MONTAUK TRAVEL GUIDE
A few weeks ago I ventured far out on Long Island away from New York City to Montauk. I had been dying to visit here for years & am so glad that I finally made the trek. I can’t wait to return here for hopefully longer one summer! We had so much fun & got so many good recommendations during our trip. I’m rounding up everything we did, my travel recs, & what’s on my list for next time today in my Montauk travel guide.
Montauk is about three hours away from New York City. For many who live in NYC, it’s an amazing beach escape just past The Hamptons. Montauk is at the easternmost end of NY, which is why it’s often referred to as ‘The End of the World.’ Montauk has a fun, beach party vibe, which is why it’s such a popular location. It seems to have a younger, more relaxed energy compared to many of the towns in The Hamptons. Plus, its much easier to access the beach here with several public beaches. Montauk used to be a fishing village & is named after the Native American Montaukett tribe that fished, hunted, raised cattle, & lived on the land.
WHERE TO STAY
A popular choice when visiting Montauk or The Hamptons is renting a house. There are SO many incredible homes for rent out on Long Island. There were just three of us girls going this time, so we opted for finding a cute little hotel. We waited a bit to book & were shocked by how many places were booked solid by the time we were looking to book. Summer months are very popular, especially on the weekends, so I recommend booking as early as you can whether you’re looking at renting a home or staying in a hotel.
- Gurney’s: Gurney’s is the only real resort in Montauk & for that reason it books up very quickly. It’s also probably the most pricey option. We wanted to stay here, but didn’t pull the trigger in time for the rooms we would have needed to accommodate three of us. The property is gorgeous & they have beach access with chairs, daybeds, & more. They also have a pool & several great restaurants on site. Will definitely be staying here next time if we don’t rent a house.
- Breakers: We ended up staying here & really enjoyed it. It’s adorable & is in a great location for walking into the main part of town or just across to the beach. Several of the rooms are detached, so you feel like you’re in your own little private house! They are great sizes & have little kitchenettes, too which would be perfect for a longer stay if you’re wanting to cook a little.
- The Montauk Beach House: This boutique hotel is located in the main part of downtown & a block from the beach. It’s a great place to be in a fun scene, as they often have events on site including DJs. Even if you aren’t staying here it’s a good spot for a fun cocktail (or three).
- Surf Lodge: This spot is a must for the social scene & food so why not stay here, too? They often have concerts on site with really big name people (John Legend performed while we were in town). The rooms look chic & cozy, too.
- Hero Beach Club: We walked past this super cute boutique hotel every day. The decor is minimalist chic & the rooms seem to be a good size. They have a pool or it’s right on Umbrella Beach where you can enjoy a comfy beach chair + umbrella for the day.
WHERE TO EAT
I usually break up where to eat & drink separately in my travel or city guide posts, but I found so many of the places overlap here, that it was better to have them all in one place for my Montauk travel guide. You can drink at just about any of these places before/after or instead of a meal!
Where we ate:
- All Day Café: This little spot was located at our hotel, Breakers, & was a great, super chill spot. It’s really casual so I’d go for breakfast or lunch. We got guac & fish tacos upon arriving to the hotel & it was a perfect laid back meal.
- Coffee + Flowers: An adorable pop up that is just what it says in the name. They have some good small bites/snacks for breakfast, but it’s just so darn cute it’s a must for your morning caffeine kick.
- Crow’s Nest: This restaurant is rustic outdoor perfection. They serve seasonal, organic New American dishes with an amazing vibe & view of Lake Montauk.
- Duryea’s Lobster Deck: One of my favorite meals of the trip, this restaurant is a Montauk staple. It has beautiful waterside views of Fort Pond Bay & an amazing vibe. It’s open for lunch & dinner & you can’t go wrong with ordering anything lobster. Their salads are to die for & HUGE.
- LUNCH // Lobster Roll: This classic spot is actually in Amangansett, just a short drive from Montauk & it is absolutely worth every minute of it. This is by far the best & most classic style lobster roll we had on the trip. Their menu boasts countless celebs who have visited this relaxed spot. Everything we had was great, including their spiked lemonade! For any of you who watch the TV show The Affair, this is where it was filmed. Definitely go here for a casual lunch one day.
- John’s Drive In: We came to this classic spot for late night ice cream & french fries. I loved the old school diner vibe. It was popular allll day & night!
- Navy Beach: Montauk’s favorite beach front restaurant. It’s a perfect place for good food & drinks while watching the sunset. It has a relaxed, but chic vibe. It’s open for both lunch & dinner. Everything we had was delicious, but I particularly loved the salmon tartare & truffle mac & cheese.
- Ruschmeyer’s: Set on three acres, this hotel + restaurant & hang out has such a great indoor & outdoor scene. It’s a popular spot for drinking or a meal on the weekends & being there you’ll see why. The food was good, too! They have fireside s’mores for dessert on the weekends, too. If you’re their during the week on the off-days, everything is half off.
- Scarpetta Beach: A must if you’re an Italian food lover. This chic restaurant is located at Gurney’s & serves up all the classics from their NYC (& Las Vegas) menus.
- Surf Lodge: You MUST go here. If you can make it happen on a Sunday, it’s an amazing see-&-be-seen scene that you can’t miss. The food & view are delicious any time you go & it seems to be a fun vibe any time. This was my other favorite meal from the trip & I’ll def be back here every time I visit Montauk. The arancini, truffle ravioli, & scallops were my personal favs! I will for sure be trying their lobster roll for comparison next time though.
On my list for next time:
I can never eat all the things I want when traveling, so if you’re familiar with my travel guides you know I always keep a running list for my next visit. As a part of my Montauk travel guide, I’m including places I for sure want to try during my next visit. Harvest & Grey Lady are two that I was bummed we didn’t have time for on this past trip, because I heard such great things. I hear Sloppy Tuna is a great place for drinks & non-fussy snacks, too.
- Gosman’s Dock
- Grey Lady
- Happy Bowls
- Montauk Bake Shop
- The Dock
- The Sloppy Tuna
- Tillie’s @ Gurney’s
- Westlake Fish House
- Yacht Club
WHAT TO DO
There is so much to do in Montauk & with the laid back, yet lively vibe, you really can’t go wrong with anything. We planned our days based on what we felt like doing when we woke up & kinda went with the flow.
- Beach: Go to a public access beach or hit the scene & rent a chair or cabana from a place like Gurney’s.
- Golf: For any golf lovers, you can play at Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course.
- Montauk Light House: Go visit this classic spot for beautiful views.
- Rosé all Day: Drink it up a fun, sceney place like Surf Lodge or go to a more chill spot like Memory Motel or Montauk Brewing Co. The Regent Cocktail club is a great place for craft cocktails or The Sloppy Tuna is perfect for a post-beach drink.
- Shopping: You can’t go wrong with The Surf Bazaar Pink House Vintage, Cynthia Rowley, Share With, or any of the other cute local stores/pop ups in downtown.
- Spa Day: The Seawater Spa @ Gurney’s is amazing.
- Surf: If you’re not a veteran, there are a ton of places who give lessons!
- Work on your Fitness: New York Pilates, BYoga, or any of the number of popup workout classes offered on the weekends during the summer are a great way to work on your bikini bod before hitting the beach.
- Look into your options for getting out to Montauk & consider when you’re going. Traffic can be crazy going out on a Thursday or Friday and coming back on a Sunday or earlier Monday in the summer. The LIRR train is a good option, but pack light, as you’ll likely be getting on/off. A car service, the Hampton’s Jitney, or a helicopter are also options!
- Montauk had a chic beach vibe so I’d dress accordingly. While I wouldn’t recommend going all out in stiletto sandals, wedges or block heeled sandals work for a nicer dinner & night out. For the day time, I’d bring comfortable shoes as we walked along.
- Check into a bike rental from where you’re staying or at a place in town. It’s a great way to easily get around!
- Look into beach access from where you’re staying, also. Most places have chairs & umbrellas that come with your stay or you can rent them for a reasonable price.
I hope my Montauk travel guide is helpful when planning your trip to the end of the world! I absolutely loved visiting here on a girls trip & can’t wait to return with my husband, on a couples trip, or again with the girls. I think it may be my new favorite beach spot!