This summer I've done a nice lil' tour of Long Island beaches - first a week in Long Beach, then 4th of July on Fire Island and finally a weekend in Montauk. I can't decide which I like best! Each time I arrive at a new beach, I'm in awe all over again and immediately wish I lived there.
I don't know what it is, but I've been craving natural beauty lately. It's a strange feeling for a girl that left Pittsburgh for 'the big city' to have an exciting life. Right now all I seem to want is peace...space...and to be outside! I just get this sense of release when I'm in the fresh summer air, whether it be laying in the sun and walking through the park with Marlon or bobbing in the ocean and tackling waves covered in sand and seaweed. No rushing to get somewhere, no stress, no doing my hair or makeup, and most importantly - no staring at a computer screen all day.
I love being outside on a beautiful day no matter where I am, but for me, the beach takes the cake. I guess I've always been a beach girl - growing up I constantly teased my parents about wishing we would've stayed in Florida (the 3 rivers just didn't do it for me). Honestly, at the moment I think it's just that I'm sick of New York. NYC in the summer is hot, sticky, smelly, and empty. Everyone deserts the city on weekends via the LIRR or the Hamptons Jitney to hit the beaches...it was about time I joined in.
Here's my sum-up of my fave beach spots so far on Long Island:
Long Beach is great because I have a bunch of friends that live there, and it's one of the closest beaches from the city by car or train. Plus it sits on a strip of bars and restaurants that are fun every night of the week. I also like the community feel - you could live here year round (most people do!) and it wouldn't be strange.
Fire Island is fun because you take a ferry to get there and are on a literal island with no cars. On Davis Park where we went, there was one bar/restaurant for the whole beach - Casino (and it was a-maz-ing), one grocery store and snack shop (that ran out of eggs one morning - what??), and a boardwalk flanked by tree-shaded beach houses. Another plus? TOTALLY dog-friendly - Marlon's coming with me next time!!
And then, there's Montauk, the end of Long Island. Literally. I had fond memories of Montauk from a childhood vacation - my family came out to NY for a relative's wedding and then stayed in a little beach shack for a week. I loved it! We went sailing, saw the lighthouse, and my dad and I went on a deep sea fishing excursion. Actually, the deep sea fishing trip wasn't so awesome - the seas were rough that day and both my dad and I got seasick. First memory (and only I think/hope!) of watching my dad barf over me into the ship's port-o-potty. Good times. I felt like my body was rocking with the waves for 3 days afterwards. I digress.
I didn't really know what it would be like this time around...had it become more like an extension of the Hamptons? I mean, the Hamptons are tres mignon and all, but I like a laid-back, barefoot beach town. No shoes for me please. Montauk didn't disappoint. After 3 hours on the train, we stepped off and got into a cab painted like a surf board with a 40 year old driver blasting metal to head to the hotel. Our room's patio doors opened to the beautiful, simple beach. We drank on the deck that night, walked to all the bars on our block, and ordered pizza to be delivered to the pool the next afternoon hungover. Perfection. And let's not forget about our amazing dinner at the open air Crow's Nest restaurant, the 'Main St.' of boutiques and shops, and of course karaoke with Nanci and Jim (ha).
I wish I had a job that let me peace out for the summer months so I could get out of the city and into a cool and vibrant beach town. Sighhh wishful thinking I guess. Until then, at least I live in a city surrounded by beaches!