Long Island, New York

Smith Point Davis Park Watch Hill
Robert Moses (Lighthouse Beach) Jones Beach Cherry Grove
Misc. Fire Island    

Smith Point, the premier nude beach of Long Island.

With all things considered, this is one of the best, if not THE best nude beach on Long Island. It is very family-oriented with only a relatively small amount of perversion-oriented clientele. This is the beach that we frequented the most over a 15 year period starting in 1980. It is here that we felt the most comfortable letting our daughters run and have fun with any of the other children. The people here are quite friendly and the beach immaculately clean.

It is located in the eastern portion of Long Island on the Fire Island National Seashore, and is completely legal (one of the female Rangers told me that she comes here on her days off). Technically speaking, it is specifically located between the 2nd and 3rd dune crossings. The areas between the 1st and the 2nd, and then the 3rd and the 4th dune crossings are established to be "buffer zones" to separate clothed areas from the nude area. The 1st dune crossing is part of a very nice self-guided nature trail, and the 4th dune crossing is part of a town mooring area.

Depending on your capability it requires about a 30 minute hike westward from the Smith Point Beach parking lot located on the southern terminus of the William Floyd Parkway. This hike probably helps to discourage the casual voyeur or pervert in lieu of the nude beach at Robert Moses State Park commonly known as Lighthouse Beach (see below).

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Davis Park

If Smith Point is not the best nude beach then Davis Park is. The only disadvantage of Davis Park is getting there: only by a passenger ferry. At the ferry terminal the parking fee for out-of-towners is very expensive.

Davis Park is one of the many communities on Fire Island, and as is the case with most of the towns, vehicles are not allowed. Everyone uses red wagons to tote their belongings and supplies from the ferry to their house. The town residents are very typical and normal, with no particular orientation of any kind.

The beach was very family-oriented with very little, if any, perversion-oriented clientele. The nude section literally begins at the very next blanket west of the very last dune crossing of the town. Nudity is obviously very well accepted. The beach was immacuately clean.

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Watch Hill (Camping Area next to Davis Park)

Although we have not been there, we've been told by those who have that nudity is tolerated within the campground.

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Robert Moses State Park (a.k.a. Lighthouse Beach)

(It has recently come to my attention that some of the information presented here has changed since we moved from the area. I am still awaiting confirmation from certain beachgoers.)

Adjacent to the State Park is a small portion of federal land which is part of the Fire Island National Seashore. It is home to a lighthouse that has been recently renovated and is used as a museum, complete with school field trips.

The beach directly in front of the lighthouse has been used for a long time as a nude beach. The Rangers informed us that nudity on Lighthouse Beach is tolerated only from your blanket and the water; you may NOT wander around in the nude.

Unfortunately, this beach is also very easy to get to since it is right next to the easternmost parking lot of the State Park. Therefore it seems to attract voyeurs, troublemakers, and a host of perverts. Having 2 young daughters made us very aware of this. Since certain people directed themselves (and their activities) towards us, we directed certain people (the park rangers) towards them.

People seem to have forgotten why New York State passed a law prohibiting nudity in the mid to late 1970s: according to the newspaper reports there was overt gay activity on the nude beach at the Jacob Riis Park in New York City, and they needed a way to stop it. Based on what we've witnessed, Lighthouse Beach easily falls into that category and may someday be closed because of it.

Relative to the other beaches we've been to, the beach is filthy with trash, both with what was left behind by beachgoers and with what washed up onto the shore.

The Robert Moses State Park is located at the southern terminus of the Robert Moses Causeway. The easternmost parking lot is only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Since it's a State Park nudity is NOT tolerated ANYWHERE, no matter how secluded. Warnings are NOT given!

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Jones Beach

We have never been there but we've been told that the nude section begins 2 miles east of the eastern most parking lot of the Jones Beach State Park. Unfortunately, since it is not federal land it is prone to harrassment from the police.

Based on our visits to the clothed section and the famous boardwalk, we would expect that the beach is filthy.

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Cherry Grove

This is a predominately homosexual community. Unfortunately ignorant people have used this fact to falsely stereotype all of Fire Island.

We have never been there but have been told two differing stories as to its nude beach status. One story is that the nude section is separate, and the other is that nudity is intermixed throughout the entire beach. The important thing is that a nude beach is available.

Based on what we've seen on other Fire Island beaches (excluding Robert Moses/Lighthouse Beach) it would be expected that the beach is immacuately clean.

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Misc. Fire Island National Seashore

Between communities there is virtually no problems with nudity. We've hiked nude for miles through portions of the Fire Island National Seashore, and it is indeed wilderness. The Rangers have said that they do not wish to enforce New York State's anti-nudity laws, and only set up unwritten rules in the vicinity of neighboring clothed areas.

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But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-24 NIV)

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Rev: 27 January 2001