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Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesNew York City · 1 decade ago

Fire island activities??

fun activities? other than the beach? and places to stay?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Things To Do On Fire Island

    Fire Island is unlike anywhere else on earth. With beautiful beaches, unique communities, dynamic culture of Pines and Cherry Grove and miles of boardwalks and walkways to explore, Fire Island has it all! You will never be bored on Fire Island – unless you want to be! Fire Island has activities for everyone, including camping, hiking, observing wildlife, surfing, boating, sports, fishing and swimming. And of course, Fire Island also features amazing New York restaurants, one-of-a-kind clubs, charming bars like Flynn’s Fire Island, and other dynamic nightlife. So eat, drink and be merry while you explore Fire Island!

    Since there are so many fun and relaxing things to do on this beautiful island, wants to make sure you don't miss out on anything. The following are some exciting activities that you can dive right into as soon as you disembark from the Fire Island ferry:

    Sunken Forest

    The Sunken Forest on Sailor’s Haven is one of the few remaining maritime forests on the eastern seaboard. It features trees that have been twisted and shaped by the constant salt spray, freshwater marshland, and abundant wildlife. Fire Island’s Sunken Forest is a perfect place to get out of the sun and take a peaceful stroll. Guided tours are available during the summer months. Maintained by The Fire Island National Seashore, Sunken Forest earned its name because it appears lower than the surrounding water. The forest is not actually below sea level -- the high surrounding sand dunes that protect this environment create the illusion of being lower than sea level.

    The Sunken Forest spans approximately 40 acres, so there is plenty to see. You can walk for miles up and down the roller coaster boardwalks that carry you over two rows of sand dunes. The Sunken Forest consists primarily of American holly, sassafras, and shadblow. Some trees are estimated to be well over 200 years old.

    Serious hikers, bird watchers, and ecologists find this part of Fire Island to be absolutely fascinating. With several ecosystems, there is plenty of diversity in the flora and wildlife. While walking through the forest, be sure to look up -- the twisted canopy is the forest's most intriguing attribute. Sunken Forest is located next to Sailors Haven, a great Fire Island day trip destination. For more on Sunken Forest and Sailors Haven click on the links below.

    Sunken Forest is located in Sailors Haven, a great Fire Island day trip destination. For more on Sunken Forest and Sailors Haven click on the links below.


    Sailors Haven


    Review of Sunken Forest


    Fire Island Lighthouse

    The Fire Island Lighthouse is the oldest and most significant landmark associated with Fire Island history. This magnificent lighthouse was built in 1857, when its flashing light alerted ships that land was near. In 1974, the Fire Island Lighthouse light stopped spinning, as it was taken out of service. In 1987, the Fire Island Lighthouse was re-opened as an observatory and museum; it has since been restored to Fire Island prominence and enjoyed as a New York travel destination landmark. The Fire Island Lighthouse has summer hours of 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM daily, during which guided tours are available. The Fire Island Lighthouse observatory offers amazing views of Long Island, the Atlantic Ocean, the Great South Bay, and Fire Island beaches. On a clear day, the Fire Island Lighthouse offers views of the New York City skyline – a truly spectacular vista that must be experienced to be believed.

    For more info Visit the links below:

    * History of the Fire Island Lighthouse

    * Fire Island Lighthouse Area

    * Fire Island National Seashore

    Sleeping Over

    While day trips are popular, to really mellow out on Fire Island beaches, you’ll want to sleep over. If you don’t have access to a Fire Island rental or summer share beach house, you’ll need to find a good Fire Island hotel. There aren’t that many Fire Island hotels, so if you want to sleep over, you’ll need to reserve well in advance. For bargain Fire Island hotel rates, consider a pre or post-season visit, either before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. It’s easier to find a Fire Island hotel room in the off-season, and many Fire Island hotels offer a reduced rate at this time. At the peak of Fire Island beach season, crashing out at a Fire Island hotel enables visitors to enjoy the local nightlife to the fullest – no matter where you choose to party, a Fire Island hotel is within stumbling distance. If Dionysian revelries are your Fire Island vacation goal, and you’ve got a Fire Island hotel room, then raise a glass and enjoy! With no vehicles or roads, you can leave your car keys at home and have a blast – of course, it’s always smart to drink responsibly, so don’t overdo it! With high-end Fire Island Bed & Breakfasts and more casual Fire Island hotels with just the basics, you can enjoy an extended stay and really get a taste of Fire Island flavor. For more on Fire Island hotels, visit our accommodations page.


    If you prefer a tent to a Fire Island hotel, then head for the Fire Island National Seashore camping facilities. Fire Island camping options are somewhat limited, so plan ahead and reserve a sport early!

    There is one seasonal campground at Watch Hill located 1/4 mile from the ferry dock, accessible by ferry from Patchogue, private boat, or on foot from elsewhere on Fire Island, with 26 tents-only sites and a group camping sight for up to 40 people. It is recommended that campers bring extra-long stakes to use in the sand, animal-proof food storage, insect repellent, and sunscreen. Since no cooking fuels are allowed on the ferry, they can be purchased at the concession. Wood and open ground fires are prohibited. Grills are provided on site and camp stove use is allowed. Watch Hill only allows tents, and offers running water, showers, and bathrooms. You can bring your pet, but it must be kept under restraint on a leash no longer than 6-feet and may not be left unattended. Watch Hill is open from mid-May to mid-October. Sites must be reserved through mail at $20 a night with a two night minimum. The group site must also be reserved through mail at $30 a night with a two night minimum. Requests for reservations must be submitted by mail with a deposit. Applications are accepted from January 2 through early October. Visit for applications or call 631-567-6664 for more information.

    Wilderness backcountry camping is available from either Watch Hill or from the Wilderness Visitor Center near Smith Point on a first-come first-served basis. Permits can be obtained from the Watch Hill Ranger Station mid-May through mid-October and the Wilderness Visitor Center mid-May through December. Camping is limited to no more than three groups of four in the eastern section and six groups of four in the western section. Campers are required to hike all gear and supplies at least 1 1/2 miles out from the Wilderness Visitor Center and 1 mile from the Watch Hill Ranger Station. Camping on the beach or in sight of the beach is prohibited. Tents must be staked in a sandy area with no vegetation. Pets are not allowed during plover nesting season, March 1 through Labor Day, and at all other times must be leashed. Fires are prohibited; a backcountry stove may be used.

    Campers should remember that it is hot during the summer months and remains so through the night because of the humidity, so lighter weight sleeping bags and airy tents are recommended.


    Outside of populated Fire Island communities, Fire Island features stretches of wilderness where the wild things are. Wildlife at Fire Island includes white-tailed deer, red fox, and hundreds of species of birds. It is important to remember not to feed or approach these animals. Though Fire Island is somewhat deserted during the winter, it’s a great time to go wildlife watching. From December through March, waterfowl is abundant on the Great South Bay and in the marshes. The snowy owl has also been seen during the winter, migrating from northern Canada to look for a more reliable food source. On the ocean side, seals, especially Harbor Seals, have been spotted in Winter.


    There are many places to hike on Fire Island. People can walk the entire 32 miles of Fire Island beach shoreline around the island. Watch Hill has a hiking trail with numbered stops and an accompanying brochure. Sailor’s Haven has a boarded walk from the beach through marsh and woodlands. Hiking is also permitted in the Wilderness area. The Sunken Forest, next to Sailors Haven, has miles of boardwalks winding through its twisted trees. Though not necessarily wilderness hiking, strolling the walks of various Fire Island communities may be the best way to tour and explore, enabling visitors to really absorb the unique nature and culture of the island. No matter where you hike, it’s important to remain aware of wildlife species (don’t feed the animals!) and take precautions against the sun, heat, and ticks.

    Otis Pike Fire Island Wilderness

    Otis Pike is a Federally protected wilderness area on a 7-mile portion of eastern Fire Island. This 1300-acre preserve covers from Watch Hill to Smith Point. Limited backcountry camping is available by permit. Wildlife is abundant, including ticks and mosquitoes during the warmer months.

    Smith Point/Fire Island Wilderness Visitor Center

    Watch Hill Campground

    Tents only with running water, grills, showers, bathrooms. You can bring your pet, but it must be kept under restraint on a leash no longer than 6-feet and may not be left unattended. Accessible only by ferry, by private boat, or by hiking from elsewhere on Fire Island. Open mid-May through mid-October. Cost is $20/night. Requests for reservations must be submitted by mail with a deposit. Applications are accepted from January 2 through early October. Visit for applications or call 631-567-6664 for more information.

    Click here for more Info on the Watch Hill Campground


    Fire Island is one of the best places in the New York area for birdwatching. Its diverse habitats support a great variety of birds throughout the year, and it is a prime "rest stop" for birds on migration. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded on this thin strip of land, around 1/3 of all the birds found in North America!

    Swimming and Water Activities

    What would a visit to Fire Island beaches be without diving into the Atlantic or Great South Bay? After basking in the hot sun on Fire Island beaches, plunging into cool Atlantic waters is incredibly refreshing. Of course, swimming always carries some risk, so it is strongly recommended that people swim within designated locations where lifeguards are on duty. Point o’ Woods, Ocean Beach, Atlantique Town Beach, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, and Saltaire are all Fire Island communities that offer lifeguard service on both the ocean side and bay side of Fire Island. Kismet, Watch Hill, Fire Island Pines, Cherry Grove, Sailors Haven, and Ocean Bay Park all offer lifeguard service on the ocean side of Fire Island only. Swimming is not permitted in fishing areas, marinas, or near boat traffic. Please use discretion and take care to only swim in areas with lifeguard service, especially on the ocean beaches, where riptides and rough seas can take even the most experienced swimmers by surprise.

    Don’t feel like doing the backstroke? There are many other refreshing, exciting water activities to partake in on Fire Island beaches. Brightly-colored sea kayaks are increasingly seen off Fire Island ocean beaches and in the Great South Bay. These versatile paddle-propelled personal craft can be taken for a high-intensity workout cruise (usually on the ocean side) or a relaxed cruise exploring the bay’s calm waters. Windsurfing is also gaining momentum as a popular Fire Island water activity, as any given day will see the bay dotted with many windsurfing sails. Water skiing is popular with Fire Island visitors and Fire Island rental tenants; many, however, prefer more serene, low-impact water activities for their Fire Island vacation. For the adventurous Fire Island souls, there is what many consider to be the ultimate Fire Island water activity


    Fire Island is a barrier island that creates great surfing, especially during the hurricane season when the waves have been known to exceed ten feet. A series of sandbars and jetties enable variations in the island's surf conditions.

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