DIRECTIONS: There are three roads to O’Neils. One is easy. One is passable. One isn’t. The easiest and recommended way is to take the southern most paved road that goes past the Batel tower. If you’re coming from the north, this may mean a few extra miles of driving, but it also means an easier drive without having brush coming into your car (the northern road) or finding that after maybe a half mile you really don’t want to even try and go down that road (the middle road) and have to back out. Heading north: As you leave Simms, turn right onto the first paved road, staying on it as it makes a left hand bend. You’ll go through the village of O’Neils, making sure to check out the quaint collection of oddities at one of the residences (see below), and after the paved road turns to sand, take the first right and follow it until you can’t go any further. Be careful in parking, as there are some nonobvious holes that you can back into. Heading south:As you leave Deals Beach, look for the first paved road on the left. Turn and follow as above.
O’Neils consists of three sections: a section north of the promontory that you see when you walk into the beach directly from parking; a mid section from the promontory south to a small point; and the southern section which goes from this point to a rock cliff.
The northern beach has several rocky outcrops close to shore which provide for some small protected pools. The mid section is deep adjacent to the promontory and being somewhat unprotected can have some larger waves and stronger currents. This section is only recommended for strong swimmers and experienced snorkelers no matter what the conditions. As you go south in this section, there is a long section of rock ledges along the beach. The bottom in front of these ledges are also rocky, or perhaps a better descriptor is pebbly. However, past these pebbles about 10-30 yards out, the bottom gets sandy. Once you round the point, the southern beach and water are all sand. Because of the protection the off shore reefs provide, the southern section may be suitable for novice snorkelers depending on conditions.
O’Neils is probably one of LI’s most underrated beaches. It shouldn’t be as it packs all the wide variety of LI Atlantic beaches into a compact length that is easily accessible.