Things to do in Montauk, NY : Complete Travel Guide

Whether you choose to visit in summer or winter, there are plenty of things to do in Montauk, NY. In the summer, Montauk and the rest of the Hamptons are a haven for the sun seeking New Yorker’s looking to escape the confines of the concrete jungle in just a couple of hours. In the winter, it’s a relaxing seaside retreat.

Where is Montauk?

Montauk is on the South Fork of Long island in New York State. It is often referred to as “The End”  because it is at the very tip of Long Island peninsula in the Hamptons.  Long Island lies east of NYC and is essentially an extension of the same land mass that the burrows of Queens and Brooklyn are on.

Most New Yorkers will simply saying “I’m going out east” which is a vague term and usually refers to them going to Long Island, more specifically usually either the north or south fork.

Is Montauk, NY Part of the Hamptons?

Yes, Montauk is part of the Hamptons. It’s on the tip of long island and is the most eastern part of the Hamptons.

Is Montauk Expensive?

Montauk is like NYC transplanted to a beach, but a little more laid back so yes, it’s expensive. That being said, just like in the city, you can find good value out east. There are local dives to drink in and other ways to get around spending a ton of cash. But you’ll have to be pretty savvy.

Best Things to Do

1. Walk around Montauk’s Village

Montauk Village has a multitude of cute shops, hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. Grab coffee or an ice cream as you dip between the stores.

2. Go to the Beach

There are multiple beaches to visit in Montauk and a major draw for visitors. Be aware that many of the beach parking is by permit only. Some Airbnbs and hotels will provide you will temporary permits. Otherwise, hopefully you are close enough to walk or bike to the beach!

  • Ditch Plains – Parking by permit only.
  • Gin Beach – Parking by permit only.
  • Hither Hills State Park – Public parking.
  • Kirk Beach – Free parking. This is the main beach in the village of Montauk.
  • South Edison Beach – Limited public Parking.

3. Visit the Montauk Lighthouse.

The Montauk Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest lighthouse in New York State. The lighthouse has been a beacon to so many out at sea over the years. It is located on the easternmost tip of Long Island and is marvel to look at.  Visiting the lighthouse is definitely one of the tops things to do in Montauk! You can pay the $12 entry fee ($8 to park) to explore the grounds and even climb up to the top!

  • Tip – Parking is free after 4, but check closing time as this changes through out the year.
  • Address – 2000 Old Montauk Hwy

4. Take a Surf Lesson.

Surfing is at the core of Montauk. It was named the number 8 best surf town in the U.S. by Surfer.com. Have a lesson with one of the surf schools, rent or bring your own gear.

  • Corey’s Wave
  • Surf Luca
  • The Montauk Surf Camp

5. Go to Montauk Point State Park.

The Montauk Lighthouse is part of Montauk Point State Park along with other things. Go fishing hiking or visit the shop and cafe with a beautiful view of the Atlantic with Block Island in the distance. The cost to park or purchase an Empire Pass for $80 which gets you into state parks and more all season.  Ideally, the Empire pass can be shared within a household and is not vehicle specific.

  • Tip – Parking is free after 4, but check closing time as this changes through out the year.
  • Address – 2000 Old Montauk Hwy

6. Hither Hills State Park

Hither Hills State Park is at the beginning stretch of Montauk. With a sandy beach, swimming, biking, camping and hiking this park will make everyone in the family happy. The 153 camping sites couldn’t get much more picturesque with the Atlantic ocean on one side and Napeague Dunes on the other.

  • The State Park parking fees also apply here.
  • Address – 164 Old Montauk Highway

7. Camp Hero State Park

Camp Hero State Park is neighbors with Montauk Point State Park and is one of the more untouched state parks in the area. Equestrian trails, biking, fishing and hiking are some of the activities here. Enjoy plenty of wildlife, sea views and freshwater wetlands in a calm setting.

  • State Park parking fees apply.
  • Address – 1898 Montauk Highway

8. Shadmoor State Park

This 99 acre state park is located a short distance from Montauk Village. It has cool access to the long sandy beach by two staircases. Thanks to the elevated platforms, this is a great place to bring your binoculars and enjoy some amazing bird watching! It’s also across the street from Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course.

  • State Park parking fees apply.
  • Address – 900 Montauk Highway

9. Go Horse Back Riding at Deep Hollow Ranch.

Try your hand at feeling like a real American cowboy! Honestly, until recently I had no idea Montauk was the home of the oldest working ranches in the U.S.A! Go on an unforgettable and scenic beach or trail ride, no matter your experience level. Hanging out with the horses from Deep Hollow Ranch in a Montauk activity that will surely surprise most!

11. Experience offshore fishing.

Get a serious day of fishing in with Double D Charter. All levels are welcome. It’s a perfect day out for the family, and you can even book a sunset trip! Learn from local expert and owner of Double D Charter,  Daniel Giunta.

12. Lake Montauk

As you may have guessed by now, fishing enthusiasts flock to Montauk. It’s an extremely popular sport in this part of the world and Lake Montauk is well known for commercial and sporting fishing!

13. Montauk Harbour

Montauk Harbour lies in the North of Montauk on the end of Lake Montauk.  The Montauk Yacht club along with restaurants, houses and the Montauk Inlet lies at the tip of the lake and gives access to boats into the Atlantic. Viking Cruises leave from the Montauk Harbour.

14. Montauk Yacht Club

The Montauk Yacht club sits in the Montauk Harbour. You can stay, play and drink here.

16. Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course

Getting from NYC to Montauk, New York

There are multiple ways you can get from NYC to Montauk so I’ll lay them all out below.

Bus

Get a seat on one of the luxury buses leaving from NYC.

Air

If you can afford it, the most ideal way to get to Montauk is by helicopter! Fly right over all of the traffic on highway 27.

Train

Take the LIRR from Penn Station in Manhattan to Montauk Train Station. Like with driving, the train in super busy on a Friday afternoon.

You can download their app and purchase a ticket directly on your phone.

Car

Driving to Montauk sounds like a fun road trip but the traffic can be horrendous. Summer Fridays mean that lots of NYC workers have Friday off, so travel on Thursday afternoon, Friday and Sunday is pretty terrible.

If you can leave early Saturday morning and come back Monday, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of hassle, but possibly be missing out on some of the fun.

Getting Around without a Car

The village of Montauk is walkable but you may want to do things in other parts of the Hamptons. Some of the fun bars and restaurants on spread out around the 19 mile town and the rest of the Hamptons. Uber is here, but you also have your old school car services. They have big vans and sometimes charge a per head price.

Where to Eat

When deciding where to eat  you can choose from restaurants in the village or the harbour, though some establishments are off on their own.  Obviously, you’ll have to try the seafood! Being a fishing town, you’ll taste some of the freshest ever. A lobster roll or a dozen oysters go perfect with a glass of rose from Wolffer Estate..

  • The Gig Shack
  • Gosman’s Dock
  • Montauket
  • Bluestone Lane
  • The Surf Lodge – Tip** exclusive, make a reservation for dinner to get yourself in without a hassle at the door. Look out for Sunday Sessions.
  • Navy Beach
  • The Grey lady
  • Mobys
  • La Brisa
  • Scarpetta Beach
  • The Crow’s Nest
  • Lunch
  • Left hand Coffee

Where to Party

There are plenty of  bars and clubs to keep you going all summer. I’ve listed a few go to spots below, but you can check out my full guide of Montauk Bars to fit you mood.

Bars and Clubs

  • Memory Motel
  • Sloppy Tuna
  • Rushmeyers -Day time party, sometimes hard to get into on a nice day.
  • Talkhouse
  • Gurney’s Beach Club
  • Montauk Brewery

Party at your house?

With plenty of wealthy New Yorkers having second homes here, and guest’s breaking the Airbnb rules, the party sometimes lands at one of the many mansions in Montauk or around the other towns in the Hamptons.

Where can I work out?

A few locations are based in Montauk year round, but summer is another story. With the increase in population and city slicker types, comes an additional  selection of  “gyms” in pop up form.

  • Barry’s Bootcamp
  • Yoga Lila
  • Soul Cycle
  • New York Pilates
  • B Yoga
  • Gurney’s Montauk (year round)
  • The Surf Lodge 

Where to Stay

Staying in Montauk won’t be cheap, but in my opinion it’s is too far for a day trip from the city. Book early and with friends to get a good deal. Accommodation types range from hotels to Manors, boutique hotels, Airbnbs, apartments, and houses.

$$$ Gurney’s Resort

Gurney’s has been one of the top hotels in Montauk for years now. I stayed at Gurneys in the Winter and loved it as a winter retreat. I’ve also been here during the summer for lunch and to hang out at their beach club.

$$ The Surf Lodge

$$ Breakers Montauk

$$ Haven Montauk

$ Daunt’s Albatross Motel

I actually stayed here last summer in July. It was a super last minute booking, so we got really lucky! This hotel serves a few continental breakfast and is steps from the beach and Montauk Village. I highly recommend it as a good lower cost option.

$ Kenny’s Tippery Inn

When to Visit

Summer is when Montauk is in it’s prime. However, Montauk in the winter, can be a calming retreat. Fall is also lovely when the wine season is booming in the Hamptons and the North Fork and you may find yourself with an Indian Summer.

Tips for Visiting Montauk

  • Fill up your gas tank early.
  • Bring booze and food with you. If you shops in Queens you will save a ton. The prices are definitely inflated out in the Hamptons.
  • Watch out for ticks.
  • Take advantage of the nature!

 

 

 

things to do in montauk ny

Sunset at Gurneys Montauk

 

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