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TODAY'S PAPER

Day trip: Find a piece of paradise in Fire Island's Ocean Beach

Brian Shea Larchmont takes a selfie with his family aboard the Fire Island ferry to Ocean Beach. / Daniel Goodrich

Ocean Beach is often dubbed the capital of Fire Island. Hop the passenger-only ferry from Bay Shore (631-665-3600, fireislandferries.com) for a 30-minute jaunt across the Great South Bay.

Set yourself up for the day on the sand — spread out your blanket, pitch your umbrella and claim your piece of paradise.

After a swim, take a walk. Charming, weathered homes line the ocean, and the...

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Ocean Beach is often dubbed the capital of Fire Island. Hop the passenger-only ferry from Bay Shore (631-665-3600, fireislandferries.com) for a 30-minute jaunt across the Great South Bay.

Set yourself up for the day on the sand — spread out your blanket, pitch your umbrella and claim your piece of paradise.

After a swim, take a walk. Charming, weathered homes line the ocean, and the community’s concrete paths let you take in quaint bungalows decorated with sea shells and driftwood.

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Ocean Beach’s main square is dotted with shops. Searching for the perfect Ocean Beach T-shirt? Try Kline’s (631-583-3333). Looking for decorative nautical décor? Browse through The Gallery, often referred to as the General Store because of the sign above its front door (631-583-9724). If you need a treat, stop into the Ice Castle Sweet Shoppe (631-583-0225), which sells ice cream, fudge, and shelves and shelves of candy.

You can’t eat or drink on the beach (except for water), so lunch at your choice of more than a dozen restaurants, many with al fresco seating. Island Mermaid, for instance has a deck on the bay where diners can watch the ferries pull in and out (631-583-8088; islandmermaid.com). If you want an alcoholic beverage in the shade, pull up a seat at the covered bar at Matthew’s Seafood, which is at the east end of Ocean Beach. (631-583-8016; matthewsseafood.com).

The houses are part of the attraction at Ocean Beach, Fire Island.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be delighted during your wandering by one of Fire Island’s ubiquitous four-legged year-round residents: Deer roam the island and often cross the community paths, coexisting with beachgoers (as with outings to any grassy and wooded areas, you'll want to carefully check yourself for ticks).