Living on Long Island means you pretty much live where other people vacation. It took me my almost 30 years of life, and living in another state, to really come to terms with that and realize what a great place to live Long Island is. There’s so much to do, including go to my favorite place, Fire Island.
Located just south of Long Island, it’s a short ferry or boat ride from the mainland, but provides picture perfect ocean views, adorable restaurants & shops, and everything you would want in a quaint beach town. Before you go to fire island, here are some things you need to know and prepare for!
7 Things You Must Do Before You Go to Fire Island, New York
1. Research the Different Towns
There are so many different places you can go in Fire Island – Kismet, Davis Park, Ocean Beach, just to name a few! Each have their own quirks and charms. It’s important to know that each town is different, some have more restaurants than others, some have stricter beach rules than others, some are much more expensive than others… Do you research to make sure you are going to the best spot for your trip. Trust me, there are very different places you should be going for family trips with children or for bachelorette parties.
2. Book Hotels/Rentals in Wayyyyy Advance
Knowing how small the island is and how dedicated people are to returning to the same place the same week every single year, it’s important to get ahead of the rental game. Not only is booking in advance helpful for getting good rates and the exact dates that you want, but also good properties. Like the towns, not all hotels/rental houses are created equal. Some are brand new fully gut-renovated mansions (that come with a hefty price tag), while others are quaint small 1-bedroom bungalows. Locking in your accommodations early is also important because popular dates fill up quickly!!
3. Get a Beach Cart
I know I mentioned this in a previous point, but the beach cart needs its own blurb. Because there are no cars, you only mode of transportation is your feet or a bike. While most ferries don’t allows bikes on the boat over, you are looking at walking with all of your belongings to your house. If it is close to the ferry dock, you’re in luck. If not, you may be setting yourself up for failure without one. There are plenty of places where you can rent beach carts, but you can also pick up one of your own. The one linked is from Amazon, so all my last-minute shoppers, you can have this in two days! They aren’t too expensive and if you’re a beach person, this will itself off in no time.
4. Pack Everything You Need, and More!!
Fire Island is a small island with no cars. The only way to access is by boat, which means it costs a decent amount to import food, water, clothes, sunscreen, toiletries, and everything we take for granted on the main land. Mark ups are incredibly high and because its such a small island, theres typically only 1 maybe 2 stores where you can get what you need – which means they can charge whatever they want. To avoid spending a large chunk of your spending money on water and food, liberally pack these items with you! Make sure to stock your beach cart and coolers full, the ferries do a great job of helping you load and unload all your belongings!
5. Buy Bathing Suits
You will be living in bathing suits. Whether you are walking to the beach, tanning, or grabbing food, chances are you’ll be in a bathing suit and a cover up. It honestly may be the only outfit you have to pack! Everything is super casual on the island. You can obviously get dressed up and be fancy, but you risk sticking out like a sore thumb! This is an incredibly laid-back island, remember that.
6. Research the Laws of the Town you are Visiting
Another one that was briefly mentioned before. Each town has their own laws, some are more strict than others and most have different rules. The last thing you want is to get in trouble on Fire Island. That would mean another trip back at a later date for court and a typically hefty fine. These towns are also historically known for being very strict when it comes to the rules. At the end of the day, Fire Island is a small island and the owners, police, and regulars like to keep the towns peaceful and free of trouble, so the police will intervene to uphold the rules. That’s why it is important to know the rules before you go, some are kinda ridiculous but you still need to abide by them! I guess it’s a locals only kinda thing…
7. Get Ready for an Awesome Trip & Start Planning for Next Year
Once you go to Fire Island, you will want to go back. There is so much charm to the island and really makes you forget about all the stress and problems on the main-island. Make sure you fully disconnect to really make the most of your trip to Fire Island!