Here's where to stay, eat, party and more in Montauk
Located on the eastern tip of Long Island, Montauk was once upon a time a quiet town that catered to fishermen, Irish vacationers, surfers and the occasional Southampton straggler. The fishermen are still there, but as this area rose in popularity, the summer crowd has changed from sleepy to energetic, and now Montauk is the place to go to party at the beach. Of course, you don’t have to be in the groove to have fun. There’s plenty to do, from swimming in the ocean to biking in the parks, to exploring the area’s military past.
WHAT TO DO: Montauk isn’t just a beautiful place to dance around a beach bonfire and catch some sun; it’s chock-full of historical sites and natural reserves worth checking out. Take a short jaunt to Montauk Point State Park and see the oldest lighthouse in New York. This heavily wooded park opens up into a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean where it convenes with Block Island Sound, and it’s here that you find people surf fishing, which is basically like fly fishing, only with the waves crashing around you. On the other side of the highway is Camp Hero State Park, great for fishing, hiking and swimming. There’s also a military base on-site.
WHERE TO EAT: A nice perk from the heightened tourism is the number of new restaurants that have opened in the last year. Of course, there are also the classic joints that have been there for at least 40 years. At breakfast, order flapjacks at John’s Pancake House (721 Montauk Hwy.), one of th\ose iconic eateries that’s still fashioned like a 1960s diner. When lunch rolls around, if you happen to be in Ditch Plains surfing or just catching some rays, grab a grilled sandwich from famous food truck Ditch Witch. Or, if you are prowling around town, try the local hangout The Dock (Montauk Harbor, thedockmontauk.com), a punk rock seafood spot where you can get some of the freshest catches around — just make sure to bring cash. Finally, for dinner, try the Mediterranean fare at Harvest on Fort Pond (11 S. Emery St., fortpondbaycompany.com). Run by chef Jake Williams, it’s a nice place to sit down and feast.
WHERE TO PARTY: If a pregame is in order, head to 668 The Gig Shack (782 Main St., 668thegigshack.com) for cocktails, gluten-free day-boat tacos and live rock music. Later, you can make your way to No. 50 Beach Club (55 S. Elmwood Ave., thembh.com) for DJs and an epic midnight pool party. Or, if craft cocktails are more your scene, Ruschmeyer’s (161 2nd House Rd., kingandgrove.com/montauk-hotels/ruschmeyers) serves some of the best around in their hotel bar. If you’re still going strong, late-night drinks can be had at Liar’s Saloon (408 West Lake Dr.), where draft beers are $1.
WHERE TO SLEEP: Daunt’s Albatross Motel (44 S. Elmwood Ave., dauntsalbatross.com), has just the basic amenities, but makes up for the lack of perks by being reasonably priced (rates start at $90) and right next to the beach. For a higher-end stay (rates start at $249) that’s also a bit removed from the bustle of the tourists, the Montauk Yacht Club (116 Woodcleft Ave., montaukyachtclub.com) on the harbor proves a nice oasis. The rooms are large and comfortable and feature private outdoor patios with couches. If you want to go to town, which is just three miles away, hop on the free shuttle that runs back and forth from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.