Prior to the fourth of July, I had never been to Fire Island. My friend Amy and I decided to be adventurous and take a last minute trip there. We parked our car in the parking lot ($20 fee) and walked (12 minutes) to the ferry. We caught the 5:15pm ferry, which was filled with tons of entertaining 20-something year olds. It was about a 20 minute ferry ride over to Ocean Beach, which felt like a little “escape” island.
My whole way there, the only thing I was craving was a delicious glass or maybe pitcher of sangria. A man on the ferry recommended Houser’s. Since he knew it was my first time there, he suggested we go to the Sandbar after and the Mermaid for fireworks. When Amy and I got off the ferry, we walked around and OF COURSE stopped at Rachel’s, a bakery with delicious soft baked cookies in the window screaming our name (Amy and I LOVE cookies!). Amy got a huge M &Ms cookie and a chocolate chip cookie and I got a oatmeal raisin cookie, not knowing this would be the first of many trips that night (being that they are open late).
Next we decided to explore the beach and look at the beautiful little houses along the way. I could definitely see myself living there for the summer with a big smile on my face– the beach, bars, a bakery and good looking boys left and right– had HEAVEN written all over 😉
Along the way we passed this house with a 5 year old boy named Sam standing outside. He had a collection of rocks/stones his grandmother and him had painted. Some of the messages on them were “Namaste,” “Om” and “Born again hippy.” Sam had signed his name on the ones he had painted and encouraged us to take one at no charge because he would be painting more tomorrow.
The beach was absolutely beautiful BUT the water was faaaaaaaaaaareezing so we just dipped our toes. Since we were starving, we didn’t stay too long. We booked it to Houser’s where we thought we were going to enjoy some amazing sangria, but it turns out they never served sangria (the guy must not have been there in a while). The waitress did tell us that their signature drink was a zippy cooler, which tastes like a pink lemonade and the beauty (or scary part) is that you cannot taste the alcohol so it just hits you out of no where.
The menu had great food options such as quesadillas, fish and chips, clams, buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks. Amy is a vegetarian so ordered fish tacos with mango peach salsa on the side. I ordered a veggie burger with a garden salad on the side. Amy and I split an order of guac and chips and since Amy felt her insides were eating her, she also ordered a side of fries. We were both pleasantly surprised by the food and the prices, which were reasonable.
After consuming our meals, we decided to head to the pizzeria (right across) where the waitress said we could find some pretty good sangria. We had the option of red or white, but we both decided on the red. We had them put it in plastic cups with lids and sat outside to enjoy. The policy in Fire Island is that you cannot carry around open bottles of alcohol or you will get fined (about $150).
After a couple rounds of sangria, we decided to go back to the bakery for another round of cookies. We also walked into a homemade ice cream shop and sampled a few different flavors, which were FANTASTIC. The line for the sandbar was out the door so we decided to go back to Houser’s for a little (had cute bartenders). We then headed to watch the fireworks near the water and checked out the mermaid after.
We decided that before catching the ferry back, another round of cookies was necessary. Amy also wanted to try some of the pizza from the pizzeria (where we bought sangria). Amy tried a sicilian slice and I decided to try a pesto chicken slice (even though my stomach is sensitive to cheese and wheat). After drinking and eating our way through Fire Island we were ready to call it a night. We caught the 11:15pm ferry back (we were advised not to take the 1am one because it tends to be a puke fest).
I must say this July 4th was one of the best ones yet. Fire Island is a great place to go on a Saturday or to rent a house for the weekend. I highly recommend it especially if its a nice day out and you are in your 20s and 30s 😉