A half-mile wide, 32-mile-long, car-free island -- laid-back Fire Island feels about as far away in spirit from the Big Apple as you can possibly get on a day trip. A patchwork of national seashore and private property, the island has few formal addresses; folks ride beat-up bicycles barefoot and regulars talk of "the mainland" as if it were a distant continent rather than right across the bay. Here on the island, informality rules the day; thankfully, most areas are attitude-free. With punishing winters, Fire Island is strictly a summertime getaway. When Memorial Day hits, the small hamlets fill with warm-weather revelers, while other parts of the island see only congregations of deer. And after September's over, almost everything shuts down. … Back to Article
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