Kismet Harbor
Review and History

Kismet Harbor is located in the western area of New York's Fire Island. Kismet Harbor is an unincorporated hamlet governed by the Town of Islip on the State's mainland. Kismet Harbor is almost five nautical miles (nine kilometers or 5.5 miles) south of Bay Shore Harbor. The Port of New York is just over 50 nautical miles (79 kilometers or 49 miles) west of Kismet Harbor.

Kismet Harbor is the furthest western community on Fire Island. The village of Kismet Harbor has a marina and a few stores that include a market, liquor store, a rentals office, and two restaurants. Kismet Harbor is very popular with young singles from New York City who party here, sharing summer houses. Its 100-slip marina is packed all the time with boaters.

During the summer from mid-June through early September, Kismet Harbor is served by Fire Island Ferries. The ferries carry people and good between Bay Shore Harbor on the mainland and seven villages on Fire Island, including Kismet Harbor. Round-trip fares are $17 for adults and $7.50 for children aged two through twelve. Leashed dogs are charged a child's fare. The ferries also carry freight to Kismet Harbor that includes everything from small items like cases of beverages to appliances, furniture, and lumber. Freight charges range from $2 for a case of beer to $40 or more for a small sailboat or Sunfish to as much as $100 for a walk-in box. Fire Island Ferries also offers private charters.

Kismet Harbor is home to the Kismet Inn Restaurant & Marina. Kismet Harbor was born in 1925 when the Weiss family bought land from the Great South Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. They dug out a marina and named their property Kismet Park. The Kismet Inn is located at the site of the Weiss' general store and the workshop they used to service their ferry. For many years, the Kismet Inn was a gathering place for residents and boaters visiting Kismet Harbor. Despite its name, the Kismet Inn Restaurant & Marina does not rent out rooms.

The Kismet Inn marina has 50 slips available on a first-come first-serve basis. Tickets for this Kismet Harbor marina are only available to patrons of the Kismet Inn. Tickets are available for day use ($40-$60), evenings ($75-$100), and overnight ($100-$125).

Located within the Fire Island National Seashore, Kismet Harbor is an attractive beach community in the shadow of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Its informal easy-going atmosphere and proximity to the Captree Bridge linking the mainland to Fire Island and Robert Moses State Park at the far western end of Fire Island make it an ideal residence location for commuters.

Kismet Harbor has a humid subtropical climate with hot humid summers and mild winters. Temperatures at Kismet Harbor range from an average high of 24°C (75°F) in July and August to an average low of -1°C (30°F) in January. Humidity levels range from a low of just over 70% in June to a high of almost 80% in August and September. Snow falls in Kismet Harbor from November through April, with an average of 6.75 inches (17 centimeters) coming in January.

Fire Island National Seashore is managed by the US National Park Service, and most of Fire Island, including Kismet Harbor, is within the park boundaries. About 1.5 kilometers (less than a mile) southwest of Kismet Harbor is the Fire Island Lighthouse, offering marvelous views of the island. It was the first sight many immigrants saw as they came to the United States. In addition to the great views, the lighthouse has exhibits, nature trails, and interpretive programs. The lighthouse's original first-order Fresnel lens is on exhibit there as well.

The Fire Island National Seashore also contains the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness. One of the country's smallest federally-designated wilderness areas, this 558-hectare site contains several barrier island ecosystems, including critical habitat for rare and endangered plant and animal species. Outdoor lovers can enjoy the beach or hike, backpack, canoe, watch birds, and view seals in the wilderness area. Being less than 96 kilometers (60 miles) from New York City, the wilderness takes visitors into an area of solitude and natural beauty.

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