my guide to fire island, ny

I am a big believer in “Getting away from it all.” Carlie, we know, you haven’t written a blog post for about a year. Moving on! I think the best way to give yourself a little break or a mini vacation is to go somewhere fun or relaxing that you haven’t been before. Wherever you live in the country (or the world!) I’m sure there is a lake, river, ocean, campground, spa, hotel, or an opportunity for you to go somewhere for a few nights to give yourself a break. For me, this place was Fire Island.

For those of you that don’t know, Fire Island is an island off of Long Island. You can only access the island by ferry and there are no cars allowed. My good friend Gabby is teaching an acting class there this summer and invited me to come up for a weekend to stay with her. I’m not even kidding when I say this was probably the best weekend of the entire summer.  I love going somewhere new! And it was only about 2-3 hours from my house. Below is a guide to my top spots / things to do in Fire Island.

P.S. I encourage you to plan a trip with a friend this summer / fall. You’d be surprised how fun it can be!

Read on below to see how my weekend there went:

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Gabby and I took the ferry bright and early to Fire Island. It gets super crowded really quickly. We got there for the 9 o’clock ferry  but it got packed. We were lucky to get a seat up top but I suggest arriving early for a better seat or traveling on a weekday. We also got those amazing rainbow-colored bagels. Which, yes, I know, is just a regular bagel dyed to be a rainbow but let me live.

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We arrived on the island and immediately headed to Gab’s “house.” It was more like a cabin for some of the counselors. Renting a house on the island can be thousands of dollars a night, so I felt grateful to be able to have a free place to stay. The walk was quick. People mostly walk, golf cart, or bike ride all around the island. Mostly every household seemed to have a wagon for lugging around a lot of stuff.

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Next up, we headed to Ocean Beach. We were tired from being up so early and actually ended up falling asleep at the beach, both of us getting pretty bad sunburns. But it was such a relaxing afternoon there. We both read our books and relaxed in the sun. It got progressively more crowded so at around 2/2:30, we headed into town to get lobster rolls and fun, summer cocktails. Then we walked along the main part of town and went shopping at all the shops along the pier. I got a Fire Island sweatshirt, a necklace, an ankle bracelet for my mom, and a few other nicknacks. The streets were lined with the cutest beachy shops. My favorite was just called The General Store and Hanelei and Kula’s, which had all of these adorable crystals, incense burners, jewelry, and unique handmaid clothing from Hawaii.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon getting ice cream, bike riding, and then changing for the night ahead. We were tired, but determined, and decided to go bar-hopping, spending most of the night at Island Mermaid, where Gabby got so excited that she threw her drink on the ground. Granted this was because Destiny’s Child came on. We ended our evening with pizza (with cold cheese on top!! Famous and native to Fire Island! Sounds weird but it was delicious.) Then, we walked / danced home and climbed up to our beds (up a ladder to the loft.. and in the dark) and finally snoozed. Early the next morning, we got ourselves up and went to breakfast at the CUTEST place ever, Rachel’s.

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After breakfast, we wandered a bit more, drifting in and out of the shops as Gabby gave me a tour of the island and showed me where she taught her acting classes. We have been good friends since college but hadn’t seen each other in a few years so time flew by as we chatted and caught up. We then ended up taking a water taxi to the famous bar Flynn’s on the other side of the island. If you go, you must try the drink called Rocket Fuel. It tastes a bit like a piña colada but all of the sudden you can’t see straight after a few sips. The island is famous for this drink so I had to give it a go!

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We ended the weekend after Flynn’s, quickly taking a water taxi back to the main part of the island so that I could sober up, get changed, and hop on the ferry back to L.I. It was honestly the most fun weekend. I was so happy I got the opportunity to visit somewhere new and experience Fire Island. On my list of goals for 24, it says: Visit 5 New Places. Although I was technically 23 when I went here, I still loved the idea of exploring a new place. If you have the chance, I recommend going! Thank you Gab for letting me stay with you, it was so fun!

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