Since 1946, the Clegg family has run Clegg’s Hotel, located just one block away from the sandy shores of Great South Bay, which separates Fire Island from Long Island. If you arrive by ferry at the Ocean Beach terminal, Clegg’s Hotel is conveniently located only a few steps away. Thanks to its centralized location, the hotel is an ideal base for exploring the barrier island’s walkways, beaches, and shops.
There are no cars on Fire Island, so the preferred modes of transportation are walking and bicycling. Clegg’s Hotel offers free bike rentals to its guests, so you can bike down to the Fire Island Lighthouse and back. The hotel also provides free beach chairs that you can carry to the beach, located just a five-minute walk away. Guest rooms are simple but comfortable, and the entire hotel is designed to resemble a sailor’s boarding house. Come morning, enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast.
Fire Island, New York: Rustic Barrier Island with Laid-Back Beach Lifestyle
Fire Island is New York’s laid-back alternative to the Hamptons' ritzy glamour. The half-mile-wide island is car-free, so you’ll see locals pedaling everywhere. What it lacks in width, the island makes up for in length. Here, you’ll find 32 miles of uninterrupted beach, much of which is protected as Fire Island National Seashore. To truly appreciate Fire Island’s rural beauty, head to Watch Hill on the isle’s easterly end. From here, you can hike into the Fire Island High Dune Wilderness to see the barrier-island ecosystem and its deer, foxes, and variety of birds.
The hotel is located in the small town of Ocean Beach, Fire Island’s hub, where you’ll find hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Farther east, the LGBT-friendly communities of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines offer a trendier experience, with hip restaurants and entertainment venues.