The family had fun using a 4x4 fishing permit access on Jones Island. The barrier beaches run roughly west to east off the south shore of Long Island. These strips of land can run for thirty miles but at their widest are maybe a half mile.
We didn't catch any fish but had a lot of fun.
This is a picture of our CRV(!). The car is getting old (2011 4wd). Instead of immediately making a jump to something like a 4runner or Jeep, which my family really doesn't need, I found a 2 inch lift kit, that brings my CRV to 8.2 inches of clearance. We air down the tires and have all the required gear but have had no issues. Prudence so far has been the better part of valor.
Within the next few years, we will probably get a new car. Highest odds so far are the next gen Highlander hybrid (34mpg and would make me feel a bit green), Subaru Ascent, or a true 4x4 (least likely).
In six trips since April 1, I have seen an F150, Wrangler, and Dodge Charger (the last went on the beach illegally) stuck. The first time I saw something like a Wrangler get stuck, I was flabbergasted. You have to drive prudently on Long Island sand - it is very fine.