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guide / attractions

 

ACTIVITIES          FIRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE          SUNKEN FOREST          MAINLAND ATTRACTIONS         

 

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Basketball, Tennis, Biking, Running

At the ferry dock, there are two basketball courts and two tennis courts available for public use. One of those basketball courts has two regulation 10-foot rims. The court is narrow. The other court is a seven-foot high rim for kids.

As for the tennis courts, we advise you play with your back to the bay as much as possible.

Bicycles provide good exercise even if it's all flat ground. Ocean Beach is also ideal for runners. Just watch out for the walkers and the occasional golf cart.

RELAXATION

Healing Waters, a massage artistry and spa
(631-583-8051)

Steve Lauren Salon and Day Spa
(631-583-5160).

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KIDS STUFF

Arcade and game room on Cottage Walk, across from the Palms Hotel.

Fire Island National Seashore is an extraordinary place. It includes 26 miles of dynamic barrier island with high dunes, centuries-old maritime forests, glimpses of wildlife, and desolate beaches, far from the sounds and pressures of the city. Here you may tour the home of one of Long Island's signers of the Declaration of Independence, explore New York State's only federally designated wilderness, and climb to the top of one of the tallest lighthouses in the United Statesto enjoy a spectacular view of Fire Island.

Fire Island provides an opportunity to leave the car behind and enjoy miles of boardwalk and trails, public marinas, a rustic campground, lifeguarded beaches, and visitors’ centers and programs that help you learn more about the park's resources.

 

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FIRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE

Fire Island has been a special place for a diversity of plants and animals and people for centuries. Today, its unspoiled beaches provide habitat for sensitive flora and fuana, and offer solitude and spiritual renewal to civilization-weary people.

Fire Island National Seashore is an extraordinary place. It includes 26 miles of dynamic barrier island with high dunes, centuries-old maritime forests, glimpses of wildlife, and desolate beaches, far from the sounds and pressures of the city. Here you may tour the home of one of Long Island's signers of the Declaration of Independence, explore New York State's only federally designated wilderness, and climb to the top of one of the tallest lighthouses in the United Statesto enjoy a spectacular view of Fire Island. Fire Island provides an opportunity to leave the car behind and enjoy miles of boardwalk and trails, public marinas, a rustic campground, lifeguarded beaches, and visitors’ centers and programs that help you learn more about the park's resources.

Children's imaginations are celebrated through the history, beauty and creativity of the East End.

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State, county and town-owned public beaches provide additional recreational opportunities on Fire Island. Interspersed are 17 vibrant, diverse private communities, which had been established before the creation of the national seashore. There is no hard-surfaced road connecting the communities, so they are accessible mainly by ferry or private boat. Without paved roads and with limited traffic, the communities have retained much of their original charm and character. Some of these communities have provisions for guests and tourists, while others are strictly residential. A small number of year-round residents endure the hardships of life on an island to help protect and maintain these small communities, until the annual revival of activity with the arrival of summer.

The lives of millions of people are enriched each year by visiting Fire Island National Seashore and the communities within its boundaries. The mission of the National Park Service is to preserve Fire Island's natural and cultural resources unimpaired for the benefit of future generations, while providing for the park's use and enjoyment by our generation.

 

 




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SUNKEN FOREST

Even migrating birds may do a double take when they spy the dense 40-acre woodland on windswept Fire Island.

The rare Sunken Forest developed at Sailor's Haven because a double line of oceanfront dunes formed there over the centuries, providing extra protection against the gales. First grass, then hardy shrubs and scrub pines, then hardwood trees took root until now the gully between the dunes is filled with an old-growth forest snarled with briars and vines.

Its bogs support vegetation such as ferns and swamp maple more common to freshwater wetlands, but ground cover is rare due to both the ever-chomping deer and the sun-blocking overhead canopy. (Predominant giants include American holly and sassafras, the latter notable for producing leaves of several different shapes on a single tree.) The entire forest is pruned even with the top of the primary dune by the salt spray - which ironically also provides nutrients.

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A 1.5-mile round-trip boardwalk weaves across this forest primeval, a bay-side spur threads through head high marsh grass. You can explore on your own or take a ranger-led walk. But you must stay on the boards or the alternate beach trail - to protect the environment and to lessen your chance of a brush with poison ivy or deer ticks. Winged wildlife, depending on the season, can range from butterflies to falcons.

The forest starts just steps from the ferry dock, which in summer is also the terminus for beachgoers who prefer a less hectic Fire Island experience. Sailors Haven - which offers swimming in July and August (with lifeguards, bathhouses, showers, snack bar and a visitor center) - is one of the three nonresidential Fire Island National Seashore destinations. The island's various populated enclaves, of course, offer their own brands of wildlife.

Video tour: Sunken Forest

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MAINLAND ATTRACTIONS

Adventureland Amusement Park
(631-694-6868): On Route 110, in Farmingdale. There are rides, games, food, parties and fun for all ages.

Atlantis Marine World Aquarium
(631-208-9200): On Main Street in Riverhead. Exit 71 on the LIE, to route 24 South 3 miles

Animal Farm Petting Zoo
(631-878-1785): On Exit 69 on the LIE. Go South 3 miles. There are pony rides, puppet shows, pumpkin picking.

Bret Saberhagens Hit & Fun Arcade
(631-669-1900): 580 Montaulk Hwy, W.Babylon. There is an Game Arcade, indoor baseball and parties.

Splish Splash Water Park
(631-727-3600): On Exit 72 West on the LIE, Riverhead. Wet Fun for all ages.

Old Village Hall Museums
(631-226-1254): Lindenhurst RR Depot on S Broadway & 3

Vanderbuilt Museum &Planetarium
(631-854-5555): 180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport

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Bowling Alleys

  • AMF
    (631-661-6600) in W. Babylon on 430 Sunrise Hwy
  • AMF
    (631-666-7600) in Bay Shore on 1840 Sunrise Hwy
  • East Islip Lanes
    (631-581-6200) on 117 E Main E Islip


  • Movie Theatres
  • Babylon Theatre
    (631-669-0200) on 34 W Main St, Babylon
  • Brookhaven Multiplex
    (631-289-8900) on 440 So. Service Rd, LIE, Medford
  • Commack Multiplex
    (631-462-6953) on 100 Long Is Expwy, Commack
  • West Islip Twin Cinema
    (631-669-2626) on 444 Union Blvd, W Islip