Why I Love Fire Island

Friday, July 20, 2012
Kismet Beach Fire Island Morning

On Monday morning  Mr M and I took action to escape New York City’s 4th heatwave of the summer, taking our very generous overnight bag and slightly cumbersome eski (aka ‘cooler’) on the 1, and then the 2 train down to Penn Station. Another two trains, one van ride and a ferry trip later we arrived  in Kismet, the western-most community on Fire Island, a narrow barrier island (or is it just a sand-bar?) along the southern side of Long Island.

Wooden Wagons Fire Island

Although we had travelled about three hours into the future, somehow we had ended up in the past, in a time period somewhere between Harry S Truman and John F Kennedy (making that the 1950s if your American history needs refreshing!). Bather-clad people pedal bicycles, belongings are carted to and from the dock in wagons, little girls sell painted sea-shells by the sea-shore, and no-one locks the house (well, at least we didn’t).

Beach bike riding Fire Island

And there are no cars.

Over the next few days we rode bikes with pedal-brakes, swam (and got dumped), climbed to the top of the lighthouse, read trashy magazines, ate, sipped wine and were generally merry. We smelt of sunscreen, bugspray and salt.

Kismet sharehouse Fire Island
Wooden boardwalks Fire Island
Fire Island Kismet Sharehouse
Kismet beach Fire Island
Dr parking Fire Island
My trusty stead Fire Island bike riding
Kismet dock fire island
Ocean Beach Fire Island
Kismet share house hammock fire island

So you want to go to Fire Island?

Getting there
  • Take the Long Island Railroad to Bayshore Long Island (approx $23 return as at July 2012)
  • From here you can either walk to the ferry (Head down 4th Avenue/Maple Avenue towards the bay, this is just over a mile), or take the van that is waiting at the station ($5 July 2012)
  • Make sure you get the right ferry: The ferry service has a couple of ports - which take you to different parts of Fire Island. An adult round trip is $17.
  • Check schedule and ticketing information for the ferry here
  • Check schedule and ticketing information for Long Island Railroad here
Other things to consider
  • Think about taking food/drink with you. There are a few shops/restaurants on the island, but they are priced accordingly.
  • Not all communities are created equal. My experience is mainly Kismet/Fair Harbor/Saltaire, and a quick trip to Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach, a bigger community than Kismet/Fair Harbor/Saltaire, is not quite as laid back and was described to me as the 'Land of No'. And it is....No eating or drinking past this point, no riding bicycles on weekends or holidays, no frisbee on the beach, no this, no that.
  • And visit this website for more information about visiting Fire Island including accommodation.


  1. It looks beautiful there. What a wonderful escape. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely photo and linking to our Summer Daze Photo Party!

    1. My pleasure Alicia. I have no idea how far away you are - but Fire Island is definitely worth putting on your summer bucket list if you are ever in the neighbourhood.

  2. Wow. This place is so beautiful! I want to go there now, so bad. Thanks for the tips!

    I'm starting a new link party on my blog that is exclusively for traveling and experiencing different places. If you could hop on over and link this post or any other 'traveling' post, I would be so grateful! Thanks so much!


    1. Hi Bailey K. I would love to! We have just moved apartments and are still waiting for our internet to be connected. I will get onto this as soon as we are up and running. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Oh how I miss the beach! Your trip sounds so relaxing! Beautiful photos!

    1. Thanks Dawn. It was incredibly relaxing, no phone coverage, no noise, no horn honking. Loved it. Maybe you need to plan a trip!