Montauk, otherwise known as “the end”, is a village at the very far end of the Long Island peninsula, famous for their beaches, six state parks, restaurants, and saltwater fishing. I spent the last month living out in Montauk and was able to gain some insider information from the best source around – the locals. Here are my tips for your next visit to Montauk!
Montauk Point State Park (often referred to as “the end of the end”) is on the eastern tip of the South Shore of Long Island and has views of where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Block Island Sound. The park is a great place to get some fresh air, go for a hike, surf fish, hunt, windsurf and get a view of the famous lighthouse. The Montauk Point Lighthouse hosts a beautiful museum and view, but it is unfortunately closed due to the pandemic.
Hither Hills State Park is the #1 camping spot in Montauk. The park features a 189-site campground on the ocean with playing fields, a playground, fireplaces, walking dunes, and much more. Not only are the hiking paths beautiful, there is minimal service making the park a perfect place to tune in. The walking dunes of the Napeague Harbor are some of the only dunes left in Montauk that are still safe to walk on, making this an extremely unique experience.
Thriftknd is a pop-up vintage and pre-owned apparel store, featuring hand-picked clothing from Brittany Rivkind. You can make an appointment with her online to shop in her store, but make sure to book the appointment in advance as she fills up her slots very quickly. I love thrift shopping, so this pandemic has been a huge bummer for me in the shopping department, and it was so fun to be able to shop her store in a safe manner. I found an amazing red leather trench coat and a bunch of dresses for a very reasonable price.
Don’t forget to check her out on Instagram! @thriftknd.
Camp Hero is debatably the coolest spot in Montauk. Before taking a trip to Camp Hero, I recommend checking out some of the articles and conspiracy theories written on the state park and the alleged government-sanctioned human experiments that happened there. Some of the stories even inspired the Netflix series, Stranger Things!
Puff ‘n’ Putt is a family fun center with mini golf and boat rentals that has stayed open through the pandemic. They ask you to wear a mask throughout your time playing mini golf, and the balls and golf clubs are sanitized after every use, making the process relatively safe. Puff ‘n’ Putt is just a short walk from the center of town with a beautiful view of Fort Pond.
Deep Hollow Ranch is the oldest working ranch in the U.S., where you can take small public or private guided horseback rides through beach and riding trails. Deep Hollow also offers a Summer Pony Camp for children ages 7 to 12 from June to August. The guides are known to be very friendly and the rides are beautiful and peaceful.
If you’re looking to surf, Ditch Plains Beach is your East Coast Paradise; it’s is known as one of the best surf destinations on the East Coast, as Long Island has bigger waves the farther east one goes. Ditch is classified as an East Hampton Town Beach, which means you will need an East Hampton Town beach sticker to park, however, it is free if you arrive by bike or foot.
P.S. The best time to ride the waves is right after a storm.
Gin beach is known for its quiet surroundings and calm water, making it the perfect place for kids, or those who are not strong swimmers. The beach is a common spot for campers and features amazing views of the sunset over Lake Montauk.
Kirk Park Beach sits right along the downtown area of Montauk and has free parking, along with restrooms. This is a great beach to spend the day at due to the quick walk into town where you can grab food from the IGA (grocery store) or restaurants nearby. The beach tends to be very crowded, so I recommend walking as far down the main road you can get and then walking along the beach the rest of the way to get away from the crowds
Where To Eat
Without a doubt, Jonis is the best breakfast and lunch spot in Montauk. This hip little joint is located within walking distance to the beach and Montauk village. Also, the menu features a plethora of options for vegans, vegetarians, and those who are gluten free. Joni’s is always busy, even during Coronavirus, so I recommend ordering online ahead of time, picking up, and walking your food over to eat on Kirk Park Beach.
After ordering breakfast or lunch at Jonis, I recommend heading next door to get coffee from Left Hand. If you’re looking to spot a celebrity, Left Hand is definitely the place for you! The coffee is so popular that celebrities are regularly spotted leaving the shop carrying a Left Hand coffee cup. Here’s a little insider tip: there is relatively no difference between the medium and large iced coffee cups, so you’re better off just ordering the medium to save a little money.
The Dock Bar and Grill is the hipster hotspot of Montauk. This cash only bar and restaurant features funky decor, dark wood accents, and live music (when we aren’t in a pandemic). The Dock features delicious fish and fried food with some of the most reasonable prices in the area.
Naturally Good Sushi has the best sushi you can find in Montauk, featuring traditional sushi along with specialty seafood rolls with freshly caught raw fish. If you’re vegan, there is no need to worry, Naturally Good Sushi has the most creative and delicious vegan rolls I’ve ever had in my life. This is also a very popular spot in Montauk, so I recommend ordering ahead of time in order to shorten your wait time.
The Grey Lady is known for their local seafood, cocktails and patio view overlooking Lake Montauk. This patio is now covered with a giant tent that allows for relatively safe outdoor dining during the pandemic. On any weekend night, The Grey Lady is filled with young adult patrons, so I recommend booking a reservation in advance and visiting the restaurant with caution if you or a housemate is at high risk.
If you’re looking for tacos and tequila in Montauk, TT’s is definitely the place for you. They serve amazing chips and guac, Mexican corn, tacos, burgers, and frozen margaritas. TT’s also offers a boutique delivery service where they can deliver personalized kits from the best local purveyors.
What are your favorite Montauk hot spots? Let us know in the comments below!
This blog was written by Featured Wrighter, Jess Celella.