Flaming Fire Island is the top LGBT resort destination in New York. A thin barrier island off the coast of Long Island, gay and lesbian travelers flock here in droves every year for respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. This small barrier island off the south coast of New York's Long Island is home to two thriving gay resort towns: Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines.
The two communities each have their own vibe: The Pines feels a lot like New York's Chelsea: pretty party boys and gay professionals; the Grove is more diverse and down to earth (and attracts a younger AND an older crowd). Between the two towns is a small strip of forest affectionately known as the "meat rack" - just about one of the most vibrant places on earth. Be sure to get a feel for the pace of things once you are there, almost everyone follows the crowd from low tea to high tea, from dinner to dancing. All you need to do is ask a friendly passerby (or at least a cute one). The best part is that getting here is half the fun: take the Long Island Rail Road to Sayville, a shuttle bus to a 30 minute ferry ride and walk from there. There are no cars on Fire Island, just wooden boardwalks and people pulling little red wagons full of their groceries. There is no better place to soak up some local flavor!
Our very own Carlos Melia gives us his inside scoop on Fire Island:
“Fire Island located only a two hours away from Penn Station, New York City. Not many people overseas know about this full Gay Spring/Summer Weekend Gateway. What it always amazes me about this option, is that so close to such an overwhelming city like New York, you can have this fantastic outdoor seasonal destination with great beaches and scene where you may choose to relax, enjoy the beach, chill out, wine and dine, socialize or get wild and crazy. I am guilty of all the of them, I year after year, it has always been the best gateway to leave the city for a weekend, and change the air.
Fire Island’s roots date back to 1653, when Isaac Stratford constructed a whaling station on the Island, naming it Whalehouse Point. Similar to Nantucket, Fire Island was originally founded as an important whaling center during the 18th and 19th centuries. Real Estate boomed in the 1950′s and Fire Island emerged as the premier bohemian summer retreat. Newly established beach bungalows lit up with creative New Yorkers. Over the next ten years, the landscape became a collage of rooftops where the rich and famous were able to escape the busy streets of New York City and soak in the sun.”
Read more about Fire Island at Carlos Melia's Blog!