Hot showers, life guard protected beaches, snack bar and 150+ slip marina make Atlantique Beach the perfect choice for day trippers and weekend boaters.
Parents will appreciate the informal atmosphere and family orientation.
Here you'll see kids playing in the sand, fishing off the docks and enjoying themselves at the snack bar with very little supervision.
It's just not needed.
And getting here is easy. Hop on the ferry and 20 minutes later you're here.
If you have your own boat that's even better.
You can take advantage of Atlantique's wide slips, electrical service, fresh water hookup and free pump out station.
A crew of kids enjoy lunch at the Session Stand snack bar
I spent a week on my boat here this past summer and boy did I appreciate those hot showers.
Another thing I really enjoyed was great morning coffee at the Session Stand snack bar.
Proprietor Gavin Melton serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner, and some great conversation as well.
The Session Stand features an indoor dining area, tap beer and a wide variety of background music.
Another nice thing about Atlantique is the easy social scene.
Left: Gavin doing his thing at the Session Stand.
It was a windy day when I sailed into the marina and it would have been very difficult to dock my boat without help.
I wasn't within 100 feet of my slip when someone appeared on the dock to lend a hand. (There were no other boats docked near me so it wasn't an act of self defense.)
Partygoers asleep, empty chairs, tables and glasses line the dock
In just a day or so I became acquainted with some of the other boaters on my dock and had a great time with them the rest of the week.
There is a distinction between Atlantique Beach and the Fire Island community of Atlantique located next door.
The beach is an 875 foot wide strip between the ocean and the bay, and nestled between the communities of Atlantique and Lonelyville.
Formerly known as Sea Fire Beach it is now run by the town of Islip as a town park and is accessible to anyone by either private boat or ferry.
Atlantique proper is a small, secluded Fire Island community consisting of about 50 homes in a 13 acre area. There are no stores and no ferry service to this community so the residents will use either the Atlantique Beach or Dunewood ferries.
You will occasionally see residents selling hats and shirts near the ferry terminal to raise money for community projects.
When I was there they were trying to raise money for much needed boardwalk repairs. I fulfilled my obligation as a tourist to bring back something memorable by buying a hat.
If you get bored Fire Island's largest and most popular town, Ocean Beach is just a short walk or water taxi ride away.
Or you can walk 20 minutes west to Fair Harbor, a small, but beautiful little town that has a general store, pizza shop, ice cream stand, liquor store and restaurant.
Since the Session Stand doesn't open until 9am, some boaters will take a refreshing morning walk to Fair Harbor for coffee and newspaper. In the evenings you'll find many making that trip to pick up wine at the liquor store.
The walk is easy. Just west of the children's playground and lifeguard stand on the bay side beach is a narrow path. Follow it until you reach a cement walk. Follow that walk in a westerly direction until you reach Broadway, then go north towards the bay.
The map at left (click for full size) is a hand out from the dock master's office. It's a crude drawing and not to scale, but it will get you there. The extended walks shown leading to Dunewood and Fair Harbor take you right to the ferry dock.
It's a bit of an adventure the first time you do it, but the walk is scenic and 99% cement or boardwalk so you're not trudging through sand.
During my stay at Atlantique I rode the water taxi into Ocean Beach for breakfast and dinner several times. Expensive, but heck if you can't spoil yourself on vacation, then when?
Atlantique is accessible by ferry from Bay Shore or private boat.
Take the ferry from the Bay Shore ferry terminal at the end of Maple Avenue in Bay Shore.
You'll notice that ferry service is somewhat limited. One trick a lot of folks use is to take the ferry to and from Dunewood, a small community just west of Atlantique.
By private boat
Atlantique is almost exactly 2.5 miles east of the Fire Island lighthouse. Docking is available on a first come first serve basis. The dockmaster monitors VHF Ch. 9 or you can call the dockmaster's office at 631-583-8610.
There is anchorage on either side of the marina so you can anchor out if you like. I do this often to save on fees and also for a little more privacy.
Marina Fees 2012
For Town of Islip residents fees range from $32 to $52 per day on weekdays depending the size of your boat--$38 to $60 on weekends and holidays.
Non-resident docking is more expensive and availability is at the discretion of the dockmaster.
I highly recommend calling ahead for the latest information about dock space availability and fees.
Important phone numbers
General information about town of Islip marinas and docks: 631-224-5648
Atlantique Marina dockmaster: 631-583-8610.
If you're a regular here you might recognize the names of the boats in this story sent in by a reader just after Labor Day. Read Atlantique 2005.