Davis Park/Leja Beach. Home of the infamous Casino – a great restaurant and one of the most populated drinking hot-spots on the barrier beach, Fire Island. A place some call a second home.
A first impression of Davis Park may be less than thrilling, simply because there isn’t much except a small general store, volleyball net, a children’s playground and a long boardwalk leading from the ferry dock to the bar, with the next step taking you down to the beach. Standing high above the beach, on the Casino deck, the view to east and west brings only homes. But the view of the south of the pounding relentless Atlantic Ocean is possibly the most spectacular found anywhere.
A Brookhaven Town beach, boasting a new bath house a police station and over 200 dock slips Davis Park has the biggest, transient population of any town marina. The Davis Park Ferry Company operated by the Sherman family, estimates that nearly 10,000 sun and sea worshippers ride to Leja Beach during the summer season. It has long been considered and described as a mecca for the single, energetic slice of life.
But that is not the only type of living style found within the dunes of Davis Park. Though the parting and reveling is the most flamboyant signal to the senses, beyond the noise of the music, there are Davis Park residents who enjoy their community for its peacefulness-the natural state of being. Despite the popularity growth over the years, Davis Park has not suffered from the building boom which left little breathing space in neighboring communities.
It all began back in 1945 when Davis Park became official with the town establishing the marina and a public park. The land for both was donated by the Davis Brothers of Patchogue. A large building was barged over from the South Shore and with some work was soon operating as the bar, the Leja Beach Casino. Houses stated sprouting on the western edge, in the early 1960’s and then spread east. The latter formation of homes would garner their own identify in time, calling itself Ocean Ridge.
Upon a first taste, Davis Park seems unregulated, hedonistic. But that is not true. Town lifeguards watch over the crowds with a sharp eye. Police patrols and visitors themselves often thwart the problems that come with drinking. The population age is not limited to teenagers and older single, children are heard laughing, screeching as they swim, dig their sandcastles, play Frisbee.
Davis Park simply put, is down-to-earth. There is no jet-set scene, no best-dressed list to follow. It welcomes all who enjoy soaking their skin, swimming in the rough and cooling sea. Friendly Davis Park affords its virtues to all. Hopefully, it will never change.
Area residents are flocking to Davis Park on Fire Island