Another National Seashore interpretive center (631/597-6455, seasonal hours), similar to but larger than the one at Sailors Haven, is located at Watch Hill, at the eastern end of Fire Island. Remote and lonely in feel, Watch Hill is filled with windswept dunes and an often-unpopulated beach, while adjacent to it is a national wilderness area that visitors are welcome to explore.
Fall and spring are especially good times to come, as Fire Island is on the Atlantic flyway, a major avian migratory route. At the center of Watch Hill are bathhouses, a snack bar, nature trails, and the interpretive center.
Ferries operated by the Davis Park Ferry Co. (West and Division Sts., Patchogue, 631/475-1665, www.davisparkferry.com, adults round-trip $16, children round-trip $10.50) run May–November.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition