If you’re lucky enough to be on Shelter Island during sunset, do yourself a favor and head to Crescent Beach. Located on the northern side of the island off Shore Road the beach faces northwest towards Southold and Greenport.
The long strip of sand is the perfect place to sit or stroll while watching Mother Nature’s nightly show as the sun turns a deep red before it dips below the horizon.
There are two establishments on the beach where you can watch the sunset while enjoying drinks or a meal.
The Pridwin Beach Hotel and Cottages offers fine dining and a great view of the sunset on their large balcony every evening. You can also catch the show sitting at their bar or during their popular Wednesday night cookouts.
Further down the beach is Sunset Beach, a chic boutique hotel, with a restaurant and bar that both face the beach.
If you’re hitting the beach on your own, permit stickers on vehicles are required. While free to residents upon proof of residency, visitors can purchase permits for $35 per week, $75 per month or $200 for the season. No day permits are sold for Crescent Beach. (Visit the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall, 38 North Ferry Road, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturdays during summer between 9 a.m. and noon).
Walking or riding a bicycle to the beach is free and bikes can be rented at Piccozzi’s Bike Shop in Shelter Island Heights (631-749-0045). If you’re dining or staying at the Pridwin or Sunset Beach, don’t worry about a permit, because you’re golden.