(Photo Credit: Rob Alexander)
Distance from New York: 119 miles
Best time to go: May- October
Best for: Family trips, Weekend Getaways, Beaches
Some beach destinations are all about doing nothing but enjoying the sun and surf. Montauk, located at “The End” of Long Island, certainly embodies that relaxing respite. However, the lively community is also ideal for the weekend traveler that is looking for something a little more action-packed, whether it’s surfing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, or simply gorging on seafood. There are fresh lobster, tuna, clams, and scallops served daily on most of the town’s menus. Here’s a sample itinerary for experiencing Montauk:
1. Stretch your legs after your commute by renting a bike from Montauk Bike Shop in the center of town. A great 90-minute ride out to the fisherman’s dock to see that day’s catch is about eight miles round trip and a fantastic way to unwind.
2. You’re at the beach, so the watching the sunset is a must. Check out East by Northeast for one of the best views. The casual Asian-fusion restaurant/bar looks out over Fort Pond.
3. Stay in the area for dinner and dine at Harvest on Fort Pond with steamed mussels, calamari salad and more in an outdoor herb garden. Tuscan-inspired dishes like bruschetta with mixed seafood and penne with sautéed asparagus, mushrooms, and mascarpone cheese are served family-style. Three dishes plus a few appetizers can easily satisfy a party of six.
1. For breakfast, check out John’s Pancake House on Main Street for some coconut pancakes (their specialty).
2. After breakfast, head out to the surf! The jetty at Ditch Plains Beach has consistent waves, suitable for any size board and any level rider. Board rentals and lessons are available at Air and Speed Board Shop.
3. For lunch, check out Ditch Witch, the “takeout wagon” in the East Deck Motel Parking lot for some fantastic iced-coffee, a chipotle wrap or a killer sesame noodle salad.
4. Get a camera ready for an easy afternoon hike on the five miles of hiking trails in Montauk Point State Park where you can also climb the 137 steps to the top of the oldest lighthouse in New York State.Montauk Point Lighthouse dates back to 1792 when George Washington was still president!
5. Ready for another sunset? Check out the outdoor daiquiri bar at Montauket for cocktails, live music and more terrific views.
6. For dinner, 668 the Gigshack features Latin-inspired dishes, barbeque plates, and fresh seafood. Pair the Moroccan lamb sliders or the Montacos with one of 30 beer choices for a laid back Saturday night.
1. Get up early and take a yoga class. An open air yoga class is held daily during the summer at the East Deck Motel located just 50 feet from the ocean. The sensory experience alone is relaxation at its finest with crashing waves, sea breezes, and the scent of wild Rosa rugosa flowers.
2. Have brunch at Bird on the Roof, where there is every kind of omelette, poach, and frittata you could want. The Eggs Hussard, which consists of poached eggs on an english muffin with sauteed mushrooms, a tomato slice, cheese, and bacon is a crowd favorite.
3. Go for an after-brunch horseback ride along the beach before your vacation is over. Montauk was once the terminus for huge cattle drives from the rest of Long Island. Deep Hollow Ranch is the oldest working cattle ranch in the country.
Where to Stay:
Lakeside Inn (183 Edgemere St., Montauk, NY – (631) 668-3455 ) has modern, minimally decorated rooms with fabulous decks and oversize showers with river-rock floors and teak ceilings. There is a complimentary glass of champagne every evening, beach cruiser bikes for morning exercise, and paddleboats and kayaks for the adjacent Fort Pond.
By car from NYC: Montauk is located approximately 117 miles from Manhattan and driving takes between 2 and 3 hours depending on traffic. Take the LI expressway (I-495) to exit 68 for the William Floyd Parkway and merge onto NY-27 E. Follow the signs for Montauk.
By bus from NYC: The Hampton Jitney runs regularly from several stops in Manhattan daily, with expanded service on weekends. The trip takes about 3 hours.
By train from Penn Station: The Long Island Railroad also serves Montauk several times daily. The ride also takes about 3 hours.