Boats bobbing, surfers heading out with boards tucked neatly under arms, fishermen selling their catches of the day and sandy beaches present a picture perfect oceanside scene. That very scene plays out in Montauk, located on the largest and the longest island in the U.S., Long Island. Perched on the south fork of the Peconic Bay split in New York, Montauk can easily be reached from New York City in a few hours by way of the Long Island Rail Road or the Hampton Jitney.
Montauk is that Long Island dream, without the hype associated with neighbors like Southampton and East Hampton. The oceanfront setting lends over 5,000 acres of immaculate public beaches and parkland and with it, an unrivaled natural beauty perfect for a luxurious yet laidback seaside getaway.
What To Do
In Montauk, you surf, drink, sail and ride for activity. Surfers frequently head to Montauk for its waves, especially at Ditch Plains Beach. The beach hosts a renowned offshore break, proving ideal for waves. The surfer’s beach also lends a wide beach with jagged cliffs, the perfect eye candy for riding waves. In addition to surfing, there are plenty of opportunities in Montauk to swim, fish, boat, sail, bike, hike and even bird watch.
If all of the activity of Montauk leaves you a little parched, you can venture to one of the many vineyards in the area. Duck Walk Vineyards sets up close to Montauk with its award winning wines. Tours and tastings are available. Also not to be missed is a visit to Wölffer Estate Vineyard. The sustainable vineyard has become known in the area for its elegant wines and also its sparkling dry ciders.
Just when you think Montauk is one dimensional, a surfing spot with plenty of seafood options, watersports, beaches and parks, the hamlet on Long Island surprises with Deep Hollow Ranch. The ranch is not only one of the oldest establishments in the area, dating back to 1658, but it also is the oldest cattle ranch in the United States. With 4,000 acres of trails, Deep Hollow Ranch lends the opportunity to go both Western and English style riding. Deep Hollow Ranch sits just three miles from Montauk village.
What To See
In terms of Montauk attraction to go see, nature is king. The area boasts a number of beaches and parks to explore. Montauk Point State Park sits on the eastern tip of the South Shore. The park lends jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic Ocean, right when it shakes hands with Block Island Sound. On a clear water day, you can even see the tides converging. Montauk Point State Park also hosts a number of nature trails for hiking or cross-country skiing. Then again, you can just sit and watch the seals from the park for a well-rounded Montauk outing. Beaches are also the name of Montauk’s attractions, including Kirk Park Beach. Just west of town, the space covers in clean sands for 500 feet.
If you want to work those leg muscles a bit, you can pay a visit to the Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum. The museum showcases the area’s seafaring history and the lighthouse’s role in Montauk. Visitors to the museum can climb up all 137 steps to the top deck for views of the ocean.
Where To Eat
Predictably, Montauk is all about the catch of the day. The area is rich in many restaurants that only serve fresh seafood and produce from local farms. The Surf Lodge Restaurant is one of those establishments where acclaimed Chef Chris Rendell dishes up some of Montauk’s cleanest and freshest creations. Dishes boast of being both sustainable and local with seafood coming straight from the local fishing boats and produce from farms on the island. 668 The Gig Shack is also a notable Montauk eatery. The downtown restaurant, right smack on Main Street, prides itself on serving surfing cuisine such as barbecue and fish tacos. On most nights, you can even catch live music at the Gig Shack. For waterside dining, the Westlake Fish House represents another culinary notable in Montauk. The restaurant claims more than just sea views with dinner but also the freshest of ingredients from the east end’s farms and vineyards.
Where To Stay
While Montauk fills with a number of accommodations options, the Surf Lodge is quickly becoming the destination for summers on Long Island. Originally built in 1967, the Surf Lodge has that oceanside charm but with the sophistication of a boutique hotel. Guests never have to take their eyes off of what most likely brought them to Montauk, the water. Balancing relaxation and sophistication, the hotel claims 32-waterfront rooms.
In addition to waterside views, the Surf Lodge hosts its own summer concert series, a rustic bar for lingering over sunset skies and plenty of outdoor seating areas. The site is only open in the summertime, making it a popular choice for vacationing families, honeymooners and artists. Most visitors want to come in the summer due to the surfing conditions and the untouched beaches. While you could just book the Surf Lodge for a chic summer getaway, the site does host events from as few as 20 people to a larger crowd of 200 guests, making it ideal for seaside summer weddings.
When To Go
Summer is most obviously Montauk’s main season. The area is abuzz with local fishermen, artists, travelers and surfers. The summertime represents the best time to fully experience Montauk’s raw and untouched coastline. Temperatures also average in the upper 70s, proving idyllic for a not-too-hot summer getaway. While the summer is Montauk’s season, the fall is also a good time to visit Long Island. The coastal community has fewer crowds, leaving more isolated sands to enjoy.
Have you been to Montauk? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.