Located on New York's Fire Island, Ocean Beach Harbor is a village in the Town of Islip off Long Island. Ocean Beach Harbor is about 2.3 nautical miles (4 kilometers or 2.5 miles direct) east of Kismet Harbor. Ocean Beach Harbor is 5.4 nautical miles (10 kilometers or 6.2 miles) southeast of Bay Shore Harbor on the Long Island mainland.
The Village of Ocean Beach Harbor's many restaurants, shops, and nightlife make it a popular tourist destination. The first elementary school on Fire Island was opened in Ocean Beach Harbor in 1918. In 1921, Ocean Beach Harbor was incorporated as a village. Ocean Beach Harbor has been a popular refuge for celebrities like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Fanny Brice.
As the hub of Fire Island, Ocean Beach Harbor is a busy stopping point for Fire Island Ferries. Operating since 1948, Fire Island Ferries carries passengers and freight between Bay Shore Harbor on Long Island to several destinations on Fire Island including Ocean Beach Harbor. Fire Island Ferries offers at least 16 scheduled trips between Bay Shore Harbor and Ocean Beach Harbor every day from mid-June through early September. Water taxis carry visitors between beaches and to other communities on Fire Island.
Fares for a round trip on the Fire Island Ferries is $17 for each adult and $7.50 for children aged two to 12. Leashed dogs are charged the child fare. Fire Island Ferries also carries freight to Ocean Beach Harbor including, but not limited to, bicycles, cases of beverages, grills, small furniture and appliances, kayaks, surfboards, and small sailboats. Freight prices range from $5 to $15 for a round trip.
The Ocean Beach Harbor Marina and Docks are located at the north end of the Ferry Terminal. The Marina has 17 slips, and visitors should call ahead to check if a slip is available. The Ocean Beach Harbor Marina offers weekday, week-end, and weekly rates for recreational boats as well as slips for jet skis and dinghies. Daily rates range from $33 on weekdays and from $66 for weekends and holidays. Weekly rates are $588 for boats of 7.9 meters (26 feet) and greater. Jet ski and dinghy rates begin at $17.
The Sailors Haven Marina in Ocean Beach Harbor offers boat slips on a first-come, first-served basis. Power and water are available at some slips. Daily fees start at $2 per foot, and electric power starts at $5.
Ocean Beach Harbor is the unofficial capital of Fire Island. This 600-home community has small-town charm with big city entertainment. Summer cottages, housing both vacationers and permanent residents, line the walkways. Ocean Beach Harbor is only one hour from Manhattan and one-half hour from Bay Shore Harbor across the Great South Bay.
Ocean Beach Harbor has a humid subtropical climate with warm humid summers and mild winters. Located off the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean Beach Harbor climate is greatly influenced by oceanic climate patterns, including hurricanes and coastal storms. Temperatures in Ocean Beach Harbor range from an average high of almost 24°C (75°F) in July and August to an average low of -1°C (30°F) in January and February. Ocean Beach Harbor gets snowfall from November through April, with the heaviest snow, reaching almost seven inches, falling in January.
Ocean Beach Harbor is located in the middle of the Fire Island National Seashore, with no entrance fees, where people enjoy the relatively undeveloped barrier island beaches. Nearby the national park are Long Island's first state park, Robert Moses State Park, and the Smith Point County Park.
Visitors to the Fire Island National Seashore will find several areas open year-round. The Fire Island Lighthouse began operating in 1858. The 558-hectare Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness is New York State's only federally-designated wilderness. One of the smallest wilderness areas operated by the National Park Service, it offers opportunities to enjoy a natural barrier island ecosystem. Located in Patchogue, the park headquarters are open all year.
Open seasonally in the Fire Island National Seashore and accessible by private vehicles is the William Floyd Estate. The estate has a history of over 250 years and contains architectural features and artifacts covering three centuries of life in America.
Open seasonally and accessible by passenger ferry, private boat or by foot is Sailors Haven, home to the Sunken Forest. This well-developed secondary dune system hosts a rare maritime holly forest.
Watch Hill, also accessible by boat and foot, has a visitors center and 26 individual campsites and a group campsite that must be reserved by mail. Permits for camping in the Fire Island Wilderness are necessary. Visitors to Watch Hill can take advantage of ranger-led programs including guided canoe trips, a 183-slip transient marina, a convenience store, and a snack bar. Watch Hill also has a self-guided nature trail, a picnic area, restrooms, pay phones, and a bath house. During the summer, lifeguards patrol the beach.
Barret Beach/Talisman is accessible seasonally only by private boat or by foot. There, visitors will find a dock, a boardwalk leading to the ocean beach, restrooms, and a picnic area. Day use and overnight anchorages are allowed here.