Water travel involves either boating across the Great South Bay which allows the freedom to make port of call at the island communities (if docking space is available), or flying by seaplane, the quickest, most direct means of transportation. Seaplane transport offers the greatest aesthetic value, a 30-minute airborne adventure over land and water, taxing into the Great South Bay and alighting in the shallow waters. Complete detailed directions how to get to Fire Island by auto, train, seaplane and airplane via Long Island MacArthur Airport follows.
The western Fire Island communities, Kismet, Saltaire, Fair Harbor, Atlantique, Dunewood, Ocean Beach, Seaview and Point O'Woods are served by direct service from Bay Shore. The ferry at River Rd. Sayville serves the communities of Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines, Barrett Beach and Sailors Haven, the Davis Park-Ocean Ridge ferry runs from Patchogue. The Watch Hill community also receives service through the Davis Park ferry.
All telephone area codes are 516 unless otherwise indicated.
Back to Top
The seaplane can accommodate up to three adults. Flights are arranged at your convenience, but ExcelAire suggests that reservations be made a minimum of three days in advance, especially on weekends.
The amphibious floatplanes are capable of landing at any of the major airports, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark as well as the Great South Bay. Maximizes time at the office and the beach, skip the traffic and have a great view.
Incidently, ExcelAire operates worldwide corporate jets which include Gulfstream, Falcon 900 and will provide charter service in a Learjet, Citationjet or Helicopter. For additional information, contact Paul Schulte @ 800-77-EXCEL(9235).
The Town of Islip's Long Island MacArthur Airport is four miles north of the Sayville ferry dock, seven from Patchogue, eight from Bay Shore.
Directions to Islip's Long Island MacArthur Airport -- traveling West to East on the Long Island Expressway Routed 495 use exit 57 South to the service road, go to the second light on the service road and turn right which will be Veterans Highway. It is approximately 5 miles to the entrance of the airport which is Johnson Avenue which is identified by a large overhead sign at the entrance to the airport. When traveling West to East of southern State Parkway, get off at 44E on the Sunrise Highway which is Rt. 27, then travel 5 miles to Johnson Avenue in Sayville. Turn left on Johnson Avenue which leads directly into the airport entrance road after the second light.
When traveling to MacArthur airport on the sunrise highway, get off at Exit 51, within a short distance on the service road the road forks to the right and it becomes Route 450 for the Veterans Highway. Traveling approximately 2 miles you will see a large overhead sign just prior to the entrance to the airport at which time you turn right onto Johnson Avenue into the main airport. Traveling East to West on the Long Island Expressway Route 495 get off at exit 60, turn left off the service road to the 2nd light onto Ronkonkoma Avenue. Once you travel over a bridge, Ronkonkoma Avenue becomes Smithtown Avenue. At the next light turn left onto Lakeland Avenue then turn left again at the next light onto the Veterans Memorial Highway. On the Veterans Memorial Highway travel 2 lights until you reach Johnson Avenue and then make a left turn into the main entrance at the airport. For further information please call MacArthur Airport at 516-467-3210.
Back to Top
Manhattan is the starting point for the routes offered below and mileage figures are based from there. Travelers from northern N.J., the Bronx, Westchester and beyond, will make the quickest travel time by avoiding Manhattan and using Bronx-Queens bridge connections.
Through the center and northern sections of Long Island the two main routes are the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central-Northern State Parkway. The latter is a circuitous, narrow route, while the wide Long Island Expressway offers the most speed despite heavy truck traffic. Along the South Shore the best route to the ferry towns is via the Southern State Parkway (if there's no Jones Beach traffic to contend with).
By Car: To reach the Fire Island ferries in Bay shore, Sayville and Patchogue, L.I., by car from Manhattan, take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 53 (Bay Shore), Exit 59 (Sayville) or Exit 63 (Patchogue).By Train: The Long Island Railroad still flourishes as the most widely used and, really, the most responsible means of travel to Fire Island. Unless you live in Tahiti, this is one of the best getaways currently available. And all you need to get there is a train ticket for the Long Island Rail Road. You'll quickly be on Fire Island without seeing one brake light. (Well, you might see a few if you look out the window near a highway.) To make the trip even faster and even more convenient, they have added extra trains for the summer season. To stretch your weekend, stay at the beach Sunday night and take their early morning train back to the city on Monday. You'll be back in plenty of time for work.The Long Island Rail Road provides daily service from Penn Station to the three towns; one-way fares range from $6 to $7 on off-peak trains, $9.50 to $10.75 for peak hour trains; children 5 to 11 years old pay 50 cents during off-peak hours, one half of the adult fare during peak hours; children under 5 ride free at all times. The trains leave Penn Station every 30 to 60 minutes, beginning at 6:36 weekdays and at 7:15 A.M. on Saturdays and Sundays. The ferry terminal at Patchogue is within walking distance of the railroad station and the ferries at Bay shore and Sayville are a short taxi ride away. The railroad also offers daily excursions to the Watch Hill and Sunken Forest beaches and to Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island; these include a round-trip train ride and the ferry and cost $12 to $18 for adults, $4 to $9 for children 5 to 11 years old.For schedules and more information call: (718) 217-5477; (516) 231-LIRR or http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us.
The posh-oriented can ride between Manhattan and any ferry dock in air-conditioned luxury stretch limousine's, no less.
AA Yore Limousine Service Ltd., 516-666-3700; Fax 516-666-3841. Rivera's Limousine Service, 718-798-5321
Taxis meet all trains, and transport passengers and baggage to the ferry docks.
If you like riding with a lot of people but don't approve of standing all the way to Bay Shore on the L.I.R.R., you can travel back and forth to the ferries on an air conditioned bus.
The service is provided by Islanders' Club between New York and Sayville for Cherry Grove and the Pines. Cocktails are served members, and your seat is by reservations only: (212) 675-3116 and at F. I. Pines Botel (516) 597-6663.
Ferry Schedules are made to coincide with train arrivals, allowing time for the taxi to bring passengers from station to dock. The ferries generally wait when trains are delayed, but don't count on it!
If you're racing to make the very last boat listed in our schedules, take half a minute longer to make sure that the ferry is, indeed, returning that evening.
In general, most communities are directly serviced by a ferry or are within walking distance of the ferry dock in an adjoining community. There are, in addition, water taxis which make special trips on a round-the-clock basis; Special water taxis are available, 24 hours a day, weather permitting, if you miss the regularly scheduled ferries; and there are those craving adventure, who prefer them even when the bigger craft are running.
Bay Shore Ferries, off Montauk Highway (Main Street). Operates ferries year round to Ocean Beach, Fair Harbor, Dunewood, Atlantique, Kismet, Saltaire, Ocean Bay Park and Seaview. Summer schedule: 7 A.M. to 10:15 P.M. daily (until 11:50 P.M. on Fridays), leaving every 60 to 90 minutes for the 25 minute ride. Fare: $11 round-trip; $5.75 one way; $5 round trip for children 2 to 12 years old and dogs. Reservations not necessary. Parking fee: $10 day, Fridays through Sundays; $6, Mondays through Thursdays; $45 weekly. Information: (516) 666- 3600 or (516) 665-3600.
Sayville Ferries, 41 River Road, Operates ferries year round to Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines, Sunken Forest and Water Island. Summer schedule: 7 A.M. to 12:15 A.M. on Fridays; 8:15 A.M. to 1:30 A.M. on Saturdays and Sundays; 5:45 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. Mondays; 7 A.M. to 7:20 P.M. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 7 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. Thursdays, leaving every hour on the half-hour for the 20-25 minute ride. Fare: $10 round trip; $5.50, one way; for children under 12, $5 round trip or $2.75 one way; for dogs, $3 round trip or $1.75 one way. Parking fee: $6 daily, Mondays through Thursdays, $7 daily Fridays through Sundays. Reservations not necessary. Information: (516) 589-0810.
Patchogue Ferries, operates ferries to Davis Park and Watch Hill in the National Seashore park from two ferry terminals in Patchogue: at Country Road 19 (for Watch Hill) and County Road 83 (Davis Park). Operates from mid-March through November. Ferries leave Patchogue from 6:20 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. Fridays; 7:30 A.M. to 12:15 A.M. Saturdays; 7:30 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. Sundays, and 6:20 A.M. to 10:30 P.M. Mondays through Thursdays. Fares: $5.50 one way; $10 same day round trip; children 2 to 11 years old, $3.25 one way, $5.50 same day round trip; dogs, $3.25 round trip. Ferries leave every 60 to 90 minutes for the 20- to 25-minute ride. Parking is free for everyone at the Watch Hill ferry. Parking at the Davis Park Ferry is free for residents of Brookhaven and $10 a day for nonresidents. Information: (516) 475-1665.Back to Top