Community Health Awards

Summer's Great Escapes

photo by Cassandra Olander; Chat & Nibble

Fire Island, NY

Summer isn't complete without a visit to every New York dyke’s favorite paradise, Fire Island. This famous vacation spot where Truman Capote once spent his summers is renowned for its ability to draw huge crowds of beach-loving beauties. Only 50 miles east of NYC, the petite island is the perfect getaway whether you’re seeking a quiet day at the beach or non-stop revelry.

Dancing on the Bay (gaycenter.org) is a fabulous annual benefit for NYC’s LGBT Community Center—a popular gathering with a dance floor built directly over the Great South Bay. This year, the Bay Dance is on June 30. On July 4, Invasion of the Pines (fireislandinvasion.com), is a parade of pride through the Pines harbor beginning at 2pm and followed by long night of dancing. You can find that kind of happy-gay-lucky fun every day in this watery wonderland.

After slathering on some tanning oil, get your slippery self to Cherry Lane Café (158 Bayview Walk, 631-597-7859). According to one staff member, “once you get off the ferry, the first sound you hear is blenders!” Frozen drinks are their specialty, and they will cool you off all day long. If, between ice headaches, you meet a sexy gal you want to impress, take her to The Island Mermaid (Ocean Beach, 631-583-8088, islandmermaid.com) for some fancy fare and stunning views. Otherwise cook her up a homemade meal in your tranquil Dune Point Rentals (from $175, 134 Lewis Walk, 631-597-6261, dunepointfireisland.com) apartment kitchen.

If you’re flying solo for the night, check out the island’s best hot spots. Sip ‘N’ Twirl (36 Fire Island Blvd, 631-597-3599, sipntwirl.com), a hopping mixed club that will get your heart pumping. On June 23 and 24 this club features the beats of resident DJ Twisted Dee (of NYC’s Rapture on the River fame). Best of all, there’s never a cover charge. Cherry’s (Bayview Walk, 631-597-6820) is popular with the girls. Every other Saturday is ladies’ night, and every Sunday is a tea dance starting at 3pm; DJ Susan Levine of Next Level Productions spins at both parties. The Ice Palace at the Grove Hotel (from $40, Main Walk, 631-597-6600, grovehotel.com) is another favorite. This eclectic and popular club is inside Fire Island’s largest hotel. Rest your weary body, as the sounds of your fellow revelers dancing on lulls you into a much-needed sleep.

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