland by the Robert Moses Causeway, this state park offers incredible surfing, fishing, public parks, and facilities. Robert Moses is the perfect escape for city day-trippers working on a tan. It is accessible by automobile attached to the mainland by the Robert Moses Causeway.
The spacious park offers a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. Fishing is one of the favored activities as it is some of the best fishing in the Northeast. The area has a large campsite, a marina, a beach to swim in, tennis courts and a picnic area. There is also a nature center that is open year round. Other activities to enjoy in the winter are cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and hiking with a ranger to overlook the beautiful views of the area.
Smith Point County Park
At the easterly point of Fire Island, Smith Point is accessible from the mainland by the Smith Point Bridge and William Floyd Parkway. Smith Point offers campgrounds at one of the most spacious areas of the island. Vast beaches and high sand dunes characterize this end of the island. Smith Point boasts Fire Island’s only surfing competition.
Bring the entire family to enjoy Smith Point County Park’s lifeguarded beach. You’ll also find a variety of great bars and restaurants.
Watch Hill Beach
Watch Hill is the largest and most extensive of the Fire Island National Seashore visitor facilities. East of Davis Park, it offers lifeguard monitored beaches, campgrounds, restroom and shower facilities, an array of nature trails, guided canoe tours, picnic area, grills, a marina with over 140 slips with water and electric hook-up service as well as an additional 29 day slips. There is a general store that sells snacks and souvenirs, a Tiki bar and the acclaimed Pier Restaurant.
Watch hill beach is an ideal location for a fun day trip or weekend getaway. In the summer time, guided tours are offered by park rangers. There is even a bookstore on Watch Hill.
Accessible by private boat, lateral water taxi, or ferry out of Patchogue, NY, Watch Hill is a favorite day-tripper destination for Long Islanders or City dwellers via Long Island Railroad as well as for the seasoned camper. 26 sand sites are available in the campgrounds and reservations are strongly suggested.
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