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Site:Fire Island, New York
Bring the heat: If the Hamptons can feel stuffy or elitist, 31-mile-long Fire Island, along Long Island's south coast, is the friendlier, easygoing alternative. Each stretch of beach attracts its own demographicFire Island Pines, the gay crowd; Ocean Beach, the young professionalsbut instead of long lines at nightclubs, it's all about house parties. Drinks in the hot tub, anyone?
Select sand: Which demographic are you looking for? Both Ocean Beach and the Pines see some very outré goings-on along the surfand it's easy to take the action back to the rental house. For a wide, classic East Coast beach that attracts all kinds, the five-mile stretch in Robert Moses State Park is a good bet.
Hookup rating: You're single? Why, so is Jake. And Sally. And seven other people in the house. See you in the hot tub?
Privacy: 0. The other people in the house will know everything by morning.
Pillow talk: This is a house-rental world. You can book a week at a time, or for the entire summer. A good place to start is to take a look at FireIsland.com or a directory such as vacationrentals.com, which allows you to contact the owners directly.
Two-bedroom cottages from $1,000 per week