Fire Island The Essential
Though its permanent population is very small, Fire Island swarms in summer with hundreds of thousands of beachgoers, daytrippers and summer residents. This 32-mil-long car-free (ferries cross the channel from Long Island) barrier island boasts more than 1,400 acres of protected national seashore. Great seafood restaurants dot the island. On weekends the place becomes party central as summer residents hold beach bonfires and house parties galore.