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BRIEF INTRO TO FIRE ISLAND

As Doc from “Back to the Future” would say: Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads; or cars.

Fire Island consists of several communities that cater mainly to the summer house owner/renter. Yet, there is plenty of room for daytrippers and weekenders.

The ferry comes ashore on the Great South Bay side of Fire Island. It's a short walk, no more than 10 minutes, to reach the beach on the other side of the Island.

No cars are allowed on Fire Island, so people either walk or rent bicycles. Ocean Beach Hardware rents bicycles for $15 a day. Of course, in the "Land of No" as Ocean Beach has become known as thanks to its litany of restrictions, no bike riding is allowed on the weekends because of the influx of people.

If you get bored in Ocean Beach and want to travel elsewhere, walk to end of a pier and call for a water taxi (631-665-8885)

Some of the Fire Island communities consist of only a few homes while others have hundreds of houses, with restaurants, small grocery and retail stores, and other businesses. There is one elementary school on Fire Island.

There are 17 different communities on Fire Island within the boundaries the national seashore. When Fire Island National Seashore was established in 1964, its enabling legislation stated that these communities and preexisting commercial uses would be allowed to remain, as long as development was consistent with zoning ordinances established by the Secretary of the Interior.

 

FIRE ISLAND FACTS

Fire Island is a barrier island, approximately 31 miles (50 km) long and varying between approximately 160 m to 400 m wide. Fire Island passes through southern Suffolk County, New York, and is southeast of Long Island separated from the main land by the Great South Bay in the U.S. state of New York, running approximately SW to NE.

The land area is 22.5 km² (8.687 sq mi) and a permanent population of 491 people was reported as of the 2000 census. (There are hundreds of thousands of summertime residents, groupers and daytrippers.)

 

ATM LOCATIONS

Ocean Beach:

Ocean Beach Trading

Island Mermaid

Bocce Beach


Ocean Bay Park:

OBP Market

 

 


USEFUL TIPS

Be Casual. There is no need to get dressed up on this island. Of course, looking nice is always a plus since you never know who'll you'll meet, but comfort is the main thing.


Parking is simple - unless you are trying to get into the Ferry parking lots on the Mainland during prime time (e.g. Friday nights and weekends), so give yourself plenty of time...


Bring cash. A lot of it. Don't be surprised to pay $3 for a bottle of Vitamin Water. Don't be shocked either by the "Cash Only" signs you'll come across in many markets and stores. At night, a few of the bars also have cover charges (normally $5 or less). But don't worry too much, the restaurants and bars take credit cards.

 

BIKING

When you're ready to transport your bike on the ferry, make sure to get there at an off-peak time if it's during season. The ferry captain will NOT let you bring the bike on the ferry if it's jammed with people, and they may even not be able to deal with putting it in the storage room for the freight boat if they're too busy.

Keep your bike LOCKED UP at all time on Fire Island, especially in town at night. Even the most honorable Fire Islander will think twice about their long walk home from Ocean Beach if they see a bicycle lying around unlocked. And, the more unscrupulous will even go through the town until they find one. (If your bike is taken, always check with the local police, although someone may take it for a ride, there's not an easy way off the island with it, so a lot of the time they just leave them by the police station when they're through.)
When your tires get low, there are air pumps at each of the local Fire Departments. It's free and easy.


Follow the rules in Ocean Beach - Between Memorial Day & Labor Day (the actual dates will be posted on the street lamps) - there is NO riding on the main street. You can lock your bike up at the public rack in front of the restaurant, Matthew's.

If you don't want the hassle of your own bicycle, or you're just out for the day, you can rent bikes in the different towns. (e.g. OB Hardware rents 583-5826),

 

FIRE ISLAND LINKS

Fire Island Lighthouse

Ocean Beach Rules & Regulations

Ocean Beach Youth Group (OBYG)

Fire Island Tidal Charts

Dangers of Lyme Disease

Fire Island National Seashore

Fire Island Association

Long Island Attractions And Places of Interest