Where can I have a campfire on a beach near NYC?
April 28, 2017 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Summer is coming, and I want to have a campfire on a beach with my friends! However, we live in NYC. What's the closest beach where we can have a campfire? Bonus points if we can camp out there.

Ah, the smell of salt air and campfire. The sound of the ocean and my friends' warm revelry. Maybe a guitar is present?

This is something we'd like to experience at least once this summer. However, my friends and I live in NYC. What's the closest place where we can (legally) have a campfire on a beach? Ideally, we'd like to camp out for the night.

We realize that we can't rely on trains to take us there -- we're prepared to rent cars.
posted by panama joe to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I actually don't know of anywhere you can do this until Southern Maine or Maryland. I would be pleased to learn otherwise. There are places you can camp and have a fire near the beach, but in a lifetime spent in the Northeast, I've found very few where you can have a fire right on the beach, by the water.

Asbury Park has great summer bonfires on the beach, though they are public so you have to share with people.
posted by Miko at 11:26 AM on April 28, 2017

I don't have an answer for you, but two thoughts on places you can look:

Long Beach Island State Park in NJ. I think they have camping, not sure if it's on the beach exactly. It's once of the NJ barrier beach islands that has been kept free of development and relatively wild.

The excellent book The Best in Tent Camping, NY state. It's a curated list of great campsites. They have a bunch on Long Island, some may allow beach fires. There is also a NJ and a PA version of the book.

Good luck on your search.
posted by Cranialtorque at 12:38 PM on April 28, 2017

Wildwood State Park on the North Shore allows camping and campfires (in raised metal containers) - it's not ON the beach, but it's beach adjacent.

Hither Hills State Park, near Montauk has campsites - but fires aren't permitted during the high season (mid-June to Labor Day - if you go in early June it looks like campfires are allowed in containers). Again, beach-adjacent.

You could theoretically take LIRR+cab to either, but with supplies it's easier to drive.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:39 PM on April 28, 2017

Long Beach Island State Park in NJ. I think they have camping, not sure if it's on the beach exactly.

It's Island Beach State Park - - unfortunately, they don't allow any camping. I am pretty sure there is zero camping anywhere on the barrier island.
posted by Miko at 1:46 PM on April 28, 2017

It appears Montauk may be amenable to beach fires. Anybody ever been to these beaches?
posted by panama joe at 2:32 PM on April 28, 2017

Have you checked out Smith's Point? They have camping, you have ocean on one side, and bay on the other. I believe the bay side may allow fires on the beach, and it's about an hour west of Montauk. Plus, if you walk west on the ocean side, you can see the breach created during hurricane Sandy.
posted by kellyblah at 4:30 PM on April 28, 2017

You can take the ferry from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, NJ, and camp on the beach (or just above the beach). At Sandy Hook, you also have fire rings for campfires.
posted by annieb at 5:49 PM on April 28, 2017

Just a note about Sandy Hook, those campsites are on the bay side.
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on April 28, 2017

I have been to Montauk beaches, and had fires in them. The rules and restrictions are listed here. Anecdotally, I've never been asked to put out a fire, and they're quite commonly built without the metal container. Nor will you be kicked off the beach for camping, but keep in mind that there's not much by way of facilities. In your shoes, I'd rent from the Beach Plum Motel in May or early June, and walk to the beach from there.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:22 PM on April 28, 2017

Thank you all for the suggestions!

One question -- where does one go to buy the aforementioned metal containers required by law? Do they sell them at hardware stores?
posted by panama joe at 6:53 AM on April 29, 2017

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