When it comes to beach towns, Montauk is the cool indie sibling to the more buttoned-up Hamptons. It has the same windswept beaches, tranquil sea views and locavore mentality as the rest of the region, minus the flashy scene. Dubbed “The End,” the town is perched at the easternmost tip of Long Island, 120 miles from New York City—and seeing as how 40 percent of the village is protected parkland, there are plenty of outdoor activities with fewer crowds. Think of it as the boho beachgoer’s getaway: Icons like The Rolling Stones, Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol all once vacationed here. And you might still see some boldface names today catching a wave at Ditch Plains Beach. Here’s how to have an ideal trip to the tip of the island.
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Sean BarrettFounder of Dock to Dish
“There are dozens of reasons why Montauk is considered to be a great travel destination. People will say it's the proximity to the city, the beaches, the parks and the restaurants. But the first reason that comes to my mind is fishing. Montauk is the largest fishing port in New York State and offers some of the best inshore and offshore fishing in the world.”
Pull up to Fort Pond Bay with your boat (or just drive) to find some of the best waterfront dining out East. Fronting a private 200-foot beach, the restaurant serves local seafood with a modern twist.
Harvest on Fort Pond
The bayside standby serves family style Italian fare like pastas and grilled pizzas in a gorgeous garden where tables are nestled among tall sunflowers and leafy plants.
Time stands still at this classic burger joint and ice cream parlor. The rich and creamy flavors are made daily—don’t forget to ask for the warm peanut butter topping.
The new outpost of the buzzy Manhattan Italian hot spot at Gurney's Resort is already has a locavore following. Order the fluke crudo or the iconic Spaghetti Tomato and Basil.
Duryea’s Lobster Deck
The no-frills BYO restaurant may not be fancy (think paper plates), but locals and visitors alike come for the beautiful sunset views on Fort Pond.
Parked in Montauk’s best surf beach, this food truck is a local go-to. Grab a breakfast burrito in the a.m. and bring some chilled peanut noodles back to the beach for lunch.
Source: Tasting Table
Stop by to satisfy all your picnic needs: sandwiches, cold beverages and snacks. Pro tip: Locals swear it sells the best fried chicken on the East End. It’s crispy, moist, super seasoned and totally addictive.
Montauk Shellfish Company
The village’s first oyster farm produces the wildly popular, super-brine-y Montauk Pearl variety.
Naturally Good Foods
Gluten free? Vegan? You’re in luck: The second location of the healthy grocery just opened on Main Street with plenty of healthy options, from the bakery to the attached organic coffee
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Solé East Resort
Locals recommend the property to out-of-town guests for its relaxed atmosphere, bamboo-everywhere decor, killer pool and friendly staff.
The Crow’s Nest
The 14 rooms in the hotel are decorated with a hippie jet-set, beach house vibe. Each faces Lake Montauk and has a private balcony Photo: Courtesy of The Crow’s Nest
Set on three wooded acres, this hotel feels like luxury summer camp. Each room is a modern update on a classic cabin.
Ditch Plains Beach
Take a surf lesson from Jimmy Buffet’s instructor, or just watch the mix of townies, surfers and hipsters from the comfort of your beach towel.
Montauk Point State Park
Rent a bike and pedal your way to the end of The End, where a 200-year-old lighthouse authorized by George Washington still stands.
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