Strung along Long Island's southern shore, this car-free and carefree 32-mile slip of sand rises between ocean and bay like a summer vacation mirage.
Rent a midcentury minimalist house or cozy beach cottage through vrbo.com; either will come with a Radio Flyer wagon to tote beach essentials. Or book a minisuite at The Palms Hotel, which just christened a boat for exuberant (tubing!) and tranquil (private cruising) excursions.
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The barrier island's unique topography allows for a swim in the calm Great South Bay at Watch Hill, followed by a 10-minute stroll across the park to ride the Atlantic Ocean's crashing waves. Explore more of the wild, uninterrupted shoreline via Fire Island Water Taxi.
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EAT & DRINK HERE
Open from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m., Rachel's Bakery and Restaurant in Ocean Beach features fresh croissants for sunrise and buttery crumb cake for moonrise. Superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten recently took over Le Dock and revamped Fair Harbor's sole restaurant with vintage nautical touches. And if you get thirsty out on that raft near your boat, Beach & Vine Wines & Spirits now offers a Jet Ski delivery service, which will splash up with chilled vino.RELATED: The Northeast
Wooden boardwalks crisscross Fire Island and lead to Tola, a breezy boutique in The Pines neighborhood offering staples like stripey beach blankets.
Photo: Erin Lindsey/Escape Brooklyn