A narrow island off the south coast of Long Island, Fire Island, New York, is an appealing strip of grassy dune and sandy beach. It's punctuated by a number of small resort communities, including Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines, that have long been popular with gay vacationers. Activities include great surfing, fishing and boating.
The best way to see the island is to take one of the ferries that run from the Long Island towns of Bay Shore (http://www.fireislandferries.com), Sayville (http://www.sayvilleferry.com) and Patchogue (http://www.davisparkferry.com), each serving different parts of Fire Island. (If you're taking the Long Island Railroad out from New York City, you can walk to the ferry dock from the Sayville train station, but you'll need to take a taxi to the stations at Bay Shore and Patchogue.) Ferry schedules vary seasonally and are always weather permitting. Ferry company websites are the best source of current schedule information.
If you have a car, you can reach the island's west end via the Robert Moses Parkway, which runs from the mainland to Robert Moses State Park, where you can park. The walk from Robert Moses to Kismet is 1.8 mi/2.9 km and passes through "clothing optional" beach areas. You can also reach Smith Point County Park at the east end of Fire Island by road. Visitors are not permitted to drive beyond these two parks, however, and the parking areas are designed for day use only. Fire Island is a great weekend getaway.
For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.fireisland.com.
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