Ferries from New York City and Long Island regularly cruise along Great South Bay toward Ocean Beach, New York, to drop off tourists at Fire Island. You can watch them come in right from The Palms Hotel Fire Island. Just pull up a deck chair along the hotel’s private beach, which overlooks the calm waters of the bay. The private bay beach is located right behind the property—feel free to rent a large sun umbrella from the hotel and sit in the shade, or kick back on one of many beach beds.
Each of The Palms’ king or full rooms has a cool-and-dreamy feel to it; there are gauzy curtains draping the windows and white duvets covering the pillow-top beds. A private bathroom is decked out in italian ceramic and luxurious L’Occitane bath products. After settling in, you can borrow one of the hotel’s hand wagons and walk from the hotel to one of the nearby groceries.
Ocean Beach, New York: Car-Free City with Clean Beaches and Wild Nightlife
Ocean Beach is situated right in the middle of Fire Island, a long, thin stretch of land off the southern shores of Long Island. Clean beaches and quaint, cottage-lined streets characterize Ocean Beach, which has been a popular East Coast vacation spot for nearly a century. Cars are banned all over Fire Island, lending an old-fashioned air to its villages. The island also has long been a haven for LGBTQ vacationers.
Fire Island Lighthouse is worth a visit for a great view and a nice history lesson. Climb the 192 winding steps up to the top to get a panoramic view of the island, and then head back down to check out the museum housed in the old keeper’s quarters.
When not lounging at the beach, many tourists make a daytrip to the whimsical Sunken Forest, a wooded environment nestled into a large sand dune; from the outside, it looks like a forest that sits below sea level.