FAQ

Where is Fire Island?
Fire Island is a barrier island located off the south shore of Long Island in New York. A sought-after summer destination, the island is comprised of several resort villages overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Approximately 820,865 people visit Fire Island beaches each summer.

How big is Fire Island?
The island spans 32 miles in length and averages less than a mile in width. The majority of the Island is a protected environment and therefore will remain undeveloped. Fire Island’s parkland includes the Fire Island National Seashore, Smith Point County Park, and Robert Moses State Park.

When is the best time to visit Fire Island?
The most popular Fire Island season runs from Memorial Day until Labor Day. In this window of time, the island is bustling with vacationers. Though Fire Island is a popular New York City summer retreat, the off-season also holds its own appeal. For many, the less populated fall and spring seasons are the island’s best-kept secret.

Is it true that there are no cars allowed on the island?

There are no paved roads on Fire Island and only service and emergency vehicles are allowed on the island. Free of cars, traffic, pollution, and noise Fire Island offers a peaceful getaway unlike any other vacation destination. This time-honored practice adds to the island’s eternal charm and encourages a back-to-basics mentality. Walking, biking, and golf-carting are the modes of transportation and help to preserve our island’s natural beauty.

If no cars are allowed, how do I get to Fire Island?
Fire Island villages are accessible by shuttle ferries departing from Patchogue, Sayville, and Bay Shore in Long Island, NY. In addition, Fire Island beaches are reachable by water taxi and private boat.

Where do I stay in Fire Island?

Fire Island features many full service hotels and inns. With Fire Island real estate prices out of reach for most, rental homes and share houses are an important part of the Fire Island culture. This experience offers visitors the opportunity to spend summers on Fire Island without a major investment.

Please see our accommodations guide for more information.

What’s with all the deer?
Many beautiful white-tailed deer inhabit Fire Island and have come to be the island’s mascot. Though Fire Island visitors are compelled to approach these gentle creatures, such human interference can be detrimental the Fire Island ecosystem. Please be advised that “All wildlife within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore is protected under the code of Federal Regulations: 36 cfr 2.2 (2): “Feeding, touching, teasing, frightening or intentionally disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding, or other activities’ is Prohibited and Subject to Fine”.

Do I have to pay to use the beaches on Fire Island?

With the exception of the Fire Island Summer Club and Point O’ Woods, two privately owned communities, Fire Island beaches are accessible to the public without required beach passes. However, Fire Island beaches do have a set of rules and regulations that are enforced.

Is Fire Island a gay community?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions and the greatest misconception about Fire Island. As seen on the Fire Island map, there are 17 different resort communities on the Island. Similar to Cape Cod’s Provincetown, Fire Island has two LGBT communities: Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. Although these villages are widely recognized as gay friendly, they are welcome to all and visited by many.

What should I bring to Fire Island?

  • A laid-back attitude. This is Fire Island, not the Hamptons!
  • Beach cover-up. Most of the Fire Island communities require a bathing suit cover-up in town.
  • License – I don’t care how old you are, you will be proofed at the bars.
  • Cash. There are only a few ATM machines on Fire Island, most of which have a $100 maximum withdrawal and a $3 charge per transaction!
  • Fire Island ferry schedule.

How should I dress?
The Fire Island dress code is coastal casual. This island is all about abandoning a high-maintenance lifestyle, so opt for beach attire. Urbanities flee to its silky sands, shedding their suits and ties for bikinis and flip-flops.

Are there places to shop on Fire Island?

Yes, there are several small boutiques and convenience stores scattered across the island, with most shopping concentrated in Ocean Beach.
Please see our Business Directory for details.

Fire Island FAQ