Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach has more of everything to tempt a visitor than any other community on Fire Island--more stores, bars, restaurants, boutiques, services, more diversions. Ocean Beach is to Fire Island what New York City is to the rest of the state--the cultural and commercial capital of all in its domain.

Ocean Beach is one of the most determinedly stable, family-oriented communities on Fire Island. The commercial district is extensive, but as one leaves the village there are small established homes, a few newer, bigger structures, and plenty of tall shade trees and greenery adding their own special grace and beauty. Space is precious in Ocean Beach--though it bulks large in island life, in area it is only a medium-sized community--so the generous portions of open land, still visible in some other villages, are unknown here.

Development of Ocean Beach began in 1908 nearly 40 years after Kismet, Water Island and Cherry Grove were established. Within a few years all available land had been sold and built upon. In 1921 a merger was effected with a tract of homes known as Beach Estates and Ocean Beach was formally incorporated as a village. Along with Saltaire, which incorporated in 1917, they remain the only two self-governing villages on the island.

Ocean Beach was fortunate that the 1938 hurricane left it relatively unscathed. The result is apparent today in the very large number of houses dating back past that era; relatively few of the town's 600 homes have been built in the last 25 years, all of which lends the community a rather genteel ambiance.

O.B. is governed by a mayor and board of trustees elected for four year terms; and a village manager. This community has a large population and it attracts daytrippers from the mainland, as well as travelers from other parts of Fire Island.

Like many other communities O.B. maintains a volunteer fire department; theirs is the largest and best equipped on the island and provides protection to a number of neighboring towns. Two long-established churches, the interdenominational Protestant Union Free Church and the Catholic Our Lady of the Magnificat, serve as spiritual centers for much of the mid-island population; the spire of the latter is visible from miles around the bay and is one of the island's major landmarks.

Ocean Beach runs an extensive Youth Program with counselors instructing the town's large contingent of children in sports, arts and crafts and swimming, as well as producing a number of theatrical productions. The village maintains two tennis courts, a basketball court a playground, public docking, private marinas and a ballfield. The Ocean Beach Historical Society displays village memorabilia at its headquarters in the Community House. Full lifeguard protection at bay and ocean. Ocean Beach is a fine place to raise a family in the summer sun.

Direct and frequent ferry service from Bay Shore.


CLEGGS HOTEL, 478 Bayberry Walk, Ocean Beach. Open May 1 through September. Fridays and Saturdays, a two-night weekend package based on double occupancy with shared bathroom: $200 for Friday and Saturday ($260 for three people); $60 a day Sundays through Thursdays ($90 for three). There are also studo apartments with full kitchens and private bathrooms; two-night stay required Fridays and Saturdays: $300 for the garden view; $350 for the bay view. Sundays through Thursdays: $125 a day for bay view; $100 for garden view; children under 12, free; cots available. Reservations: (516) 583-5399.

HOUSER HOTEL ON THE BAY, Great South Bay on East Bay Walk, Ocean Beach. Open May 1 through September. Daily rates based on double occupancy with shared shower: Fridays and Saturdays, $75 a person; Sundays through Thursdays, $50 a person for one night, $40 a person for more than one night. Weekdays, half-price for children. Reservations: (516) 583-8900.

SEASONS BED & BREAKFAST, 468 Dehnhoff Walk, Ocean Beach. Open year round. Summer season: mid-May through mid-September. Two-day stay required on weekends. $300 for Friday and Saturday nights, double occupancy with shared bath, includes breakfast and afternoon tea. Sundays through Thursdays, $125 for the first night, $100 for each night thereafter. Children over 12 welcome; add $25 a child. Off season: $250 for two-night weekend stay; $125 for Saturday night only; $100 for other days. Labor Day weekend package for two; $600 for Friday through Sunday nights. Information: (516) 583-8295.

PLACE IN THE SUN, 987 Surfview Walk, Ocean Beach. Open May through October. Two-night minimum stay on Friday and Saturday nights: double occupancy with shared bath, $250. Sundays through Thursdays, $75 a night. Children over 8 welcome on weekdays. Labor Day weekend package for two: $425 for Friday through Sunday nights. Information: (516) 583-5716.

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