Sailors Haven

Maintained by the National Seashore, 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, also a FINS facility.

Nestled between the community of Point O’ Woods to the west and Cherry Grove to its east, Sailor’s Haven was originally conceived as a private residential development for boating enthusiasts in 1960. The Sailor’s Haven Company had plans for apartment units, single-family dwellings, restaurant, country store, tennis court and other amenities for boaters in the summer as well as fishing and duck hunters into the cooler months.

However the enterprise was organized after the cut-off date for recognition in Fire Island National Seashore’s enacting legislation and because Sailor’s Haven Company operated on strictly a lease basis, a lengthy condemnation process was not required for longtime residents as it was in other Fire Island National Seashore territories. The Sailor’s Haven Company therefore quickly dissolved only a few years after first opening. By 1966 FINS acquired the existing faculties which were converted and reopened as the first of the Fire Island National Seashore public visitor’s center. While the original marina was designed for 100-boats, FINS scaled back the design to the 45 slips that are in use today.

Reservations can be made at 631-597-6171. Visits are limited to a maximum of 14 days. Ferry service is also available out of Sayville, NY and it is accessible by lateral water taxi from neighboring Fire Island communities. Quite simply said Sailor’s Haven is the nautical National Park Service experience at its very best.

 

Saltaire

An ideal Fire Island community for families seeking a little rest and relaxation, Saltaire is a well-maintained and manicured village full of recreation including acclaimed youth programs, sports fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a Yacht Club. Don’t let the sound of its name fool you. While phonetically sounding like “salt air,” Saltaire is named after a village located in West Yorkshire England, which is named after a Sir Titus Salt and sits upon the River Aire.

“Saltaire a Children’s Paradise: The Last Word in Summer Bungalow Development” was the motto of the Fire Island Beach Development Company who started offering lots for public sale in 1911. By 1917 Saltaire had become the first incorporated village on Fire Island. This gave Saltaire the autonomy to elect their own mayor, raise municipal taxes and have their own zoning and planning boards, thus giving them direct control over their future destiny.

Ocean Beach would follow suit four years later, but to date they are the only incorporated villages on Fire Island. All the other Fire Island enclaves are communities organized by private associations and must look directly to the Towns of Islip and Brookhaven for municipal governance.

Saltaire’s amenities are minimal: A single, but well-stocked general store, a volunteer library in the lobby of Village Hall, and restaurant services within the yacht club but for members and their guests only. In this way Saltaire cherishes their privacy much like the community of Point O’ Woods, for their services are geared primarily for residents as opposed to tourists or transients. However nestled between the communities of Kismet to the west and Fair Harbor to the east, Saltarians can enjoy the best of both worlds, enjoying their solitude on one hand, but the option of the finest dining, dancing and shopping the western end of Fire Island has to offer being only blocks away.

Smith Point

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. Smith Point is the only parcel that is under the jurisdiction of Suffolk County Parks System and it is home to the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial.

The name is in tribute to Col. William “Tangier” Smith, a British settler who in the late 1600’s was the titled owner of the entire barrier beach that is Fire Island as well as a considerable swath of eastern greater Long Island. Smith led an interesting life. He was one-time Mayor of British Colonial Tangier, but soon ousted from his office by a local uprising led by Ismail Ibn Sharif in 1683. He then came to America and soon rose through the ranks of the British colony of New York to the extent that he was briefly acting Governor.

At the turn of a 20th Century Smith Point was connected to Long Island by a wooden footbridge known as the Tangier Bridge. Plans were in the works to construct lavish hotel at Smith Point, not unlike the Surf Hotel to the west end of Fire Island, but these lofty goals never materialized and the footbridge was destroyed by ice flows in 1927. In 1955 the Shirley-Mastic Chamber of Commerce began the construction of the Smith Point Bridge we know today.

All campground stays at Smith Point County Park are made reservations basis only. Calling 631-244-7275. All have water and most have electric and sewer hook-ups. The County Parks schedules special events throughout the summer and is also home to the Smith Point Beach Hut, a seafood and raw bar restaurant which features live music and other festivities.

 

Sunken Forest

Sometimes referred to as “Crown Jewel of Fire Island,” the Sunken Forrest is truly a natural wonder. This ancient primeval maritime forest is a beautiful canopy of tangled flora is a sea level hideaway protected by majestic dunes that restrict the forest’s abundant growth to consistent heights through a natural phenomenon known as “salt spray pruning.” A leisurely stroll through Sunken Forest is a fantastic way to spend the day out of the sun, and features some of Fire Island’s best bird watching and wildlife.

Threats of destruction to the Sunken Forrest for commercial development purposes prompted the establishment of the Sunken Forrest Preserve, Inc. in 1952. Steered by Point O’ Woods resident James N. Dunlop as President at the helm, Sunken Forrest Preserve, Inc. began the task of collecting donations from across Fire Island to slowly acquire land parcels within the forest. This campaign is considered the predecessor for the fight to keep Robert Moses from building a highway down the middle of Fire Island for it signaled the ability for Fire Islanders of all communities to unite.

“I sometimes think that it is by such little-noticed actions for the public good that the world is held together,” wrote author Herman Wouk in a letter dated 1955 along with his contribution check to the cause.

In 1966, after the establishment of Fire Island National Seashore the Sunken Forrest Preserve, Inc. transferred over the considerable deed holdings that they had accumulated for more than a decade to the National Park Service. Today FINS manages the Sunken Forrest and the adjacent Sailor’s Haven together making it an incredible public visiting experience. The Sunken Forrest is accessible by ferry from Sayville, NY as well as lateral water taxi and of course private boat with docking at Sailor’s Haven where refreshments and amenities await visitors after a day’s hike.

Watch Hill

Watch Hill is the largest and most extensive of the Fire Island National Seashore visitor facilities and is certainly the destination for the more rugged retreat. 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.

It first opened to the public in 1967 and the facilities offered have gradually been enhanced and improved upon over the years. Watch Hill serves as gateway to the Otis Pike Wilderness Area, the only federal wilderness area in New York State and one of the last large tracts of undeveloped of barrier beach on the northeast coast. Established by act of U.S, Congress in 1980, the Wilderness Area was named in honor of U.S. Representative Otis Grey Pike, a champion of the cause to establish Fire Island National Seashore.

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 the seasoned camper. 26 sand sites are available in the campgrounds and reservations strongly suggested. For camping reservations call 631-597-6664, the marina 631-597-3109, and for The Pier Restaurant call 631-597-9060. Sorry no roller-skates, scooters or bicycles on the boardwalks. However wheelchairs, baby strollers and wagons are permitted. Pets are also permitted, but must be kept leashed when in any Watch Hill public facility, lifeguarded beaches, or near any shorebird nesting areas. Please pick up and dispose of all pet waste properly so that the visiting experience remains enjoyable for all.

Water Island
While the name might make you think it is a separate landmass, this is not the case. Water Island is a small, extremely private Fire Island beach community comprised of about 50 houses on modest plots of Fire Island real estate. With Davis Park to the East and Barrett Beach to the west, Water Island is far from the Fire Island beach civilization, creating a sense of privacy that is well-appreciated by its residents. It can easily be argued that there is no Fire Island community as exclusive as Water Island.

As early as 1878 a restaurant called the Pavilion existed where Water Island is today, ran by a man named Richard Silsbee. During the 1890’s Water Island was home to the prestigious White House Hotel, a pleasant example of beach hotel architecture designed by an Edward Ryder and frequented by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and his family. Caldwell Realty opened the areas up to residential development as of 1912. The considerable isolation of Water Island made it an ideal destination for rumrunners during the prohibition era. Many coastal areas on Long Island and Fire Island share in this heritage, and as Fire Island has a legacy of wreckers and land pirates this was not so great a leap, yet Water Island is perhaps the quintessential example of such an outpost.

For a great many years the residents of Water Island shunned even the most basic of services. It was one of the last Fire Island communities to connect to the Long Island Power Authority grid; access to the nearest stores or restaurants requires a mile-long hike to either Fire Island Pines or Davis Park. For many years there was no ferry service as well, only private boat access. However now, almost reluctantly, a minimal ferry schedule out of Sayville, NY finally exists.

By Catrina Christensen

I’m sitting out on my deck, listening to some Bob Marley, relaxing in the sun, and feeling a nice breeze.  How can you go wrong on a day like today?  It got me thinking about all the special little things Fire Island has to offer.

As a child, I remember making friendship bracelets, and collecting shells to paint an sell in town.  As a teenagers, my friends and I would lay out on the beach and talk about life for hours, frolic in the water, and do some surfing.  In my college days, I would tell my friends in Delaware about this magical land where there are no cars, the beach only being a couple of steps away, and gallivanting through town at night time.  Now, I’m 26 and have more appreciation for the serene days at the beach, the beauty of every sunset, the characters I meet, and most of all, and the peace of mind I get out here.  I look forward to my daily runs, Thursday night BBQ’s and Sunday Funday with my beach family, fun-random nights playing darts till all hours, the dedication I put into all of my work, and the sunsets that are never the same.

People around me have similar feelings.  Here is a short list of some things people have told me some of their favorite things about Fire Island are:

  • That its an escape from reality.
  • Refreshing beach drinks like Rocket Fuels, Alba-Teas, and Zippy’s.
  • Wagons, no cars, bikes.
  • Flip flips, sand in my toes.
  • Late night dance parties.
  • Meals on the bay.
  • Beach days with friends and family.
  • Sunsets.

I’d love to hear everyone’s favorites things about Fire Island, you can post right here in the comment section at the bottom of the page. Feel free to share your Fire Island favorites!  Have a great weekend and come and enjoy Fire Island!

Bay Shore NY is one of the main hubs for transportation to some of Fire Island’s most popular towns.

Bay Shore is located in the town of Islip, Suffolk County on the South Shore of Long Island. For a detained description of Bay Shore NY we advice you read the Wikipedia page for Bay Shore, NY. 

From Bay Shore NY you can take the Fire Island Ferry to the following towns:

Bay Shore NY is of course not the only terminal location for Fire Island Ferries.  You can also access Fire Island from Patchogue NY, as well as Sayville NY.
 Patchogue NY Ferries provide access to the following locations.
  • Davis Park
  • Watch Hill

Sayville NY Ferries provide access to the following locations on Fire Island.

New York Travel Guide | Fire Island

new york travel guide

Fire Island is one of New York’s top travel destinations, its close proximity to New York City makes Fire Island  an easy day trip as well as a sought out summer vacation spot, New York Travel Guide ranks this spot as #1.  There are not many beaches in the United States that can boast such pristine beauty and isolation from the mainland yet is just a stone’s throw away from a major city. In fact it’s almost a paradox that one can spend the morning in the hustle of New York City and be barefoot and carefree watching white tail deer climb the velvety sands on the Fire Island National Seashores dunes by early afternoon.

New York Travel Guide has provided visitors with information on Fire Island since 1996! We have seen the island grow and we are astonished at how amazing the integrity and soul of this New York gem has been preserved. Over the past few years Fire Island has over taken the Hamptons as the New York Travel Guide favorite summer vacation spot and has not only been ranked New York’s best beach but one of the best beaches in the world, not just in New York Travel Guide but Forbes, and Coastal Living to name just a few.  What started as a small bohemian getaway has turned into one of the most desirable beach towns in the United States.  Despite the soaring Real Estate market and inflow of top Restaurants Fire Island has been able to maintain a much more rustic laid back vibe, a stark contradiction to summer in the Hamptons. Simple put Fire Island is flip flops and bongo’s its Matthew Mcconaughey’s kind of place. The Hamptons is the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and P-Diddy , need we say more?

Fire Island PinesFire Island Pines is a hamlet in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is located on Fire Island, a barrier island on the southern side of Long Island.

The Pines features zigzag boardwalks that lead to the island’s most ritzy real estate. The Pines turnout is known to be a bit more subdued than its neighboring Cherry Grove. Charitable fundraisers and cocktail parties fill the Fire Island Pines’ social calendar, with the annual “Invasion of the Pines” event being perhaps the most notable. The Pines caters to its Manhattan weekenders and features delightful markets, boutiques and restaurants.

We have selected a few of our Fire Island Pines favorites to make sure you get the most out of your travels.

Fire Island’s Best

Fire Island Pines Restaurants and Bars

The Blue Whale

The Blue WhaleThe Blue Whale is home to multiple regular events, including Low Tea, Yacht Club Dining (Dinner, 6 days a week + Weekend Brunch), and Weekend Evening Piano Bar and Cabaret Special Events.

This season, Yacht Club Dining at the Blue Whale brings innovative, share-able and satisfying seasonal cuisine. Guests can expect a selection of classic favorites and specialities with fresh, local market ingredients. Our menu features the best regional fish and seafood as well as premium meats and poultries. Whether dining al fresco on the harbor or relaxing in the more intimate dining room, we will ensure you experience our return to simple elegance.

Address: Harbor Walk, Fire Island, NY 11706, USA
Phone: +1 631-597-6500
Website:www.pinesfi.com/venue/blue-whale

 

Sip N’ Twirl

Sip N’ TwirlSip·n·Twirl is the Pines’ prime nightly lounge & club, from the beginning, to the very end, of the Fire Island season. As the Pines’ largest and most consistently busy club, Sip·n·Twirl features a full-service bar, for mingling + socializing, the TWIRLdeck, for afternoon/evening dancing + casual connections, PLUS a major dance floor – with state-of-the-art sound & video, and a DJ lineup that includes Community favorites and new faces, playing a variety of sounds, including Fire Island Favorites, & latest club sounds from around the world.

 

Address: 36 Fire Island Blvd, Fire Island Pines, NY 11782, USA
Phone: +1 631-597-3599
Website:www.pinesfi.com/SipnTwirl

More Restaurants and Bars can be found on fireisland.com/dining

Best Fire Island Pines Hotels

The Madison Fire Island Pines

The Madison Fire Island PinesIt’s modern, beautiful and in a class of its own.

Situated in the heart of the world’s most beautiful gay resort community, The Madison is located sixty seconds from the ferry and sixty seconds from the beach. Yet it’s an exclusive compound that’s a world away.

It’s a place where flat-screen televisions, high-speed internet service and massages by the pool are just the beginning; where private bathrooms are standard and every room is air conditioned; where a huge pool deck is surpassed only by an astonishing roof deck.
 

Address: 22 Atlantic Walk, Fire Island Pines, NY 11782, USA
Phone: +1 631-597-6061
Website:www.themadisonfi.com

Pines Bluff Overlook

Pines Bluff OverlookThis simple hotel on Fire Island is a minute’s walk from the beach, 1.5 miles from Cherry Grove and 2.8 miles from Sunken Forest.

The airy, unassuming rooms and suites all have sliding doors leading out to the deck, private bathrooms, free WiFi, TVs with satellite channels, DVD players, iPod docks and minifridges. There are also wood-panelled apartments available, with sitting areas and kitchens. Daily and weekly rates are available.

There’s a free continental breakfast, plus complimentary all-day drinks. Amenities include an outdoor pool, plus loungers and a rooftop hot tub with ocean views. The hotel is open between March and December.
 

Address: 362 Ocean Walk, Fire Island Pines, NY 11782, USA
Phone: +1 631-597-3064
Website:www.pinesbluffoverlook.com

More Hotels can be found on fireisland.com/fire-island-ny-hotels

Fire Island Pines Ferry

Sayville Ferry

Fire Island Pines FerrysThe Sayville Ferry began the Fire Island run in 1894. For over one hundred years, Fire Island – with its wide ocean beaches, natural forests, wetlands and lively downtowns – has been an attraction for people from all over the world. Fire Island’s central communities of Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines, Water Island and Sailors Haven/Sunken Forest, a Fire Island National Seashore Park, are served by the Sayville Ferry, which is located on River Road in the South Shore hamlet of Sayville. Once on the island, the only means of transport is a hand-pulled wagon and the only rubber you burn is the soles of your shoes.

Address: 41 River Rd, Sayville, NY 11782, USA
Phone: +1 631-589-0810
Website:www.sayvilleferry.com

More Information and Ferry Schedules can be found on fireisland.com/fire-island-ferries-schedule

The Village of Ocean Beach, Fire Island

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 a simpler time, 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.




With the high cost of Fire Island Rentals is no surprise that every year we get more and more questions about camping on Fire Island. In fact, camping is one of the most frequently searched terms on our website. With that said we want to make sure you have all the information you need to plan your Fire Island camping trip.
There are 3 designated camping areas on Fire Island. Watch Hill camp ground, Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness and Smith Point County Park. You can walk into the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness area from both Watch Hill, which is accessible by Davis Park Ferry in Patchogue,, Long Island, and though Smith Point County Park which is accessible by car via the William Floyd Parkway.


Fire Island Camp Sites

 

Watch Hill, Fire Island
631-567-6664
The most popular of all Fire Island camping, this spot is great for families, groups, boaters. It has 26 campsites and is by far the most popular of all the campsites.

Standard individual or small group camping.
1-5 adults with either two 2-man tents or one 5-man tent.
$25 per night: Two night minimum for Friday and Saturday night, one night minimum for Sunday through Thursday.
Individual campsite reservations can only be booked online and must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
Special Group Camping is exclusive for not-for-profit organizations (examples: scouting or church groups). These groups may reserve the group campsite for up to 40 people.
$35 per night with a two-night minimum.
Features:

  • Marina
  • Campground
  • Beach
  • Restaurant
  • Bird watching
  • Visitor center
  • Nature trail
  • Life-guarded beaches
  • Running water
  • Grills
  • Picnic tables
  • Showers and Bathrooms

Smith Point County Park, Fire Island
631-244-7275
Smith point camping lacks the all of the amenities that Watch Hill has but makes up for in beauty and the convenience of the Smith Point Bridge and William Floyd Parkway from the mainland, that puts you on the island without having to us the any of the Fire Island Ferries. It should also be noted that Smith Point is one of Fire Islands best surfing spots and is a popular fishing destination.
Features:
Swimming
Scuba diving
Surfing
Saltwater fishing
Camping
Outer beach access
Food concession
Playground
Showers

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness
631-281-3010
At 1,380 acres, this federally protected area is one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service. You must have a Park ranger issues permit to camp here and it’s completely first come first serve. To get into the campsite you can walk from Watch Hill or From Smith Point Park.