The Getaway
15 Things to Do in Montauk, NY

Whether you know a little about the Hamptons or have heard about it through visual media—maybe Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—there's no doubt you've heard of Montauk. Located on the eastern tip of Long Island, New York, it's known for its beaches, the famous lighthouse, and delectable eateries. Montauk is a popular travel destination for New Yorkers and others around the world. The allure of Montauk is not just its scenic beauty but also its rich history and cultural significance. It's a place where the hustle and bustle of city life melt away, replaced by the calming sounds of waves crashing on the shore and the gentle rustling of leaves. Over the years, Montauk has transformed from a quiet fishing village to a vibrant tourist hotspot, yet it has managed to retain its unique charm and authenticity.


01 Straight to the Point: Visiting Montauk Point Lighthouse

The most iconic and identifiable landmark in the area is the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Located at the easternmost tip of Long Island, this stunning lighthouse is rich with history. Housing a museum to commemorate its National Historic Landmark status, the lighthouse also features a shop to complement your learning with some souvenirs. This lighthouse isn't just for sailors and visitors. It's also a popular venue for weddings, craft fairs, musical performances, and other events. The panoramic view from the top is breathtaking, offering a unique perspective of the Atlantic Ocean meeting the shores of Long Island. The lighthouse stands as a testament to the maritime heritage of the region and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Aerial view of morning sunshine at Montauk Lighthouse Michael Ver Sprill / Getty Images

02 Bring It to the Beach

Montauk is known for its breathtaking beaches. When it comes to beach diversity, these have it all. Whether it's a rocky or sandy beach, enjoying at least one beach day during a visit is a must on the to-do list. The beaches are clean and well-supervised, with lifeguards responding quickly if anything goes awry. Surfing is something you won't want to miss—whether you're an observer or participant—but you'll read more about that in a little bit. The sunrises and sunsets here are unparalleled, painting the sky in hues of orange, pink, and purple. The gentle sea breeze, the sound of waves, and the soft sand beneath your feet make for a perfect day of relaxation.

Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk John Peabody / Getty Images

03 Surf's Up in Montauk

If you're inexperienced in the water, don't stop reading now. There's something here for everyone. You'll find local companies that provide surfing lessons to beginners or anyone who wants a refresher course on hanging loose in the Atlantic. All are welcome to surf the shores of Montauk. Why not get out of your comfort zone and try something new? The thrill of riding a wave, the camaraderie among surfers, and the sheer joy of being in the water make surfing in Montauk a unique experience. Plus, with experienced instructors guiding you, you'll be up on the board in no time.

man instructor demonstrating how to paddle in the water by hands on surfboard to indian woman in surf class in Goa sea IURII KRASILNIKOV / Getty Images

04 Shadmoor State Park

Montauk is home to several New York State Parks, and one of the best to visit is Shadmoor State Park. This park is a popular hiking spot due to the bluffs that provide panoramic views of the water and surrounding flora and fauna. The bluffs and fresh coastal air remind you that you aren't in the city anymore. The trails here are well-maintained, suitable for both beginners and seasoned hikers. The diverse ecosystem of the park, with its unique plants and wildlife, offers a refreshing break from the usual beach activities.

Shadmoor State Park in Suffolk County, New York in the United States Wirestock / Getty Images

05 What to Brew: Grab a Beer

Breweries are a two-for-one since you can savor the local eats and sip local brews. Montauk Brewing Company provides guests with unique packaging and flavors that you really can't find anywhere else. Since they're open every day of the week, you have no excuse not to stop by and support a local business that does it all for their customers. The ambiance of the brewery, with its rustic interiors and friendly staff, makes it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Pair your beer with some local delicacies for a complete Montauk experience.

06 Sip, Eat, and Sunset at Montauket

If you are a lover of the finer things in life — food, drinks, conversation, and sunsets on the beach—The Montauket is your go-to stop. This restaurant/bar/hotel combo is any social butterfly's or foodie's dream. It's all about the experience here, and part of that is live music for everyone. Family-owned and operated since its conception, The Montauket is the sunset spot of your east coast vacation. The ambiance is laid-back, with a touch of elegance. The menu boasts a range of dishes, each prepared with fresh, local ingredients, ensuring a culinary delight for every palate.

07 Boat Cruise around the Coast

To see things from a different perspective, try admiring the beauty and history of Montauk from the water. Sailboats are another iconic image that comes to mind when thinking of Montauk, so take part in the tradition and tour the island's waters. See seals and whales, take an educational eco-tour, go fishing, or book a stargazer cruise. You might also catch a fantastic view of New York City, and if you're lucky, the captain might let you take the wheel. Cruising the waters of Montauk offers a serene experience, with the vast expanse of the ocean stretching as far as the eye can see. It's a reminder of the vastness and beauty of nature.

Friends sitting on sailboat simonkr / Getty Images

08 Fishing in the Waters of Montauk

Seafood is one of the staples on the East Coast of the U.S., and there are companies in Montauk that will allow you to be part of the whole process. Half-day fishing charters give you the opportunity to see the lively side of those dishes you likely ate the night before. This is no small feat, but it's a fantastic addition to your itinerary. Fishing in Montauk is not just about catching fish; it's about understanding the marine ecosystem, the art of patience, and the joy of the catch. It's an experience that brings you closer to nature and offers a sense of accomplishment.

Father and son fishing on boat Robert Daly / Getty Images

09 Shop 'til You Drop

What would any good vacation be without a little shopping spree? All the charm that encompasses Montauk can also be found in the shops throughout the village. They have everything you could ask for. From general stores to vintage shops to decor and knick-knacks, you will, without a doubt, need to clear a little room in that carry-on for your trip home with your new goodies. The local artisans and craftsmen showcase their talent through unique creations, making shopping in Montauk a delightful experience. Each store has its own story, and the shopkeepers are more than happy to share it with you.

stores John Lamparski / Getty Images

10 Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course

Green isn't only in the more natural parts of Montauk, though this stunning State Park will surely whisk you away. If you want to channel peace on your vacation, visit the Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course. Tee times are available on their website, as well as weather and general information. The lush green fairways, challenging holes, and scenic beauty surrounding the course make it a golfer's paradise. Whether you're a seasoned player or a newbie, the course offers an enjoyable experience for all.

Male practicing golf on sunny day Morsa Images / Getty Images

11 Mini Golf in Montauk

Are nineteen holes and all the serious energy too much for you? Don't worry. There's variety in the Montauk golfing world. Family-owned Puff & Putt mini golf and boat rentals is the place to go to bring out that inner child. Not only do they have a typical mini golf course, but they also have boat rentals and sailing lessons for their customers. The colorful courses, whimsical obstacles, and fun-filled atmosphere make mini-golf a favorite among families and kids. It'sIt'slace where laughter echoes, and memories are made.

Kids playing mini golf Imgorthand / Getty Images

12 John’s Drive-In Ice Cream and Burgers

If you're feeling a little homesick on your trip, John’s will cure that for you. Since the 1960s, they have been making comfort food in the form of burgers, ice cream, and all things good about fast food for their visitors. Convenience in the form of a full tummy is never something to pass up on, not even on vacation. John's isn't just about food; it isn't just nostalgia. The retro vibe, the classic menu, and the friendly service transport you back in time, making every meal here a trip down memory lane.

13 Beach Bonfire, Baby

As you start to wrap up your trip, why not gather around the fire with your loved ones and reflect on the unforgettable experiences you have all just shared? There is something so comforting about sitting around a fire with the people you love, as if it's callingto some deeper version of yourself. Take advantage of the opportunity to go deeper with your folks in Montauk. The crackling of the fire, the starry sky overhead, and the gentle sound of waves in the distance create a magical atmosphere perfect for bonding and creating lasting memories.

Friends sitting around bonfire on beach in evening Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

14 Live Music and Good Views

The Surf Lodge is another amazing spot in Montauk that provides the vibes. The owners and staff treat all their guests with a warm welcome, coastal food, and coastal views, while live music creates the perfect ambiance for the evening. The eclectic mix of music, ranging from local bands to renowned artists, ensures that there's something for everyone. The open-air setting, combined with the rhythmic beats and the ocean breeze, makes for an unforgettable evening.

15 Farmers Market for the Family

Whatever family is to you, the Farmers Market is the perfect place to connect with your family and local families as you weave your way through one of the largest farmers markets on the East End of Montauk. Load up with fresh fruit, veggies, and other treats to take home. You won't want to miss this beautiful hand-crafted, humble event. The market is a celebration of local produce and craftsmanship. The vibrant colors, the aroma of fresh produce, and the friendly chatter of vendors and customers make it a sensory delight.

Female farmer giving free apple samples to clients for food tasting Dragos Condrea / Getty Images

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