Four hundred steps to the Atlantic Ocean, a hop-skip-and-a-jump to the Great South Bay, the Little Jumping Dog House sits between sandy beaches near the very end of the last walk East in Fair Harbor. The nearest ferry stop is Dunewood: two hundred steps, but who's counting?
Downtown Fair Harbor is 10 blocks from the house and home to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Le Dock Restaurant and backhouse Le Dock Pizza. The attached Liquor Store is well stocked and only slightly pricey. Unfriendly's Ice Cream and the Pioneer Market are next door to the South, Corliss-on-the-Bay General Store and Curio Shop to the East. And if you're lucky, you might catch a pancake breakfast at the Volunteer Fire House. Small town.
If you want to explore the area and would like to try one of the better pizzas on Long Island, period, Kismet is a bicycle ride away to the West and a little further, the iconic Fire Island Lighthouse. The Old Fire Island Village of Saltaire and Patrick's Saltaire Market are on the way. In the other direction with sand floors, burgers and fries, local bands and Wednesday night Bingo, The Shack in Atlantique is a ten minute walk away on the beach. Ocean Beach with many more restaurants and bars, souvenir shops, and crowds of vacationers is ten minutes to the East by water taxi ($).
Fire Island lies eight miles out across the Great South Bay from the mainland of Long Island. She's thirty-two miles long from West to East and less than a quarter-of-a-mile wide in most places. Some say she got her name from the Old English pronunciation of "Far Island"; others for the pirates' bonfires set on the beach at night to lure New York bound sailing ships to their doom in the shallows.
Seventeen different communities are interspersed along her length, separated by wild never-to-be-developed National park land and connected by an unpaved sand road: the "Burma Road"-the only road down Fire Island. Each of these little towns has its' own unique personality: everything from tennis-whites and cocktails-at-the-casino to all-night-and-all-day-disco. Our particular "town vibe" is very relaxed. There are couples, many generations of families, share houses of singles, old-timer islanders and friends of all sorts in this area. There are no cliques. No politics. No one stands out. Everyone is very friendly. It's all about the beach: surfing, swimming, sunning, fishing, canoeing, napping, sunset...all right here.
And one more note in the form of an apology:
Little Jumping Dog House is nowhere near The Pines or Cherry Grove. If you are looking for the scene, nightlife and clubs, this is really not the place. Not even really close enough to enjoyably commute by water taxi.