Off the Coast: Fire Island
With a name like Fire Island, to paraphrase a jam commercial, itís got to be good. Okay, so originally this island off the coast of Long Island started off with a more prosaic name Whalehouse Point. It was a descriptive if bland name for a whaling station. Of course, the days of whalers are long gone, but Fire Island remains, and it has morphed from fishing center to summer vacation rental destination.
Depending on your personal prospective, Fire Island may sound like a ride at Disneyworld, the title of a Stevens novel, or a really cool place to visit. It pays tribute to its maritime history in various ways; perhaps the most popular is Fire Island Lighthouse. This 1825-built structure is now a museum and an important landmark. Other things to do include going to state and county parks, golfing, and hitting the beach.
Along the coast, you can also visit Fire Island National Seashore, which is itself home to the Sunken Forest. The forest itself isnít underwater - no need for fins and goggles here - but it is a rare example of a Maritime Holly Forest.
If youíre arriving at your vacation rental from New York City, youíll have a 60-plus mile drive. If you want to fly in, Long Island MacArthur airport is 27 miles away.