Ocean Beach, Fire Island
New York

The island is one of Long Island's south shore outer barrier islands, approx 31mi long and varying between 0.1mi to 0.25mi wide.  It is southeast of LI separated from the main land by the Great South Bay.

The Ferry Dock in Bayshore.

 We drove down to Bayshore to get the ferry.  As you can see here, different ferry's go to different parts of the island.

Kathy txting while I take pics   :)  She took 1/2day off from work to take me to Fire Island as I have never been there!  :o

We had to take the Explorer Ferry to Ocean Beach.  Essentially the island and its resort towns are accessible only by the numerous ferries.

Yvonne & Kathy on the ferry.

While still in port, you can see several other ferries also docked.

**Let me point out that it was the end of April when we were here and a lot of work and construction was going on in preparation for opening season plus a lot of places were still closed.  My pictures don't really do Ocean Beach justice and I hope to go back again another time in May or June  :)

Heading into Bayshore Sound - facing right into the sun!

Ocean Beach is the largest and most popular town on Fire Island. More houses, more shops, more restaurants, more real estate offices, more of everything including people make this town the “capital” of Fire Island. 

Ocean Beach is one of the most determinedly stable, family-oriented communities on Fire Island. The commercial district is extensive, but as one leaves the village there are small established homes, a few newer, bigger structures, and plenty of tall shade trees and greenery adding their own special grace and beauty.

So that's where the lifeboats are!

  Space is precious in Ocean Beach--though it bulks large in island life, in area it is only a medium-sized community--so the generous portions of open land, still visible in some other villages, are unknown here.

Some of the docking layouts are actually quite picturesque.

Ocean Beach was fortunate that the 1938 hurricane left it relatively unscathed. The result is apparent today in the very large number of houses dating back past that era; relatively few of the town's 600 homes have been built in the last 25 years, all of which lends the community a rather genteel ambiance.

Houser's Hotel
Located right on the water, it's also home to Houser's Bar and Grill,  a long time favorite among locals. Houser’s has a limited, but interesting menu for lunch and an early light dinner menu.  It also has charming, although rustic, outdoor seating in the back with a view of the bay.

 The Hideaway Restaurant - at Housers
Is on the street side of Housers.  This is a cut above the rest, featuring nouvelle cuisine with meals as good as any restaurant in Manhattan.
You can sit on the deck facing the bay or indoors, or on the front patio. Low-keyed bar at night where you can actually hear yourself talk!  Hotel upstairs.

There are docks all over the area.  It's a busy place in the summer.

Development of Ocean Beach began in 1908 nearly 40 years after Kismet, Water Island and Cherry Grove were established. Within a few years all available land had been sold and built upon. 

In 1921 a merger was effected with a tract of homes known as Beach Estates and Ocean Beach was formally incorporated as a village.  Along with Saltaire, which incorporated in 1917, they remain the only two self-governing villages on the island.

Bikes are the main mode of transportation, outside of walking, and can be rented.

O.B. is governed by a mayor and board of trustees elected for four year terms; and a village manager. This community has a large population and it attracts daytrippers from the mainland, as well as travelers from other parts of Fire Island.

The Castaway Bar & Grill was one of the few restaurants open and we had a delicious lunch there!

The main strip in the commercial district is practically a full time street festival. Shops, pubs and restaurants draw crowds in.  
You’ll see children on the sidewalk selling hand painted seashells and other homemade treasures that are hard to resist. The sidewalk medians are planted tall and wide with flowers.

The lights around the area are unique.  I like them.

Another view of The Castaway.  I didn't take pics inside for some reason!

All the restaurants have their menus posted outside so you can get a feel for the flavors and prices before you walk in.

Kathy didn't bring her camera so she's txting while I take pics...again

CJ's is the only bar and restaurant open all year. During the off  season, it is where the locals go to socialize, and in the summer, the crowd is a healthy mix of locals and weekend warriors.

Even the birds were setting up house for the season  ;)

Like many other communities O.B. maintains a volunteer fire department; theirs is the largest and best equipped on the island and provides protection to a number of neighboring towns.

They even have their own Post Office here.  Mail comes over by boat to a dock right behind the building.

If it’s nightlife you’re after Ocean Beach is the place. Everything is open late and the streets are just as lively at night as they are during the day.

The recently rebuilt Ocean Beach community center is the largest building in the business district and is right on the bay. It houses a theater for plays and movies, a courthouse and the Ocean Beach Historical Society.  (OL pic)
Turn down any one of the sidewalks leading to the ocean and Ocean Beach instantly transforms from hustle and bustle to sea of tranquility.

To my surprise, we came across a small herd of deer between two houses. (Kathy took this pic with her phone)
You can see 5 here.  There were about 8.  The island is overpopulated with them and they eat everything in sight.  That's why the fences around everything.
They are losing their winter coats now.
Here they head on down the block.  You see some worker's trucks in the background.  All the side streets off the main area are narrow like this.

The houses and their decorations are especially unique.....

Cute design!

.......and entertaining!  You never knew what you would come across in the yards as we walked around.  Here's Kathy with a very big lady bug.

The houses all have names, too, and they are not necessarily family names.

 Two long-established churches, the interdenominational Protestant Union Free Church (above) and the Catholic Our Lady of the Magnificant, (below) serve as spiritual centers for much of the mid-island population.

The spire of the Catholic church is visible from miles around the bay and is one of the island's major landmarks.

The tree in your yard died?  
Make an "attraction" out of it!  :)

Light at the beach on top of pole below.

I like the way the street designations are labeled!  Very rustic.

Ocean Beach runs an extensive Youth Program with counselors instructing the town's large contingent of children in sports, arts and crafts and swimming, as well as producing a number of theatrical productions. The village maintains two tennis courts, a basketball court a playground, public docking, private marinas and a ball field.

Full lifeguard protection at bay and ocean. 
Ocean Beach is a fine place to raise a family in the summer sun.

 View looking back towards the town from a deck leading to the beach.  This is typical of how the streets run through the island.

Me standing on the deck at the beach where we saw the 2009 Beach Renourishment Project at work!

   In the winter and spring of 2009, a Beach Renourishment Project was undertaken on Fire Island, with the cooperation of the National Park Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Towns of Brookhaven and Islip and Fire Island residents. 

The renourishment program involved dredging sand from an offshore borrow area, pumping it onto the beach and shaping the sand into an approved beach face and dune template in front of the communities of Corneille Estates, Davis Park, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, Fire Island Pines, Fire Island Summer Club, Lonelyville, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Saltaire, and Seaview. 

Fire Islanders agreed to a significant property tax increase to help pay for the project, which was estimated to cost between $23 and $25 million, including the cost of environmental monitoring, and was expected to add 1.8 million cubic yards of sand in front of the participating communities. 

The Towns of Brookhaven and Islip, in which the communities are located, issued bonds to pay for the project, backed by the new taxes levied by community Erosion Control Taxing Districts.

 Me and Kathy on one of the decks leading to the beach.

On the deck at the beach:  a water fountain and two foot-washers.

This house is named Shells - which were used to decorate the peak.

A couple of heads seen among the grass in a yard.

A wagon with painted shells decorates a lawn.  Kathy has one on her kitchen windowsill.

This house outdid itself with tile.  So pretty!

A closeup view.  Just beautiful!

Every house was different from the next and most were "decorated" in some way or another.

Opie's bike waiting for him to come home from school?

Another head in a bed of shells.  This looks like a friend of mine!!
You've been warned!!

The wide range of novelty items displayed at houses was so much fun to see!

Back on the main strip again.

RACHEL'S - I just caught the corner of it here on right, is known for its very late night bakery and delicious breakfasts and coffee to go as well as chocolate chip cookies, brownies, tarts and cakes that are served until dawn since the bakery is open until 4 AM or so on weekends.

This restaurant also serves great meals at great prices for dinner. It has the most extensive menu on the Island, from varied dinner choices to breakfast entrees for dinner and large salads and also decent chops and seafood.
(Ginger--We have to go here!)

Sign in a store window.  Sounds good to me!

The Island Mermaid is right in town with a deck overlooking the Great South Bay and the Ferry dock. They call their fare New American Cuisine. There is usually a theme most weeknights, and this year they have added Wednesday Night Wine and Poker

It amazes me that my daughters and their friends think nothing of hopping on the ferry and going over to Fire Island to hang out for the evening!  Especially since I have never been there in my whole life! 

Kathy getting her coffee fix for the ferry ride   :)

Bocce Beach is a large restaurant with bar scene later in the evening. Although it gets a mostly 20-something crowd late in the evening, you can find people of any age in the mix playing pool, darts or dancing.

It also has as an ATM which is good to know!

There's even a liquor store available.

Restroom facilities and bike parking at the docking area for the ferry.

A wagon parking lot next to the ferry dock. Without cars wagons are the only way to carry stuff around and bicycles are the fastest way to get around.

Also next to the ferry dock are public basketball courts, a recreation room with ping-pong tables, and the dock master’s office.

Along the calmer side of the island where the Ferry comes into dock.

Logs are heavily used to help fight erosion and for docks.

I assume floating docks, taken in for the winter, will adorn these poles standing in the water.

It was quite cool when we were returning to Long Island, so we rode inside the ferry.  There was an area for baskets and suitcases and such as seen here.

Looking out the window as we cross the Great South Bay.

There's the Ferry dock ahead.

We're back!

I had a great time getting to see Fire Island's Ocean Beach and riding the ferry both ways.  What fun it was.  So interesting, too!!


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