Heading to Ocean Beach Fire Island this summer and looking for the best things to do in this Long Island community? From shoreline, to shopping, dining to Rocket Fuels, discover the best local recommendations!
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First things first did you know that off the coast of New York’s Long Island is Fire Island? Yep, an island just off of an island.
Home to National Shoreline, bare feet, and Rocket Fuels (we’ll get there!) is the small, no cars allowed beach community of Ocean Beach. This popular destination on Fire Island, accessible only by ferry or water taxi, is truly a Long Island haven, especially in summer.
My husband grew up spending his summers in Ocean Beach. His family rented – and eventually owned – a beach house just blocks from the shore.
As a Long Islander myself, I took yearly day trips. Only when we started dating did I truly start falling in love with Fire Island, learning all the ins and outs.
Notorious among party goers, but also perfect for families, Ocean Beach Fire Island is a must for Long Island locals and visitors alike. Whether day-tripping or spending the week, you’ll love our favorite local recommendations!
Where To Stay On Ocean Beach Fire Island
There’s no better way to experience Ocean Beach than renting a Fire Island beach house. Hands down, Long Island locals will always recommend renting a house through AirBNB or other rental platforms. (If you’re new to AirBNB sign up here).
You can get $40 off your first AirBNB Stay Here
Plus, it’s great to have a place to unload the stuff and freshen up from the beach. Most beach homes have glorious outdoor showers!
Just a short walk from the shoreline, you can enjoy the sunrise over the waves, as well.
Getting to Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach Fire Island is accessible only by ferry or water taxi.
From Long Island, head to the Bay Shore Ferry Terminal and take the thirty minute Ocean Beach Ferry across the Great South Bay. Ferry terminal parking lots fill up quickly, especially during summer weekends!
- The Bay Shore Ferry Terminal is located at 99 Maple Ave, Bay Shore, NY 11706
- You can find the ferry schedule here
From Manhattan, take the Long Island Railroad Bay Shore Line to the Bay Shore Train Station. The train station is just under a mile’s walk to the ferry terminal
From other Fire Island communities, take a water taxi or walk.
9 Things To Add To Your Ocean Beach Fire Island Bucket List
Sun and Sand on Ocean Beach
Aptly named after the community, Ocean Beach represents Long Island’s quintessential beaches. Picture docks, dunes, the boardwalk, and epic views of The Great South Bay.
You simply don’t visit a beach community to skip the beach…
Many Long Islanders love to call Ocean Beach the “land of no” for the extra beach rules in place.
- eat or drink anything besides water
- bring a pet
- swim without a lifeguard
- fly a kite or play ball
- play music
If you’ve ever seen Jones Beach on a summer weekend, though, you might appreciate this. I personally think these additional rules preserve the relaxing essence of a beach and make it more family friendly, too.
Shop Bay View Walk and Beyond
Ocean Beach boasts quite a few adorable and quirky seaside shacks for shopping and browsing. Find everything you need for the beach, Long Island souvenirs, and original handmade goods.
You’ll even find kids selling jewelry and art from their beach wagons.
Explore Ocean Beach by Bike
Since Ocean Beach is a no cars allowed community, what better way to see it than by bike? Of course in the “land of no,” renting is restricted to weekdays.
Shop or restaurant hop via bike or head out on one of Fire Island’s trails. Ride to the Fire Island Lighthouse or to neighboring communities.
If you’re renting a bike, why not take a quick trip to Sunken Forest, a maritime forest tucked behind barrier sand dunes. Learn more about Sunken Forest here.
Sip a Rocket Fuel
Created right in Ocean Beach, the Rocket Fuel has become a staple of Fire Island.
The 151 infused piña colada was founded at CJs in 1970s and is still served today. CJs, now run by The Palm Hotel, continues to keep drinks flowing, music, playing, and customers laughing. Be careful, Rocket Fuels go down easy, but they pack a punch.
Grab Seafood at Maguire’s
Maguire’s Bayfront Restaurant is known for serving up the finest seafood and sunsets on Fire Island. Literally sitting right on the water, it doesn’t get better than Maguire’s.
In true farm to table fashion, Maguire’s grows much of their own product. The garden is visible from the back restaurant booths.
Have a Scoop (or two) at Scoops
Don’t overlook this small ice cream shack. Locally famous, Scoops continues to dish the best ice cream in Ocean Beach.
Bite into a Crumb Cake from Rachel’s Bakery
Around since 1975, Rachel’s Bakery began as a small bakery selling just a few classic sweets. Still in the family, Rachel’s has since expanded to serve a full dining menu, alongside the bakery items.
The restaurant is relaxed and beach-y, but what you really can’t skip is the crumb cake!
Walk The Ocean Beach Fire Island Docks
Stroll away from the beach and the crowds and meander down the docks. Take in the views of The Great South Bay, catch a sunset, or chat with locals.
Walking the docks after dinner at Maguire’s, as the sun sets, is my favorite part about visiting Ocean Beach.
Let Your Kids Get Some Energy Out at the Playground
Along the docks is an adorable children’s playground. Completely set in sand and sitting, fenced, along the water, it’s a treat for children and parents alike.
Have you been to Ocean Beach or visited any other parts of Fire Island? Is Long Island on your bucket-list? What would you do from this list? What would you add?
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