Real Good Places: Montauk New York
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An Insider's Guide To Montauk
Our father used to say that the best places in life are the hardest to get to. Montauk, the easternmost point in New York, is certainly that. Known colloquially as “The End,” Montauk has a wildness to it. While close to the quaint streets, picture-perfect houses and manicured hedgerows of the Hamptons, it’s about as far away in vibe as you can imagine.
Home to some of the best fishing grounds in the world, and rugged, open beaches pounded by the waves of the Atlantic, Montauk is for fishermen with callused hands and surfers with salt in their hair. It’s a place for beach goers who are happy with four walls and minimal creature comforts; for those who prefer life with a weathered patina.
If you’re heading out east, make sure to check out some of our good friends and our favorite places.
Montauk 101: What To Do

Surf

Montauk is renowned for the surfing scene. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting your feet wet, there’s a beach for you. Some of the best for waves are Ditch Plains Beach, Camp Hero, Turtle Cove and Gin Beach.

Eat

As one might assume for the home of the largest commercial fishing fleet in New York, Montauk has some of the best seafood around. But if fish isn’t your flavor, there’s plenty of great eats to be had. Some of our favorites are Joni’s, the Grey Lady, and the Ditch Witch.

Explore

For the active types, Montauk is a never-ending bounty of activity. In addition to the fun to be had in the surf, there are plenty of running, hiking and mountain-biking trails with breathtaking views of the coast, along with an iconic Montauk activity: horseback riding on the beach.
Where To Eat

Joni's Kitchen

A mainstay of the Montauk community, Joni’s Kitchen is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Bold, bright, bustling and a little kitschy, no matter what’s on the menu, you know you’re going to get consistently delicious food that tastes great and makes you feel even better. Read about the woman behind Joni’s here.

Grey Lady Montauk

Situated on the water near the mouth of Lake Montauk, the Grey Lady offers cold beer, fresh seafood and an atmosphere that perfectly balances nautical New England charm with laid-back Montauk vibes. Read about our friend and Grey Lady owner here.

Gosman's Fish Market

A staple of the Montauk waterfront since 1943, if you’re looking for fresh fish, there are few better places to go than Gosman’s Fish Market. Plus, the views of the ocean and the commercial fishing boats passing by can’t be beat. gosmans.com

Ditch Witch

Back in the mid-90s, Montauk local Lili Monahan opened the Ditch Witch at the famous Ditch Plains Beach to bring more food choices to the local surfers. A far cry from your usual hotdog truck, the Ditch Witch offers an ever-evolving menu of healthy and delicious options. ditchwitchmtk.com

What To Do

See The Sites

Commissioned in 1792 by George Washington, the Montauk Point Lighthouse is an iconic structure. Standing proudly on the coast, it has been a guiding light to mariners, fishermen and travelers since its completion in 1796. It is the fourth-oldest working lighthouse in the nation, and is one of 12 lighthouses in America to be honored with the National Historic Landmark designation, which it received in 2012. Read more about the lighthouse, and our friend the lighthouse keeper, here.

Grab Your Board

One of the best places to surf along the East Coast, Ditch Plains Beach has been a favorite spot among locals and tourists since the 1960s. Being at the eastern tip of Long Island means bigger waves, and even if you’re just there for a scenic stroll down the shoreline, you’ll appreciate the smaller crowds during the fall offseason. If you arrive by foot or bike, it’s free, otherwise you’ll need an East Hampton beach sticker to park.

Explore The Outdoors

A decommissioned military base, nestled in the wilderness at the far reaches of Long Island, sounds more like the setting of a horror movie than a state park, but Camp Hero is a must-visit destination for outdoor adventuring. Rumored to be the inspiration behind Stranger Things, there’s nothing otherworldly about the 415-acre park these days, except maybe the intrinsic urge to check out all the nature trails, wildlife and wetland fishing.

Wet A Line

Don’t let the multi-million dollar mansions and celeb sightings fool you—Montauk is still New York State’s largest commercial harbor. Which means if you’re looking for some of the best offshore sportfishing on the planet, you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of charter options in town, with friendly (and salty) guides full of local knowledge, charm and fishing know-how.

Where To stay

Coastal Quaint

Sea Roost

Owned by our friend, and go-to on-location photographer, Matt Albiani, this rustic, two-cottage getaway is one hundred steps away from the ocean and about a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Decorated in a style Matt describes as “very coastal, very warm and very familiar” Sea Roost offers coziness and charm in every nook and cranny. Book your escape on Airbnb or VRBO. searoost.com

All Decked Out

Sam’s Star Island Yacht Club

Sometimes the best place to stay is on board your own boat. But, there is something to be said about having access to things like full-sized bathrooms, a pool, laundry and a restaurant just in case life at sea is starting to feel cramped. Sam’s Star Island Yacht Club offers boaters a place to dock their ships and enjoy amenities they can’t find out on the water, a win-win for people with a passion for cruising the Atlantic waters. starislandyc.com

Beachy Keen

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

You don’t have to be a Hamptons real estate expert to know that beachfront property comes at a premium. That’s why we love staying at Gurney’s. As the only luxury hotel in the area that’s directly on the beach, there’s no better place for a ritzy, treat-yourself, weekend. Unbeatable views, delicious dining and a host of other amenities will make any traveler feel at home. gurneysresorts.com/montauk

Luxe On The Lake

Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina

Situated on Star Island in the middle of Lake Montauk, this Gurney’s property features 107 guest rooms and countless opportunities to live the Good Life. Some of our favorite activities include: hitting the private beach then some tennis balls, spending the afternoon by one of the pools and paddleboarding on the lake. Boat-based guests can tie up at the marina and enjoy everything the resort has to offer. gurneysresorts.com/montauk-star-island

What To Pack
Everything you need for your next Montauk escape.

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