If your idea of the perfect summer vacation means walking miles of pristine shoreline, sunset cruises, reeling in a prize catch, feasting on fresh seafood or meditating to the sounds of surf, then Montauk, New York is your destination. 110 miles due east of New York City, Montauk is located on extreme eastern tip of Long Island’s south shore. Affectionately known as “The End,” it is a laid back family-friendly counterpart to the nearby Hamptons—though within easy reach of the amenities its famous sister locale offers.
1. The New Gurneys Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
Montauk offers an array of accommodations—from the retro Memory Motel to the tony Montauk Yacht Club, but this year’s buzz surrounds Gurneys Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa’s ongoing renovation. An upscale resort and Long Island institution, Gurneys has overlooked the Atlantic Ocean from its prime location atop Old Montauk Highway for nearly 100 years. Gurneys has retained its seaside ambience while opening up the public spaces and adding 38 luxury oceanfront guestrooms. It also introduced a much needed food and beverage upgrade. This includes fine dining at Italian-infused Scarpetta Beach, craft cocktails and DJ at the Regent Cocktail Club (look for Havana Nights) and light fare on the 1,000 foot private beachfront at The Beach Club. Gurney also boosts a 30,000 square foot full-service Seawater Spa with the only sand-filtered indoor seawater swimming pool in North America, all framed by the singular beachfront location. Note: Rates reflect the upscale thalassotherapy. www.gurneysmontauk.com.
2. The Beaches: Location, Location, Location
The beaches of eastern Long Island are captivating in their breath and scope and Montauk is where the ocean kisses the shore. The peninsula encompasses an area of approximately 220 square miles and you are never far from a magnificent ocean view and all variety of beachfront fun. Here you can walk miles of uninterrupted beach, hang 10 with the surfer set, play beach volleyball, or just relax and work on your tan with a good beach read. Note: Some of the area’s most spectacular ocean views can be found along the high bluffs that hug the shores of Old Montauk Highway.
3. The Fishing and Boating: Sport Fishing Mecca
Steeped in nautical history, including rumors of pirate Captain Kidd’s buried treasure, Montauk is a Mecca for fishing and all manner of boating, from outboard to luxury yacht. If sport fishing is your passion, there are plenty of charter fishing boats, large and small, plus all the gear and the post-excursion- watering holes to spin tales of the ones that got away. Pleasure boaters can enjoy sailboats, powerboats, canoes, kayaks and more. Note: Frank Mundus, the shark hunter who author Peter Benchley modeled his character Quint on in “Jaws,” sailed out of Montauk so be on the lookout for old salts and Great Whites. www.montaukchamber.com.
4. The Food: Fresh Seafood at its Best
Food in Montauk has evolved beyond the fried seafood platter (though this guilty pleasure can still be found). Whether your foodie passion is a creamy lobster roll, seaweed-infused lobster bake, delicate sashimi, seared scallops, spaghetti with tomato basil, or burgers and fries, Montauk eateries offer all flavors for all budgets. Venues like The Inlet (sushi), Scarpetta Beach (elegant Italian), Navy Beach (dine with your toes in the sand), South Edison (raw bar), La Brisa (tacos) and The Surf Lodge (nightlife) provide plenty of variety while Gosman’s Dock has been a family staple for generations. Note: No visit to Montauk is complete without lunch at LUNCH the sun-baked staple on Montauk Highway, where the famous lobster roll rules. www.montaukchamber.com.
5. Montauk Events: Music, Art, and The Montauk Point Lighthouse
When you want a break from the beach, Montauk is a full service resort area with six state parks, plenty of hiking and camping, plus horseback riding, golf, biking and more. It is also an active community with seasonal activities you can enjoy. The weekend of August 14-16 has two major events, the Montauk Art Show “On the Green” which is the famous circular Village Green in the center of town, and the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse Weekend (circa 1796) where you can brush up on your pirate lingo. Free concerts on the Village Green are held every Monday night during the summer starting at 6:30pm and at Gosman’s Dock on Sundays at 6pm. Note: Foodies will appreciate the 3rd annual “Taste of Montauk” at the Montauk Yacht Club on July 26th.