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The Ultimate guide to Montauk NY: best things to do

It was the summer of 2019 and my husband and I decided to spend a long weekend in The Hamptons. We didn’t know a lot about it  – besides what we had seen on movies and series – and Montauk ended up being our favorite place in the area. Perhaps it’s the vibe – which is different from the other Hamptons towns and villages – perhaps it’s the nature or maybe it’s the laid-back, small-town atmosphere. I just know that Montauk got a place in our hearts and we got back there a couple of times after our first visit – and I’m sure we will be back again.

So, on this post, I will share tips about Montauk: how to get there, where to stay, restaurants and things to do.

Where is Montauk?

Montauk is a small town located at the eastern tip of Long Island in the state of New York. It’s part of the town of East Hampton in Suffolk County. Montauk – as well as other towns that are part of the Hamptons – is famous in the summer, but there are people living there the year-round, so, with some plan, you can definitely visit at any time.

Did you know? The Affair, a TV drama series that ran from 2014–2019, is set, most of the time, in Montauk.

How to get to Montauk?

By car

The most convenient way to get to Montauk is by car. On average, it ill take you 3h to drive from Manhattan to Montauk. The car gives you much more freedom and flexibility to explore everything. Regarding renting in New York, getting the car off Manhattan is cheaper – usually, airports have the best fares.

Another way to rent a car is using Getaround or Turo. These apps let you rent and unlock cool cars nearby directly from your phone: no membership fees, no paperwork, no hassles.

By train

Yes, you can get to Montauk by public transportation! LIRR – Long Island Rail Road – runs year-round service to the Hamptons and Montauk, with extra trains and longer trains during the summer months. We did this in 2023 and we had a great experience. Make sure to download the TrainTime app to plan your trip.

From Manhattan, you can catch the train from PennStation or Grand Central Madison. All stations from Westhampton through Montauk are in Zone 14. A ticket to any of them is valid to all of them. A peak ticket from Zone 1 (west of Jamaica) is $30.50 and an off-peak ticket is $22.25. Montauk is the last stop – but check the route, usually you have to transfer at Jamaica.

By bus

You can also go to the Hamptons by bus. Hampton Jitney is a renowned transportation company that provides a premium and convenient travel experience between New York City and the Hamptons.

 

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I don’t want to rent a car! How can I get around in Montauk?

After my last visit to Montauk in 2023, I can confirm that it’s totally possible to get around Montauk without a car – especially in the summer. So, once you get to Montauk by bus or train (I highly recommend the train), here are your options to explore the area:

  • Hampton Hopper – it is an app-based premium transportation service that makes getting around the Hamptons more convenient and affordable. Hampton Hopper operates a free local route in Montauk that includes 15 stops between Hither Hills and the docks, including various hotels, the train station and main street.  Download their app or check their website for more info and details about routes and schedules.
  • Uber / Lyft –  Uber and Lyft work well in the Hamptons – in my experience, you don’t need to wait long for your ride. Use my code and get $10 in credits on Lyft: PERUCHI93715

  • Circuit – this company works with cities, agencies, and developers to provide easy-to-use, on-demand electric transportation. They are available in East Hampton, Southampton and Montauk. The service is completely free to ride. Think about Circuit as tiny shuttles – you can catch a ride by downloading their app and there’s a designed service area. Check more info.
  • Bike rentals – renting a bike can also be an excellent way to get around – in Montauk, you can rent a bike at Montauk Surf & Sports.
  • Private taxi companies – besides all these options, there are also local taxi companies, like Pink Tuna Taxi, Surf Taxi and Ditch Plains Taxi in Montauk, and Ted’s Taxi East Hampton in East Hampton.

Where to stay in Montauk 

I’m gonna talk about two places we used in Montauk. Then, I will list some other places that have been on my radar and you can check as well.

Ocean Colony Beach & Tennis Club

Ok, technically, this place is not located in Montauk – but in Amagansett. But it’s super close to Montauk – a very short drive. We stayed at Ocean Colony Beach & Tennis Club two times and we loved it! It is a beachfront resort, and the rooms, in fact, are mini-apartments, with amazing structure: bedroom with TV, super spacious closet, bathroom, living room, and fully equipped kitchen (coffee maker, toaster, dishwasher, microwave, and oven), huge balcony.  It also has free parking and easy access to the beach, with chairs, umbrellas, and towels included. In addition, the hotel has a swimming pool and a tennis court.

Airbnb near the train station 

This is another accommodation that I recommend – it’s an Airbnb in Montauk,  5 minutes walking from the LIRR Train Station. It’s a charming cottage with a small kitchen – oven, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker – living area, bathroom, closet and a deck with chairs and umbrella, plus a grill and access to the beach. It’s located in a very quiet area, with beautiful surroundings and it’s pet- friendly! 

Other places to stay in Montauk

These are some other places to stay in Montauk that have been on my radar.

  • Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa – This is probably my dream stay in Montauk. It’s a huge beachfront resort featuring gorgeous rooms, a spa, restaurants and more. It’s probably the kind of place to go and not leave, cause the amenities look really good. It’s pricey!
  • The Surf Lodge – It’s one of the most famous spots in Montauk and guess what? It was founded by a Brazilian, Jayma Cardoso. It is a boutique hotel by the Fort Pond – the sunset from there is truly amazing. It’s a very famous spot on social media. There’s also a bar an a restaurant and they promote many events.

Check other places to stay in Montauk:

Things to do in Montauk

Restaurants

The Surf Lodge – as I mentioned  previously, this boutique hotel is a famous spot in Montauk – and if you are not staying there, you can still take advantage by checking the restaurant. The vibes – and the drinks – are amazing. You can check more info here and I highly recommend making a reservation, especially during the summer.

Navy Beach – it is one of my favorite spots in Montauk – and I recommend going there in the late afternoon / early evening to catch the sunset. It’s just beautiful.  Navy Beach has a private beach overlooking Fort Pond Bay and, in addition to the seafood menu, it has one of the largest selections of rosé wines in the Hamptons.  You can check out the full menu here.

Inlet Seafood Restaurant –another restaurant with incredible views, very crowded at sunset. The menu is also focused on seafood; however, honestly, we didn’t LOVE the food. We had baked oysters, grilled whole fish, and sushi. They were not bad, but they were not worth the price.

The Montauket – this is a favorite spot in Montauk for a beautiful sunset. It is a bar, a restaurant, and a hotel that was established in the 20’s and family-owned since 1959 and is known by locals as “the hill” because of the location. The menu features lobster rolls and fresh locally caught seafood, besides local beers and special drinks. The place is very casual, the food is delicious – and the view is just perfect. Make sure to plan accordingly since they don’t take reservations. Plus, they are open from Thursday to Monday.

Clam Bar – another traditional spot in the Hamptons – featured on The Affair TV series – and it is actually in front of the resort I recommend on this post. The highlight here is the lobster roll, a must-have, and also the sea salt caramel cheesecake.

Scarpetta Beach – this restaurant has a location in Manhattan as well and it is located at Gurney’s Montauk, a huge and beautiful resort in front of the ocean. It is a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion. It is so beautiful!  Open nightly year-round, this Italian hotspot features classics as well as seasonal dishes, fresh seafood selections, and a world-class wine list. From the 148-seat dining room, French doors open onto an outdoor deck, which seats another 106, every table has a panoramic view of the ocean.

Roberta’s – this spot  is super famous in New York City – their pizza is always featured as one of the best pizzas in NYC and honestly, I didn’t know they had a location in Montauk – almost in front of the LIRR station. We didn’t have a chance to dine there, but we ordered a pizza (pickup) and, of course, it didn’t disappoint, so good! I hope I can get back to soon and actually dine at the restaurant, they open for dinner and brunch. Check their menu.

668 The Gig Shack – this restaurant is located on the “main street” in Montauk and it’s such a delight. We loved the vibes and the decor and our favorite dishes here were the pork empanada and the fish tacos. They have tables outside and it’s really good to sit there on a sunny and warm day.

Duryea’s Montauk –  this restaurant and bar is next to the Airbnb I recommended. They have a beautiful waterfront dining area – and you can also order ordered food at the cafe. The baked clams are so delicious, as well as the lobster roll and the Clam Chowder. Also, the cafe has some pastries and some groceries – but be prepared, it’s very pricey!

Gosman’s Dock – this place is so cute! It reminds me of San Francisco in some way. You will find some stores, an ice cream place, a few restaurants, a small event area, and a fish market. Gosman’s Clam Bar has great Fish & Chips and a beautiful outdoor seating area. Just be aware of the seagulls, lol.

Places to visit in Montauk

Sunset Beach – you can walk from Gosman’s Dock to this beach to watch the sunset. It is magical, I think I don’t need to say a lot of things, just look at the pictures and you will understand why.

Bike rental – as I mentioned earlier, you can rent a bike in Montauk – it’s such a delight! A great route is biking to Liar’s Saloon through S Essex St – it’s a beautiful and quiet road!

Camp Hero State Park / Montauk Lighthouse – the Montauk Lighthouse is one of the most famous spots in Montauk – and something you can’t miss in the area. My first tip is heading to Camp Hero Parking (the second one on the map).  You will get beautiful views and cliffs. It’s so quiet and peaceful.

If you want to hike, I recommend starting at Camp Hero Parking (the first one on the map, near the Camp Hero Radar Tower) and then follow the signs to Bluff lookout and then the lighthouse. It will take a little bit more than one hour to get there, but it is an easy trail.

The Montauk Lighthouse offers parking and there’s also the Georges Lighthouse Cafe for a snack or coffee.

Turtle Cove – when you arrive at the Montauk Lighthouse, check the trail maps in the area, follow the path and go to the other side of the Lighthouse – you will arrive at Turtle Cove, a famous beach for surfing and fishing. It is so calm and beautiful! If you watch The Affair, you will remember some scenes! If you are following the trail I recommended above, it ends here.

Want to explore more? Consider visiting Block Island!

Once you are in Montauk, you can take advantage of the proximity and visit Block Island. And, if you have watched The Affair, you probably remember this spot! It is a small, picturesque island located off the coast of Rhode Island – and 14 miles east of Montauk Point. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, charming New England character, and a variety of outdoor activities. We were planning to visit the island back in 2021 – but I got sick and we had to cancel. We plan to go some day! A friend of mine has been there and she told me good things about it!

Did you like my tips? Always remember to check Google’s opening hours. All the places mentioned in the post are marked on the map, including other suggestions.

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