Fire Island Communities
The narrowest part of Fire Island, Atlantique is centered around sand dune guided walkways. Consisting of only about 50 homes, Atlantique is a close-knit community devoted to boating. The entire town gathers at the 150-slip marina and corresponding snack shack, the heart of the community.
Considered to be the foremost gay friendly summer retreat in the United States, Cherry Grove is home to most of Manhattan’s Chelsea community. Often compared to Cape Cod’s Provincetown, Cherry Grove is traditionally LGBT enclave. Downtown features a range of amenities, including several restaurants, clubs, bars, and boutiques. Cherry Grove is known for its artistic expression, most evident in creative landscaping, murals, mosaics, and paintings produced by locals. There are around 300 houses in Cherry Grove known for their meticulous sense of design.
Located just to the west of Ocean Beach, Corneille Estates is most popular among single young professionals. The compact community is accessible by winding boardwalks and defined by lush wooded areas that provide shade from the summer sun. Corneille Estates residents have easy access to the downtown Ocean Beach scene, as well as, the Fire Island School’s baseball field and basketball courts.
A relatively new Fire Island community, Davis Park is located at the far eastern end of the island. Davis Park encompasses three areas: Leja Beach, Ocean Ridge, and Davis Park. It is a true boaters’ community with huge 250-boat marina. The Park maintains an even balance between a young single share house crowd and family-oriented homeowners. The Casino is an important Davis Park hub; a combination restaurant and bar is where the entire town comes together.
Dunewood is a small, family-oriented community made up of about 100 homes with a “no shares allowed” policy. This sleepy beach town is preserved by its lack of restaurants, bars, and stores. The Dunewood Yacht Club offers sailing lessons and sponsors a well-known sailing regatta. With a strong homeowners association, Dunewood has bloomed into a beautifully maintained retreat for Fire Island visitors who prefer privacy to parties.
Known as a refuge from the urban grind, Fair Harbor is a sanctuary for New York City inhabitants who find solace in its unbuttoned atmosphere. Fair Harbor features a well-stocked downtown district made up of an upscale food market, post office, and most importantly, Le Dock (the acclaimed restaurant with spectacular bay views). Fair Harbor is famous for its annual Arts and Crafts Fair, a Fire Island favorite, which adds to this community’s bohemian beach vibe.
The Fire Island Lighthouse is Fire Island’s most historically significant landmark. Originally built in 1857, the lighthouse has been restored by the Fire Island Preservation Society and open to the public as a museum and observatory.
The Pines features zigzag boardwalks that lead to the island’s most ritzy real estate. The Pines turnout is known to be a bit more subdued than its neighboring Cherry Grove. Charitable fundraisers and cocktail parties fill the Fire Island Pines’ social calendar, with the annual “Invasion of the Pines” event being perhaps the most notable. The Pines caters to its Manhattan weekenders and features delightful markets, boutiques and restaurants.
One of Fire Island’s most prestigious communities, the Fire Island Summer Club is privately owned. Similar to its western equivalent Point O’ Woods, the Summer Club yacht club, tennis court, beach and bay area are only accessible to homeowners. Residents of this family oriented summer sanctuary only have a ten-minute walk to the excitement of Ocean Beach. The Summer Club offers a few rental opportunities each summer season.
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.
One of the first communities to be established on Fire Island, Lonelyville is true to its namesake. The secluded scene attracts those who wish to get away from it all. Lonelyville’s real estate includes a mix of modest beach cottages, largely concentrated at the east end;and more modern homes that were built on the west end. Lonelyville’s inhabitants enjoy the best of both worlds; choosing between the quietude of their own community or the amenities offered by neighboring communities a short beach walk away.
Ocean Bay Park is a small town with big personality. Largely populated by share houses, OBP knows how to throw a beach barbeque blowout. The riotous weekend warrior reputation is reinforced by the serious drinking and all night dancing at Flynn’s, Schooners, and The Inn Between. This town’s laid-back, non-restrictive lifestyle is especially appreciated by the waves of young renters seeking a beach party environment.
The unofficial capital of Fire Island, Ocean Beach is a 600-home community with the greatest concentration of bars, restaurants and stores on the entire island. Overflowing with small-town charm reminiscent of a simpler time, main street walks are lined with mom and pop markets and boutiques. Local children sell painted shell souvenirs out of red radio-flyer wagons. Just outside of town, Ocean Beach walkways are lined with traditional summer cottages that are both home to longtime Fire Island families and home away from home for many share-house transients.
As Fire Island’s oldest community, Point O’ Woods is self-contained and offers a clubhouse, tennis courts, park, and market to homeowners. Point O’ Woods insular nature is exemplified by its massive fence that encloses the community. POW residents are preppies that treasure their private community, and do their best to discourage visitors from passing through. This rustic neighborhood has a strong emphasis on family living and the look and feel of a bygone era, burrowed in wooded terrain sits a collection of old houses and ancient bicycles.
Nestled in the midst of Federal Seashore wilderness, Robbins Rest is a quiet, low-key beach break with approximately 40 residential houses. The sand dune walkways make Robbins Rest a true barefoot society. RR residents treasure their privacy, but frequent Ocean Beach for all its amenities.
Maintained by the National Seashore, Sailors Haven is a Fire Island day-tripper destination with no residential living. With access to Sunken Forest, this boaters’ sanctuary is well equipped with a public beach, picnic area and snack bar.
Saltaire is an ideal Fire Island community for families seeking a little R&R. The well-maintained, manicured village is full of recreation, with acclaimed youth programs, sports fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a Yacht Club. Complimenting the family-oriented atmosphere, the boardwalk promenade of town features a library, post office, food market and town hall.
This scenic area boasts what is perhaps the most convenient location on the Fire Island map, snugly wedged between Ocean Bay Park and Ocean Beach. With a strong emphasis on residential living, Seaview maintains a kid friendly feel with the community playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, ball field, and lifeguard surveyed beach. Seaview is home to Fire Island’s only Synagogue, which also runs a youth program and community activities.
A natural wonder and beautiful canopy of tangled flora, Fire Island’s Sunken Forest is completely unique. This below sea level hideaway is protected by the National Seashore. A leisurely stroll through Sunken Forest is a fantastic way to spend the day out of the sun, and features some of Fire Island’s best bird watching and wildlife.
Part of the Fire Island National Seashore this beautiful segment of the island offers a campground, backcountry trails, nature tours, one restaurant, and a large public boat marina for the more rugged retreat.
Water Island is a small, extremely private Fire Island beach community comprised of about 50 houses on modest plots of Fire Island real estate. With Davis Park to the East and Barrett Beach to the west, Water Island is far from the Fire Island beach civilization, creating a sense of privacy that is well-appreciated by its residents.