Between the clothing-optional places, and stories about places like the "meatrack," and all the "outrageous gay fun" going on in The Pines and Cherry Grove, are there any gay-friendly places that AREN'T so gay and seemingly sleazy? I mean I'm just looking for a nice non-urban place to get away to with my lover, where we can lounge on the beach,and walk around, and not get disapproving looks. All I've been able to gather from websites I've searched is more about the same sex nightlife. I'm gay and all, but is there a place (maybe even the other villages on the island) that'll be gay friendly but more about being on holiday and less about the orientation? Or am I out of luck?
You are in luck! While it is true that the fun and sexy Fire Island scene and nightlife draws a lot of attention and thousands of visitors on weekends during high season (July 4th to Labor Day), there is much more to Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove than cruising or parties.
Just browse through this issue of Island Scene magazine or visit www.IslandScene.net for a list of alternative recreational and social activities, ranging from church to yoga, representing the richness and diversity between the Pines and Grove.
You won't find a more gay friendly or affirmative natural place on this planet, surrounded by the pristine wilderness of the Fire Island National Seashore. This is why the Pines and Grove are home to hundreds of resident gay and lesbian couples, and a growing number of children, during the summer.
Every day of the week you and your lover can choose from a wide variety of activities - art exhibits and film, yoga, theatre, dance, Bingo, church, water sports on the bay or ocean (wind surf, sail, kayak), volleyball on the beach, political fundraisers, nature walks, bird watching, boat trips, fishing, romantic dinners in or out, support groups, garden tours, and volunteer activities. Or you just relax quietly on the beach or your deck, read a book and watch a sunset or a sunrise.
If you want to enjoy Fire Island's wild wide open, take a walk to Sunken Forest, just west of the Grove, or Talisman, east of the Pines, both parks in the Fire Island National Seashore. You can select a walk along the Bay, on the beach or through the woods. You might want to pack a lunch (with a bottle of wine good wine from the Pines Liquor Store) and find a romantic spot for a picnic.
If you are looking for a quite retreat, we highly recommend renting a house or apartment far from the downtown areas during the week through one of the realtors listed in this magazine (check their websites to see what fits your price range).
You might also consider visiting after Labor Day. September and October are beautiful on Fire Island, with fewer crowds, a warm ocean, changing leaves and friendly people.
(The above Q&A was also published in Island Scene Magazine: http://www.islandscene.net/common/news/details.cfm?QID=2667&articletype=N&clientid=10007)
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