Often referred to as "The Grove", Cherry Grove is one of the most famous LGBT communities in the United States. Since 2015, Cherry Grove has been designated as a National Historic Landmark on Fire Island. The Grove is currently a popular summer home location for entertainers and celebrities from all over the world, including Wanda Sykes, Victoria James, Hedda Lettuce, Michael Musto, and more.
In 2014, an urgent care clinic was opened in Cherry Grove as part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. All of the funding for the clinic was raised by locals and has been the primary health responder in the area ever since. Tragedy struck the Grove in March of 2015 when a huge fire completely destroyed the Grove hotel as well as surrounding buildings. Firefighters from Fire Island and the south shore of Long Island all responded and were able to mitigate the damages at the cost of three injured firefighters. Ultimately, the Grove was saved by the efforts of the fire companies and remains an incredibly popular location for members of the LGBT community.
The primary outdoor attraction of Cherry Grove is the beach. The beach is clothing optional and is frequently inhabited with nude visitors sunbathing. The eastern dunes have even been nicknamed the "Meat Rack" by the locals.
The Grove contains a handful of restaurants ranging from pizza to fine-dining. Additionally, there are several entertainment venues that feature plays, art shows, parties, etc. There are currently 4 bars operational in the Grove as of the late 2000's. The most famous event in Cherry Grove, however, takes place on the 4th of July weekend. It is a tradition dating back to the 70's, where drag queens from both Cherry Grove and the Pines gather at the well-known Ice Palace bar to commemorate the original "Invasion of the Pines" in 1976.
Transportation to Cherry Grove is rather limited and is only accessible via ferry or private water taxi. The most common method for reaching the Grove is by taking the Sayville Ferry. You can also park at the Robert Moses State Park after reaching the Fire Island Lighthouse and take a water taxi to the Grove.
The Cherry Grove Fire Department is an all-volunteer organization and is the primary emergency responder in the Grove. Because there are no roads in Cherry Grove, the department has set up several "pull stations" which are essentially unique hose houses that contain vital firefighting equipment. In the event of an emergency, you should call 911 or pull the lever at the nearest street corner to alert nearby department members.
Perkinson’s Hotel may be long gone, but in present day the Belvedere is one of the most distinctive looking buildings on Fire Island. Today Cherry Grove thrives as with a bustling downtown full of amenities, including several restaurants, clubs, bars, and boutiques as an eclectic mix of some 300 charming beach cottages connected by winding narrow boardwalk paths. There’s always something to do at Cherry Grove! Ferry service is out of Sayville, NY. A seasonal marina is also available for boaters. Please visit www.cherrygrove.com for more information.