Kismet Fire Island
Kismet is Fire Island’s westernmost party hub. Kismet’s young New Yorker singles scene hosts never-ending happy hours, disco dancing, and boisterous house parties. A popular Fire Island summer share house destination, Kismet is home to many seasoned Fire Islanders. Kismet nightlife is upheld by two popular bayside bar and grills, The Inn and Surf’s Out. Kismet has a beautiful 100-slip commercial marina that is always packed with boaters. This quaint country-like atmosphere is a refuge from the seemingly congested beaches and towns to its east.
The location that would become Kismet was home to the Dominy House Hotel, the first hotel on Fire Island. Dominy had been one of the Keepers at the old Fire Island Lighthouse, but was ultimately discharged from his duties for entertaining guests to the extent that his Keeper duties became secondary. The rustic hotel was built by Felix Dominy in 1844, and was attractive to hunters and fishermen. When the colossal Surf Hotel was constructed to the east of Dominy House in 1857, obstructing its view of the Lighthouse, business began to falter. Dominy House would be destroyed by fire under questionable circumstances in 1903. An excavated chimney-base attributed to Dominy House stands a few hundred feet from the Surf’s Out as a monument to Fire Island’s early heritage.
After 1925 Kismet began not as one, but three separate communities: Seabay Beach, Lighthouse Shores and Kismet proper. They ultimately merged together to form a single hamlet, but a walk through the neighborhood of roughly 300 homes still bears evidence that the separate communities were stitched together after the fact by the layout of the walkways.
Kismet is accessible via the Kismet ferry line out of Bay Shore, NY. However one advantage of being the most western of the Fire Island communities is that one does not need a ferry to get there. Many visitors park in Field 5 where Kismet is just a short walk east.