Fire Island is the anti-Hamptons. Sure, there are big houses, celebrities and money but because cars are not allowed, there isn’t that feeling of over the topness that the Hamptons has. In essence, Fire Island the laid-back cousin of the Hamptons who doesn’t like to flaunt their money. Fire Island is located on Long Island, New York and spans 50 miles. Ocean Beach is just one of the many towns that make up “Fire Island.”
What makes Ocean Beach, a fun filled destination is the quaint village that provides visitors and residents an interesting mix of restaurants, bars and tourist shops. Looking for a respite from the beach, there’s movie theatre playing recent releases. Ocean Beach, Fire Island has something for everyone, making it a wonderful destination for the whole family!
Where to Eat in Ocean Beach
Want to enjoy the bay view and get a late afternoon snack, then head to Maguire’s restaurant at 1 Bay Walk. My daughter loves to have a plate of Long Island Steamers and fries. I just enjoy having a glass of white wine and relaxing. What’s perfect is if you can manage to have drinks during sunset, it really is the end of a perfect beach day. At the opposite end of Bay Walk is the Island Mermaid Restaurant where my daughter and I enjoy Sunday brunch. Of course, sit outside for another great view of the bay. Don’t feel like sitting for breakfast but want some baked goods, head to Rachel’s Bakery right in town.
What to do in Ocean Beach
The beach is a highlight for my daughter but going to the Ice Castle Sweet Shoppe is always a must visit. Ice Castle Sweet Shoppe has every imaginable candy from Hello Kitty tins full of gum to sugar daddys and if that is not enough there is fudge, fudge, fudge. I am not a fudge fan, but my friends tells me every flavor is a can’t miss purchase. And of course, there is ice cream for an afternoon snack. Don’t miss it, just be careful you don’t over do it on the candy, it’s hard to choose and not walk away with more than you need.
I, of course like to wander the stores looking for souvenirs but there are also resident artists at Laughing Gull artisans gallery where I like to pick up at least one Christmas gift for a friend.
While in Ocean Beach, head to the lighthouse, Fire Island National Seashore where they offer tons of activities for kids. There is also ranger guided canoe trip at Canoe Hill, all equipment provided for ages 6 and up and of course, you must know how to swim.
Ocean Beach, Fire Island may be tad complicated to get to but when you are there, it is a delight and one of the most relaxing and fun places to be.
Travel Tips for Fire Island:
- One thing to be aware is that while Ocean Beach is extremely family friendly, a big population of renters are generally younger because the bars are open until 4. When booking either a hotel or renting a house to ask about the noise and the best room or location to avoid noisy partyers coming home from the bars after midnight.
- Pack efficiently as the only way to get on the island during high season is by ferry and if you get to the ferry by train you don’t want to be lugging a huge suitcase.
- There are three ways to reach Bay Shore, Long Island: by car, by Long Island Railroad or . If you take the LIRR, there mini-vans that will take you to the ferry. Both the van and ferry take Cash only.
- If you have a lot of luggage, there is a mini-van service that leaves from the East Side of Manhattan and goes directly to the ferry. This option makes it easier than dealing with the trains. Just be aware that it makes multiple stops. David Brothers Jitney at 631-665-4384 for details.
- Resources: Fire Island Ferries and hotels and rentals.