Robert Moses State Park is home to an oceanfront beach of white quartz sand that extends for nearly five miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Located on a barrier island on the south shore of Long Island, it is one of the top destinations for summer fun in New York since its origin in 1908
Living on Long Island includes numerous trips to this haven improving the quality of life during hot summer months. It’s always cooler on the south shore with the ocean breeze and non stop waves. The water is warm enough to swim thanks to the Gulf Stream, but cool enough to be refreshing.
The ocean waves are great for swimming, surfing and boogie boarding. There’s room for everyone and the Lifeguards are top notch, ever vigilant. If you prefer to sit and relax, the sounds of the crashing waves will lull you into a peaceful state. Collecting miniature sea shells along the shore line can easily become a relaxing hobby. Occasionally, you might see someone surf casting from the shore. There are designated areas for all of the activities.
The beach area is large. There’s plenty of room to hang back or get real close to the shore. People bring blankets, chairs, tents, and even portable gazebos. Some groups really look like they’re day camping! The point is that you can definitely find room for your entourage at this beach without having to worry about getting chased off by the incoming tide.
This beach does allow food. You are welcome to bring your own and picnic on the beach or purchase something from the indoor concessions. Either way, PLEASE dispose of your trash properly. There are trash cans along the beach for your convenience. Somehow I’m always sitting next to someone who leaves their filth behind. I can not in good conscious leave it there to blow into the ocean or be dragged in by the next tide. It’s definitely a good idea to teach your family to Take 3. Check out the Ocean Institute for more inspiration.
The park is separated into five fields each with their own concession stand, beach shop, first aid office, comfort station, WiFi and private outdoor showers. Yet, each field has a little something different to offer.
- Picnic Areas with Park Grills and Tables located at Fields 2, 3, and 4.
- An 18-hole Pitch & Putt Golf Course is available at Field 2 for public use from early April through mid-November.
- Volleyball Court Area which can accommodate up to 21 games at a time at Field 2 (there’s usually at least one net set up at each field for public play)
- Large Playground Area for children and a Boardwalk that extends the length of the parking area at Field 5
- Spacious Gazebo to host large gatherings on a first–come, first-serve basis at Field 3
- Democrat Point is a favorite for surfers and fishermen, but it is known for its 4×4 drive-on access, an off-roading hotspot. Located East of Field 2
- Underpass Tunnel to a day-use Boat Basin (holds 80 personal watercraft) and long Pier for fishing and crabbing located at Field 3
All of the fields are connected and you can walk along the shoreline through all of them.
Our Favorite Field
Field 5 is by far our favorite field to visit. Its nickname is “the public’s gateway to Fire Island.” In addition to the beach, you can access a beautiful ¾ mile nature walk (mostly an elevated boardwalk) that will lead you to the Fire Island Lighthouse.
From this field, you can also access nearby towns like Kismet and Saltaire by foot or bicycle. (This is no tiny feat on a hot day!) We took our bikes all the way over to the village of Ocean Beach (much further) and it was an American Ninja Warrior worthy journey. Note: You can access these towns much easier via the ferry from the mainland if you’re not ready for the workout.
Field 5 is usually the quieter of the fields, but it gets filled too when the others get packed out. The boardwalk is a nice addition for you to walk along. There’s a playground for the little kids if they get tired of the waves. All of the same amenities can be found here–concessions, first aid, beach shop, wifi, volleyball net, showers, comfort stations.
The Fire Island Lighthouse is a fun adventure for everyone in the family. You can access it from the East end of Field 5. There is a dirt road you can walk along or you can opt for the boardwalk. It’s a 3/4 mile easy walk to the lighthouse with terrific views of the dunes, marsh, pines, and even wildlife sightings. As soon as you begin your short hike, you will be inside the Fire Island National Seashore (all of the barrier island east of Robert Moses).
There’s plenty to do once you reach the lighthouse. You are welcome to explore the lighthouse, the keeper’s quarters, exhibit center, boat house, and lens building. If you’re up for more of an adventure, you can climb Long Island’s tallest lighthouse (all 182 steps, it’s even taller than Montauk Point Lighthouse!). At the top, you will be treated to panoramic views of Fire Island, the bays, and the ocean. On a clear day you can even see the New York Citry skyline. There is a fee to climb the lighthouse and height restrictions. The fee ($8 adults, $4 seniors, kids, military) goes to the preservation of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is open daily but call ahead for lighthouse tours during the school year on weekdays. For more information or to plan your tour:
Open 7 days a week, the Park Office sells an array of permits that allow visitors to make the most of their beach experience, including Empire Passports and Fishing, Surfing, and Star Gazing Permits, Beach Access (4×4) Permits.
- 600 Robert Moses State Parkway, Babylon, NY 11702
- Vehicle entrance fee during the season
- Memorial Day to Labor Day- $10 per car
- 4/1-Memorial Day and Labor Day to mid Nov.- $8 per car on holidays and weekend
- Umbrella & Chair Rentals available
- Rentals $10
- Deposit $10
- All beachfronts handicap accessible
- Beach wheelchair available free of charge, first-come, first serve basis, at First Aid Office
- Summer Season- mobility mats for easier beach access at Fields 2,3 & 5
- No pets allowed in the state park
- Map of the Park
- Official website- https://parks.ny.gov/parks/7/
Family Adventure Rating ♥♥
Cost– This is a fun, low cost day for the entire family. Transportation is your main cost if you don’t have a vehicle. A family of five with a car can enjoy this day and climb the lighthouse for $38 plus any costs for food and sunscreen. You will always save money bringing your own food, drinks and accessories.
Parking & Transportation– This state park is easy to access. It’s located near major highways, the Babylon train station, and bus route. If you’re taking the train, check out the Robert Moses Summer Package offered by MTA. Each field has its own parking lot, but given the right circumstances they can fill to capacity. Make sure you leave early on peak summer days to avoid congestion over the bridges, guarantee your choice of field, and find parking.
Day Trip or Overnight– This is a day trip. There are no accommodations at this state park to stay overnight.
Experience– This is one of our family’s favorite beaches- hands down. If you enjoy the ocean, you will love Robert Moses. It’s clean, fun and family friendly.
Combination– This state park can easily be a full day adventure, especially if you add any of the amenities. If you can’t get enough of Fire Island, you can begin to explore its villages. If you just don’t want to go home yet, Babylon village on the mainland is pretty nice and offers shopping and food.