Fire Island is in the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 miles east of New York City. It’s mostly a beach destination and is pleasingly rustic, with a down to earth and relaxed vibe. Cars are banned on the island (apart from emergency services vehicles), and it’s is made up of 17 communities. Basically, this is the ideal destination for a quick trip away from fast-paced New York.
Fire Island has plenty of things to do for families and solo travelers, and is a particularly popular destination among the gay community.
It’s fairly small, and accommodation fills up fast in peak season. That’s why we’ve created this Fire Island accommodation guide, so you can work out where to stay and get in early!
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Fire Island.
Best Airbnb in Fire Island: Cozy Fire Island Studio
This studio apartment has everything you could want for a comfortable stay on Fire Island. It’s close to everything, reasonably priced, and surrounded by shops and restaurants. The apartment has a deck and enough space for up to two guests, so it’s perfect for couples on a relaxing getaway.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Fire Island: 2 Bedroom Oceanview Hideaway
Fire Island is a great place for a luxurious holiday, and this two-bedroom apartment is a stunning option for accommodation. It’s steps from the beach, and offers peace and quiet in an amazingly relaxing atmosphere.
Best Hotel in Fire Island: Clegg’s Hotel
This hotel in Fire Island is perfectly positioned to allow you easy access to the beach. It has a snack bar where you can grab a quick bite, and a terrace where you can enjoy the views. The rooms come in a range of sizes to suit every travel group, and are spacious and comfortably furnished.
Ocean Beach is one of the best places in Fire Island to stay for almost any type of traveler. It’s known as the ‘straight’ part of the island and has plenty of hotels and places to choose from.
Bay Shore is what it sounds like: it’s a bay on the mainland around 30 minutes on the ferry from Fire Island. It’s a great choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Fire Island on a budget.
Ocean Bay Park
Ocean Bay Park is very close to Ocean Beach and is mostly a local area, with lots of family homes. This creates a relaxing, kid-friendly atmosphere that makes it one of the best places in Fire Island to stay for families.
Fire Island may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you’re looking for places to visit in New York. It’s tiny, a narrow strip along the coast, so there aren’t many choices when it comes to neighborhoods. In fact, there are only three main areas offering accommodation on Fire Island, and they’re all fairly close together.
The first area is Ocean Beach, and is the best option for travelers visiting the island for the first time. It’s a family-orientated neighborhood with lots of restaurants, hotels and great beach access.
Bay Shore is another area worth considering. This area is actually on the mainland, just a 30-minute ferry-ride away from Fire Island, and is a great option for those traveling on a budget. It’s in a less-touristy area, offering cheaper local prices and accommodation options as a result.
If you’re looking for where where to stay in Fire Island with kids, the Ocean Bay Park area is a good option. This hamlet close to Ocean Beach is known for its relaxing and friendly atmosphere, and has a number of restaurants on offer.
Top 3 Neighborhoood to Stay in Fire Island
If you’re looking for a hotel, apartment, or hostel in Fire Island, here’s where you should be starting your search.
1. Ocean Beach – Where to Stay in Fire Island for your First Visit
- COOLEST thing to do in Ocean Beach – Have a meal at CJ’s for tasty food in a great beach location.
- BEST place to visit in Ocean Beach – Robert Moses State Park, for miles of beautiful beaches and coastline.
Ocean Beach is one of the best places in Fire Island to stay for almost any type of traveler. This part of the island and has plenty of hotels and AirBnBs to choose from, as well as numerous restaurants. Enjoy a day at the beach, cycle across the island, and visit small shops in the area.
Ocean Beach is also a good choice if you’re after some nightlife, as this is where you’ll find the island’s best bars and clubs.
Best Airbnb in Ocean Beach: Cali House in Ocean Beach
With five bedrooms and two bathrooms, this cozy house is roomy enough for up to 14 guests. It’s also located in the best neighborhood in Fire Island to stay in if you want to be close to the beach and local shops. It has a full kitchen, large wrap-around deck, and a BBQ area for grilling on summer evenings.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Ocean Beach: Brand New Luxury Home
Contemporary and spacious, this luxury home has four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and sleeps up to nine guests. It has a private rear yard and a hot tub where you can relax with a drink in hand and complete privacy.
Best Hotel in Ocean Beach: A Place in the Sun
Bright and beach-y, this accommodation has five bedrooms and a garden. It also has its own children’s playground and is close to the beach, local shops, and restaurants. If you’re traveling with a big group of friends or family, this is hands down one of the coolest places to stay in Fire Island.
Things to See and Do in Ocean Beach
- Check out the Fire Island Lighthouse on the Fire Island National Seashore.
- Enjoy a meal at local spots like Maguire’s Beachfront Restaurant or Matthew’s Seafood House.
- Take your friends for a drink at local watering holes like Houser’s Bar or the Sandbar Fire Island.
- Grab your beach bag and spend the day swimming, surfing, or boating.
- Take a boat ride to check out the island from another angle.
- Take a trip to Sailor’s Haven for the most beautiful bay on the island.
2. Bay Shore – Where to Stay in Fire Island on a Budget
- COOLEST thing to do in Bay Shore – Explore the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge
- BEST place to visit in Bay Shore – Benjamin’s Memorial Beach, for swimming and relaxing.
Bay Shore is a bay on the mainland, around 30 minutes on the ferry from Fire Island. It’s away from any tourist-traps, making it a great choice for those traveling to Fire Island on a budget. Bay Shore is also right on the beach, so you won’t miss out on that amazing, relaxed ocean atmosphere.
Best Airbnb in Bay Shore: Cottage on the Bay
This cottage offers all the comforts of home in a great location. Suitable for two guests, this one-bedroom apartment sits dockside, so’ll be right on the water. It’s also within walking distance of the main street shops, and the ferry terminal, which is pretty convenient.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Bay Shore: Yacht
Why stay on the shore when you can stay on a boat? This accommodation option is truly unique. It’s a beautiful motor yacht, with two double bedrooms and all the comforts of home. It’s an excellent option for anyone who loves adventure, and wants to experience a different way to travel!
Best Hotel in Bay Shore: Travelodge by Windham Bay
This hotel is located in one of Fire Island’s best neighborhoods to stay in if you’re sticking to a budget. The rooms have coffee and tea making facilities as well as a microwave, and there’s also a gym onsite. It’s close to the ocean and local parks, so you can enjoy a retreat into nature.
Things to See and Do in Bay Shore
- Play a round of golf in beautiful surroundings at the Southward Ho Country Club.
- Pick up some bargains at the Westfield South Shore.
- Indulge in local food in spots such as Maxwell’s, Bayside Clam and Grill Bar, or Captain Bill’s Restaurant.
- Enjoy the ferry-ride across to Fire Island.
- Explore the sports fields and multi-use trails at the beautiful Heckscher State Park.
- Explore some of the local villages along the shore like Babylon or West Islip for a real small-town feel.
3. Ocean Bay Park – Where to Stay in Fire Island for Families
- COOLEST thing to do in Ocean Bay Park – Go parasailing and see the ocean from a whole new perspective!
- BEST place to visit in Ocean Bay Park – Take a tour through the beaches, dunes, and holly of the Sunken Forest.
Ocean Bay Park is very close to Ocean Beach and has a relaxing, kid-friendly atmosphere. This makes it one of the best places in Fire Island to stay for families. It’s also close to the beach, and a number of bars, restaurants, and pizza shops.
Best Airbnb in Ocean Bay Park: Villa Etoile
Suitable for six guests, this cute house has three bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, and is set in a quiet local neighborhood close to the beach. There are two large deck areas where you can eat your meals outside, and enough space for you to stretch out and enjoy your holiday in peace and quiet.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Ocean Bay Park: Beach Cottage with Hot Tub
Located close to the beach and in one of the best areas to stay in Fire Island, this small cottage has a lot to offer. It has 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths, with enough space for up to 12 guests. There’s a deck, BBQ and full kitchen, as well as a pool and hot-tub for you to enjoy.
Best Hotel in Ocean Bay Park: Huron Hideaway
Located in one of Fire Island’s best neighborhoods, this accommodation is cozy, comfortable, and welcoming. It has three bedrooms and air conditioning for those hot days, and is only a few hundred meters from the beach. It also offers laundry facilities and two bathrooms, as well as complete privacy.
Things to See and Do in Ocean Bay Park
- Head up to Smith Point County Park for swimming, fishing, surfing, and beautiful beaches.
- Have a meal at Flynn’s Fire Island or Dino’s on the Bay.
- Head out on the town for drinks at Schooner Inn.
- Put on your hiking boots and head to Watch Hill to enjoy some stunning trails.
- When you’re there, check out the Tiki Bar and restaurant.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Fire Island
If you’re looking for a beach vacation from New York City, look no further than Fire Island. This lively area has everything from amazing beaches to a relaxing atmosphere, giving you the freedom to truly enjoy your vacation. And with our Fire Island neighborhood guide, you’ll easily be able to find the best accommodation options no matter what your travel style or budget!
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
Find out how YOU can support the site.
We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂
For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!