Ocean Beach
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  • AJ
    New York City, New York8 contributions
    Ocean Beach - fun little town
    Ocean Beach is a nice little spot. While not a large community, it has a nice beach and is a great getaway for over the Summer. During the day it tends to be family-friendly as I saw a lot of kids, then it transitions to more of a nightlife spot. There are some nice places to dine and drink or get ice cream. The houses and architecture too in general look good. You can rent bikes here as well. You'll want to try and go on a weekend when the weather is nice because if it rains, there are fewer options for activities. It's kind of pricey overall, but way more affordable than the Hamptons. The ferries run to a certain time, till like 11p/12a but not 24/7. I managed to get a late ferry here somehow, while not sure even where I was walking.
    Written August 17, 2021
  • Lolly’s Look
    New York City, New York12,815 contributions
    Fire Island
    Ocean Beach Fire Island is a short trip from the mainland but feels like a world away. The beach is vacation quality. The town has shops, bars, and restaurants that will keep you busy.
    Written June 30, 2020
  • David L
    Wilmington, Delaware841 contributions
    Not Worth It
    First of all, get to the ferry early. Ocean Beach on Fire Island is only accessible by ferry. It costs adults about $20 for round trip fare. And then there's parking. The lot by the ferry was full (so I don't know how much it costs). My buddy both had to drop off our families in front of the station and then park several blocks away. When we got to the first lot, we noticed as we were paying the meter that the maximum time was 4 hours. Later, we found out that one side of the same parking lot allows a max of 12 hours and the other side only allows for 4; for the same fee! Anyway, we ran back and just barely made the ferry in the nick of time. When we got to the island, we had to walk about 15 minutes to get to the beach. It's nice that there are no cars so our kids can run around safely. The beach is renowned for being restrictive. No drinks except water in a clear bottle, no food, no balls or frisbees, etc. While I appreciate the effort to create a clean beach, I don't feel like their effort makes for a significantly better beach experience. And of course, I saw the occasional beach goer sneaking a bite of forbidden drink. The walk back to the shops and restaurants was 15 minutes of backtracking and the food was expensive. Factor in NY sales tax, tip, and a Fire Island luxury tax, and you'll be wishing you stayed on a mainland beach. So we did it. If we had a bucket list, this item is checked off; but I don't think we'll be heading back anytime soon.
    Traveled with family
    Written August 14, 2018
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Raveena R
2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
I had a really bad experience at the Ocean Beach Terminal. All the staff there were very rude and racist. They made me feel like I’m a criminal. They are also very dishonest .... they tried to rob me of my money. I told them to check their system to see my payments and they failed to do so. After resolving the issue, I sat with my family waiting for the next ferry and the manager came up threatening me!! Very terrible!!! I would not recommend to anyone.
Written July 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Italycalling
Yoho National Park, Canada21 contributions
Jun 2017 • Couples
We were a couple from California visiting Long Island. We decided to take a day trip to Fire Island. We caught the ferry from Bay Shore to Ocean Beach. That was a great experience, a half hour of a most pleasant boat ride. Then it was a very short walk across the island to Ocean beach. It is the cleanest beach you will find anywhere. There are rules for no food or drink, no dogs, no music. The result is a beach experience that is just incredible. The beach is pristine. We went on a Monday at the end of June. There were quite a few people on the beach, but it is so long, that everyone was quite spread out. To get to the beach there are many wooden stair access points with walkways over the sand dunes. The beach is lined with houses mostly one or two stories. It must be awesome to rent a house at the beach.
There are some beautiful black cockle shells on the beach. I'm a reluctant to mention the black cockle shells. I have traveled to many beaches round the world. I have never seen black cockles shells.
Ocean Beach is definitely worth a visit if you want to see how local New Yorkers enjoy the beach.
Written June 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kooikermom
Mission Viejo, CA1,290 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
The Fire Island Ferry gets you over to Ocean Beach from Bay Shore easily and fairly quickly - ~30 mins. They have signs at the Bay Shore terminal saying absolutely NO bicycles will be transported via the passenger ferry, and that's important since bikes are a major transportation means. Your alternative is to take your bike across via the Water Taxi (about $150/group of 6) or send your "cargo" via the freight boat around 10 AM. And although they say you may only take limited luggage onto the passenger ferry and will be charged at least $5/bag, when we rolled in from JFK about 9 PM, we only had to pay for ourselves even though we two each had a suitcase, a carry-on and a personal bag. If we'd have tried to do that on Sunday afternoon at 5 PM going back to Bay Shore, we might have been denied - the ferry was PACKED! Be sure to check with the ferry people.
The absence of real roads at Ocean Beach was an oddity for us, cement walkways about a single car lane wide being the sole pathways that enable residents and renters to reach the homes and then on to the ocean side beach. These same limited routes also serve as access routes for service vehicles.
The beach, a loooooooong, decently wide stretch of sand, is a great place to play by the sea. The waves on 3 occasions were too hard for small ones to negotiate, and adults needed to respect their power too.
The shops that line the north side of the Ocean Beach village area offer a nice variety of souvenirs and even some essentials. Prices for essentials may simply shock you, t-shirts and such not as bad. Food at restaurants is pricey as are the drinks.
Travel to different stops along the island is possible using the Water Taxi for which we paid $14/adult, $13/senior and $7/child to get out to Sailors' Haven and the Sunken Forest...and then again as much to get back to Ocean Beach.
Bikes are a convenient local means of quicker travel and carts are key to getting "stuff" and small ones to and from the beach. NO food or non-water drinks are allowed on the beach, and police occasionally patrol on wkends to enforce this restriction. Even with the high number of lively, partying folk that descend on the area on the wkends, the enforcement has succeeded in keeping the area very litter free. Despite the revelry that goes on at the bars over near the ferry terminal, it's quiet only a few blocks south. All in all, everyone was friendly to and respectful of those around them. And it appeared that with carts and bicycles left everywhere, theft is a rare thing. It's also a very kid friendly and safe environment.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karen10019
New York City, New York54 contributions
Aug 2015 • Couples
GETTING THERE
One can use the LIRR 'DEALS & GETWAYS' package to secure travel tickets and get a genuinely good deal.

Buy tickets from LIRR

Get on the train from your station

Transfer where they tell you to transfer and get on the older double decker trains. I always prefer the upper deck for the view

Pay attention and get out at your station and look for a MAXI TAXI. There won't be any signs, just ask and look around the station.

Be nice to the driver and he / she will take your taxi tickets before you get on the bus / maxi taxi

The driver will drop you off at a parking lot. Go inside the station, it is a boat dock. Look for your gate which is labeled by 'town'. Either wait for your boat OR double check that it is your boat before you step onto it.

PUT YOUR SUNSCREEN ON BEFORE YOU GET ON THE BOAT (you will bake and burn), there is not much room on the boat to rub and spray. Everyone is seated like sardines.
Once the boat takes off (~ 1/2 hour trip) it will land in your town. (If you got on the correct boat)

Walk around main street, give yourself about an hour. Afterwards, walk to the beach.

CHANGE / SHOWER - If you don't have a hotel for the day, I recommend going down Cottage Street. At the beach there is a bathroom to change in (not the cleanest) and one shower to rinse oneself on the beach.

PEOPLE- Smile at people, say hello to your neighbors on the beach and be polite as it is a narrow beach area. Everyone is close to each other. YES…It is a narrow beach, a bit crowded but people are very nice overall... except the over-burdened, status-conscious, under-sexed mothers of the children. Keep away from them, no matter how rude they are, just step aside and let them live in their own craziness. EVERYBODY else is very nice.
Manners - Be polite, be nice, and keep the family fight to yourself.

RULES OF THE BEACH

NO FOOD - WHY? Because the tick infested deer have NO problem walking over to your blanket and nipping you to get your food. ALSO... on less crowed beaches... there are seals. Same thing.... they will come for your food. SECOND... it just keeps the beach clean.
You MAY bring clear bottled water. Nothing sugary. It attracts animal life.

FINES – It was noted that hefty fines of $75 + are enforced if food or beverages other than water are on the beach.

STORAGE - I could not locate lockers or areas to secure items; however, it may exist. I suggest walking around town and asking local people.

IF you cannot find a locker, I would not worry too much. It is a trustworthy group at Ocean Beach: Locals, families and professional people. It was a bit 'older' (30’s and older).

WHERE TO SWIM - Swim between the green flags, listen to the life guard, if you bring a boogie board, keep away from the jetty,

MUSIC- I did not see anyone playing a radio out loud.... again, I think the space is a bit close.

OCEAN - This is ocean. It is wilderness. Be prepared for seaweed, wildlife and cooler water. BUT overall a clean beach.

BUY YOUR SUNDRIES BEFORE you walk to the beach. Main Street is two LONG blocks away. The rest of the walk way is homes and cottages. NOTHING to buy once at the beach.

Have Fun!
Written September 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wanderjahr
Houston, TX38 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
When you aren't even allowed to eat a sandwich on the beach (seriously, there is a "no food on the beach"), and are only allowed to drink water from a clear bottle, there is something seriously wrong with a beach and the petty little tyrants at city hall who control it.
Written January 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tiff5LI
Lake Grove, NY511 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
No eating on the beach. No drinking on the beach (beside water). No playing ball on the beach. No music. No bikes on the weekend. No dogs. NO FUN!!!!!!!! Must be fully dressed while walking in the beach town. Everything is ridiculously overpriced. I will be going to another fire island beach next summer.
Written July 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elsa C. L.
New York City, NY2,211 contributions
Jun 2019 • Friends
Lovely scenery while walking either on the paths, the board walks to the beach, along the dock, on its dry fine sand or courser wet sand nearer the waves with pinkish to mauve sand mixed with the gray or two-tone contrasting natural gray colors. It was really nice to walk on the beach bare foot!

We had haze then the fog rolled in and eventually clear visibility.

Fire Island is neat, interesting, different, has nice restaurants, clean public restrooms with paper seats at the Ocean Beach dock.

Park in Bayshore for $17 from F to S and $10 from M to Th, take the ferry to Ocean Beach for $22 round trip and explore. Houses in each community tend to differ and there are many interesting facades and front yards.
Written June 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TommyBoy94
Philadelphia, PA742 contributions
Aug 2018 • Solo
Of the great beach towns that comprise Fire Island, this fun place is most typical in that it has many shops, bars and restaurants and, of course, that Beach life. Even sports a hotel or two.and many fine, expensive Ocean view properties. Like all of Fire Island, it is laid back, attitudinally wide open and hugely tolerant. It is a party town for a crowd that is mostly 20 something through 40 something, but it has that College semester-break vibe as found in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere.Late nights can get pretty wild in town, so say the friendly local gendarmes. But it's not just for the College crowd. Kids and older folks are most welcome.

It is the kind of town that Ocean Liner passengers would disembark at and spend an hour or two tooling around, longer if you'd like to stop for food and drinks...that is, if the harbor were large enough for Ocean Liners, which it is not.

But remember, as my son-in-law Tommy V. pointed out, be prepared to shell out plenty of dough as you contemplate the sea shells, as Fire Island is a locale where you surely "hemorrhage" money. This is because, as in other Islands, everything must be shipped there from off-Island in small bundles. Costs plenty to do that. For example, a small bottle of water cost me $2.77 and yes, I counted every penny, though this did not prevent me from hydrating.

Spatially, many of the homes have a wide-open feeling unlike the bamboo-walled seclusion and privacy offered at the town of Fair Harbor, which is where we stayed, More about Fair Harbor later, but the privacy vs spatially open vibe can be a matter of debate, Personally, I'm an open view kind of guy and this even relates to fences and walls back in my neighborhood in Ardmore, PA,, but others see it differently.

I did say that all are welcome, but two caveats: If you are an angry homophobe or your religious beliefs make you very unhappy or distressed or hostile around gay people, you might want to cancel that ticket to Fire Island because you will find yourself uncomfortable anywhere on the Island. And while Ocean Beach is possibly the "straightest" of the towns, why confine yourself to only one town, while the pleasures of the whole Island call to you?
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lynne S
Babylon, NY231 contributions
Jun 2018 • Friends
If you don't rent a house here, it's fun to do a day trip to enjoy the sun and sand. But it's expensive and not something most of us would do too often. Cash only for parking and the ferry. Nice restaurants for drinking and casual dining. No eating or drinking on the beach. I saw one bathroom. But I waited for 20 minutes and finally left. Only 2 stalls occupied by some rude mothers changing their kids, talking and laughing while the line got longer and longer. Now you know, plan accordingly.
Written June 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

isabellaallen96
Bayville, NY2 contributions
May 2016 • Family
Beautiful beaches but can't do anything on the beach. NO drinks besides water in a clear plastic water bottle, no food, no ball catches, and the police are walking the beach to enforce it giving out lots of expensive tickets.
Written May 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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