Holiday long weekends are always so hard to travel, since flights are expensive and so is decent lodging. I try to compensate by going somewhere cool on non-holiday weekends and mostly staying put or doing day trips on holiday weekends! So, over Memorial Day weekend, two of my friends and I decided to do a day trip out to Fire Island. We took the LIRR from Penn Station bright and early, then paid for a bus from the LIRR station to the ferry (in hindsight, the bus was slower than the walkers because of traffic…). There are no bridges to Fire Island, so the only way on and off the island is the ferry- how quaint! This was probably the most expensive part of the trip, and also a bit of a hassle to get out there.
But once we were out there, the entire island was ours to explore! We walked in either direction to hit the beach, and glad we did as the weather was nicest in the morning. The water was still a bit cold in May, but we made do by laying out in the sun a bit before the strange mist rolled in. The beaches seemed pretty strict, with no food or drinks allowed.
After a leisurely lunch back in town by the water (food was pretty expensive, but what can you expect from a Hampton-esque town?), we decided to go ahead and rent bikes to explore the island.
We ran into some wild deer pretty early on, after struggling to find affordable bike rentals. HOWEVER, most of the island isn’t even accessible by bike anyway! We couldn’t bike to either the sunken forest or to the lighthouse; apparently you have to take a ferry to hop to other parts of the island. How sad. So we just did a small loop around the bikeable areas, through crowds of high school/college students partying it up on the street.
I will admit that the island does seem a world away from the hustle and bustle of NYC, even though it was only 1.5 hours away by public transport. When it’s not overrun by frat stars, the island would be a great place to return and soak in a quaint beach town environment.