Field Notes: Fire Island


If there's one thing I miss about living in New York, it's easy access to the coast. Colorado has a lot of things, but a large body of water is not one of them. And while the pros definitely outweigh the cons, a change of scenery is good for the soul. Add in lazy mornings, icy dips in the Atlantic, salty air, shoreside runs, and well, I was in my happy place to say the least.


Last week we visited my parents on Fire Island, a spit of land off the coast of Long Island, NY. Renting a house there has been a long-time bucket list item for them, so when they announced that this was the summer to make it happen, I was eager for a visit.

Our travel typically falls into one of two categories: it's either a 'doing things' vacation (the kind where we squeeze in as many sights and experiences as humanly possible) or a 'NOT doing things' vacation (the lazy sort where we're content to sit on the beach and read, day after day). This trip was most definitely the latter.


This sleepy little beach destination has had my heart since I was young, with a little bit of something for all ages. Our family used to pack up the boat and take it over to Fire Island for the weekend. And while we no longer have the boat, and we've all moved to our own respective places outside NY, I still have fond memories of sunset walks on the docks, melting ice cream sandwich in hand.


For those out-of-towners (like myself) getting there is no easy feat, but well worth the effort in my opinion. After flying into LaGuardia Airport, it's about an hour ride to the ferry (without traffic). From there, the ferry ride is about an additional a half-hour to Ocean Bay Park, where we were staying.

But once there, everything is super accessible. Longer than it is wide, you can walk from the bay side of the island to the ocean side within minutes. You're never far from the beach and bikes make the island even easier to get around.


I have few recommendations as it wasn't that sort of trip, but I will say that cash is key if you plan to visit any of the beachside bars or ice cream shops. If you're feeling adventurous, a trip to the Fire Island Light House (via water taxi) is in order. The view from the top of the tower is well worth the dizzying climb.

As for the rest, we enjoyed each other's company, the warm weather, and the waves crashing.