To the Beach

I live on Long Island where the beaches are beautiful.  My town’s beaches are north on the Sound and uncrowded, quaint and picturesque.  You look across harbors and bays to other villages and can watch sailboats and pleasure boats coming and going.  To the south, the beaches are on the Atlantic Ocean and pretty typical of East Coast beaches, good for riding waves and taking long walks, but because they’re so popular on brilliant summer afternoons you can find your blanket almost touching your neighbor’s.  Even at the beach, real estate is at a premium.  Where I go depends on what I’m in the mood for, how much time I have and one other thing.

If you look at a map of Long Island you’ll see on the Southern shore, there are several strips of land sitting in the Atlantic. These are the outer barrier islands.  There are five beginning on the western end of  Long Island and moving east.  They are Coney Island and then Long Beach Island which you may have heard of because Super Storm Sandy hit it particularly hard.  Then Jones Beach Island with its famous 6.5 mile Jones Beach, Fire Island and Westhampton Island.

I often go to Robert Moses State Park which has 5 miles of beach and is located on Fire Island.  Fire Island is a very popular tourist spot where you can rent a house during the summer and where cars are not allowed.  You can only get to that section of the island by ferry from Long Island or walking from the end of the Robert Moses Beach.

However, to get to Robert Moses State Park you drive.  And guess what you must do?  Yes!  Cross not 1 but 3 bridges.  (You can avoid one of the bridges if you approach from Jones Beach, and while it’s a pretty drive it would be taking the long way around for not much gain.)

The first bridge over the Great South Bay is two spans.  One with 2 lanes, the other with 3.

The traffic on the left span is heading to the beach. Photo by Liz


The double-span bridge over the Great South Bay. Photo by Liz.

Then you cross a short draw bridge.

And decide where you want to go.

Jones Beach is about 16 miles to the west of this point.


Then across this single-span two-lane bridge.

I don’t love crossing these bridges but they don’t make me as anxious like other bridges can.   Though a day at the beach would be far better for me  if it didn’t begin and end with a bridge, even if I’m not driving.