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The Ultimate Montauk Travel Guide | The Local’s Travel Guide to Montauk, NY

Ultimate Montauk Travel Guide

Montauk is one of my favorite places on the planet! I’ve called Montauk, NY home since I was 4 years old – so this is a true locals guide to Montauk. I’m so excited to share my recommendations with you about my home town in this Montauk travel guide!

There are about 3,000 year round residents and an influx of about 30,000 people in the summer months. There is no doubt that Montauk, NY is super popular and a special place for many.

There are tons of restaurants, bars, things to do, and beaches to go to so I’m here to help break it all down for you! This Montauk Travel Guide is a complete guide to Montauk with a ton of useful information. If you download my free pocket guide (below) I’ll also highlight where my absolute favorite places to eat in Montauk are.

If you’re planning a weekend trip to Montauk, I’ve written a 3 day Montauk Weekend Getaway Itinerary post here that details what I would recommend if you only had 3 days. Or if you’re planning a quick day trip to Montauk read this guide here. (coming soon!)

Download my FREE Montauk Pocket Travel GuideThis pocket guide includes easy access to my most recommended (& favorite!) places to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, all of the best beaches, best hikes and top things to do in Montauk right on your phone.
Sign up to get your guide below!

Montauk Lighthouse

Montauk Travel Guide

Where is Montauk, NY Located?

Montauk, NY is the very last town on the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. Montauk is almost an island! Connected only by a small stretch of land, called the Napeague Stretch, Montauk is surrounded by water on all sides. The Atlantic Ocean on the south side of town and the Block Island Sound on the North side of town.

NYC to Montauk, NY

Want to know how to get to Montauk? There are five different and diverse options for getting to Montauk, NY. Be mindful that if you are traveling to Montauk between the end of June and the beginning of September travel times can double!

  1. By Car. From New York City without traffic this should take you about 2.5 to 3 hours. However, in the summer months you may need to double your driving time. The last 50 minutes (without traffic) are on small local roads.
  2. By Train. The LIRR leaves from Penn Station in NYC or Jamaica Station if you’ve just arrived at JFK International airport. This is such an easy option as Montauk is always the very last stop! The train ride is about 3 hours long with many stops along the way!
  3. By Bus. There are two coach buses that run from the Hamptons to New York City numerous times a day. The Hampton Jitney and the Hampton Luxury Liner. You can get on at multiple stops in NYC or at their Queens pick up if you are arriving into NY by plane.
  4. By Air. If you’re feeling fancy you can take helicopters or private planes out to Montauk which will take you all of 30 minutes max. Just be mindful that only propeller planes can land in Montauk’s airport so if you are opting for a jet or helicopter you will need to land at East Hamptons airport which is a 30 minute drive to Montauk.
  5. By Boat. If you are coming from New England you can take the Viking Fleet from New London, CT right into Montauk Harbor which is an hour and a half ride. Coming on the off season? You might opt to take the Cross Sound Ferry also from New London, CT to Orient Point (on the north fork of Long Island) instead of driving around New York City.

When to go to Montauk, NY

The best weather is July-September and with that it’s the most crowded during those times as well. Fall and Spring are also really lovely in Montauk and hotels can be half the price. During Winter months most things are closed but it can be really cozy and nice if you’re up for it. Read my off season guide to Montauk, NY here!

Ultimate Montauk Travel Guide

Is There Surfing in Montauk, NY?

Short Answer: yes!

Longer Answer: there are small waves all summer long suitable for longboarding. The most popular spot to surf is Ditch Plains beach. The lineup has great beginner waves (1-3ft) that break on a small rock reef.

Larger swells start to pick up at the end of August and coincide with hurricane season on the East Coast. The best/largest swells are in the Fall or Winter (hello 5mil and hood!). Typical wave size is 3-5ft but occasionally some swells can reach well overhead.

Montauk works best with a South East swell and a North North West wind. Great spots for finding good surf are Ditch Plains, Turtle Cove and any beach break along the southern shore.

Where to Stay in Montauk, NY

Montauk, NY is a resort town. There are so many hotel, motel and vacation rentals to choose from! However, they may not be budget friendly if you are planning on visiting between Memorial Day (end of May) and Labor Day (beginning of September). You can expect to pay $500-$800+ a night during peak summer season.

There are full service resorts like Gurney’s Montauk which offer multiple dining locations, beach access, pools and more. In the last 10 to 15 years Montauk has seen a number of stylish boutique hotels come to town like Sole East and Hero Beach Club. Of course there are more budget and family friendly options like the Breakers or Daunt’s Albatross.

Did you know: when you book a stay from any of the links on TRVL Collective, I earn a small commission which helps keep this blog running and at no additional cost to you! 
Thank you for supporting!

Top Montauk Hotel Picks:

Want to find the perfect hotel for your Montauk vacation? Read my 4 Favorite Montauk Hotels on the Beach or Best Places to Stay in Montauk for Every Budget here!

Top Things to Do in Montauk, NY

  • Go for a walk or hike on one of Montauk’s many nature trails including Montauk Point State Park and Shamoor. Read about the 8 Best hikes in Montauk here!
Montauk Lighthouse and surfers
  • Montauk, NY is surrounded by water.. so I am guessing you didn’t come all the way here to not go to the beach! Find out which Montauk beaches I recommend for any type of beach day and why here. Don’t forget to book a surf lesson with East End Surf Club!
ditch plains beach montauk ny summer day
ditch plains on a cloudy day in the summer
top things to do in montauk ny

Download my FREE Montauk Pocket Travel GuideThis pocket guide includes easy access to my most recommended (& favorite!) places to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, all of the best beaches, best hikes and top things to do in Montauk right on your phone.
Sign up to get your guide below!

montauk brewing company red barn with american flag on a flag pole
  • Take a Boat cruise around Montauk on the MonTiki, Tomoka or the Montauk Cycle Boat.
  • Shop around town. There are so many stores and cute boutiques.
  • If you’re around on Thursday’s June-August there is a great farmers market on the green in the middle of town.
  • You have got to experience all of the yummy food and drinks in Montauk! More on that below 🙂

You must read my guide to the 12 Best Things to do in Montauk in the Summer for more information and suggestions.

Find out the 12 most photo worthy and instagrammable places in Montauk, NY here!

Best Restaurants in Montauk, NY

There are so many places to eat in Montauk, NY that this would turn into a really long list fast (and it already is). In this guide to Montauk I’ve broken down where to eat by Breakfast, Lunch, Pizza, Dinner and Ice Cream – because who doesn’t love a good ice cream cone.

I’ve also highlighted my top three picks (OK more than three because its too hard to choose!) in each category.

Note: most places are closed during the winter. I’ve left a small star * in front of the restaurants that are open year round or for the majority of the year.

If you’re planning to visit Montauk in the off season read my Off Season Guide to Montauk here!

For Coffee/Breakfast

  1. *Goldbergs Famous Bagels
  2. Left Hand Coffee
  3. Happy Bowls

Download my FREE Montauk Pocket Travel GuideThis pocket guide includes easy access to my most recommended (& favorite!) places to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, all of the best beaches, best hikes and top things to do in Montauk right on your phone.
Sign up to get your guide below!

For Lunch

  1. *Naturally Good
  2. Joni’s
  3. The Ditch Witch

For Pizza

For Dinner

  1. *Harvest on Fort Pond
  2. *Inlet Seafood
  3. 668 The Gig Shack
  4. The Dock
  5. The Crow’s Nest

For Ice Cream

Nightlife in Montauk, NY

If you’re coming to Montauk, NY to party – there are plenty of options. You definitely have a mix of higher end bars to more local staples. Most places on Friday and Saturday, during the summer, will have a massive line to get in, so just keep this in mind!

Also, bars in New York are open until 4am! Most bars start to get crowded by 11pm and are definitely packed by 12am.

Below are my top picks for nightlife in Montauk, NY but also includes daytime and sunset “nightlife”.

For the best sunset spots in Montauk read my Top Places to Catch the Sunset in Montauk, NY post here!

Best Bars in Montauk, NY

  • Montauket – one of my favorite places in Montauk, the Montauket has one of the best sunsets. This bar is on top a cliff over looking Fort Pond Bay and always has good vibes.
  • Montauk Brewing Company – local brewery owned and operated by three local guys – good beers and fun atmosphere! They close at 8p sharp!
  • Ruschmeyers – large venue with an outside lawn, inside bar, and dance room. Get here early if you don’t want to wait on a line for an hour or more. (get here before 10p on Friday/Saturday or know someone who can get you in)
  • Surf Lodge – amazing outside venue with a great live music line up on weekends.
  • Shagwong – local tavern with DJ on weekends which has turned it more into a club.
  • The Memory Motel – Bud lights, Music, dancing… I’ve never been here before midnight but it’s a damn good time.
  • The Point – just across the street from The Memory, the Point is also fun bar to dance and hang out at.
  • TT’s – young and fun small bar. Head here to start your night with a few margs (maybe a tequila shot) and then grab a cab into town.
  • Lyn’s Hula Hut – fun outdoor tiki bar in the parking lot of the Marine Basin. A middle age crowd here but can be enjoyed by all ages.
woman in blue dress watching the sunset in front of an inlet in montauk

More…

Beer & Liquor Stores in Montauk, NY

Grocery Store & Markets in Montauk, NY

sunset over montauk inlet

TRAVEL TIPS:

  • This Montauk, NY travel guide doesn’t include EVERYTHING but everything written I would personally recommend and I thought would be useful for my readers!
  • The local grocery store is the IGA and the Balsam Farms farm stand is right next door.
  • High season is Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend
  • Shoulder seasons are April/May and September/October. Read the Off Season Guide here.
  • Click here for the most photo worthy and Instagrammable spots in Montauk.
  • You must have your beach bon fire contained in a metal container.
  • Ocean temps are pretty chilly for majority of the year. July-September is when it is warmest and above 70 degrees!
  • Dogs are allowed on beaches until 9am and after 6pm
  • You need a town permit to park at town beaches. (Gin, Ditch, Navy) Your parking ticket will be $150+ for parking without one.
  • Arrive in the morning or late afternoon to get a parking spot at the beach.
  • 7-Eleven is open 24-7 but liquor stores close at 7pm!!
  • The wait for dinner and to get into bars at night is usually an hour or more. If you don’t want to wait to eat dinner go on the earlier side: 5-6 o’clock.
  • Montauk, NY is a beautiful place, let’s keep it that way! 🙂 Make sure to take your trash with you when you leave the beach or parks and be respectful of where you are!
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*Free & Downloadable Complete Montauk Travel Guide.
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ultimate montauk travel guide

Leave a Comment OR Question Below!

I’d love to respond to your questions or know if you used this Complete Local’s Guide to Montauk to help plan your trip!

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11 COMMENTS

  • cathy elsin

    Is Montauk more crowded due to people moving there permanently? Thinking of coming out in early Sept. Let me know the inside scoop. Love your blog!!!!

    • ariana
      AUTHOR

      Hi Cathy! (excuse my delay in response – I just had to sift through hundreds of spam comments!) I hope you came to visit in September!! Truly one of the best months to visit Montauk. Also, in response to your question – a lot of people have since moved back to NYC but there are definitely a few more year round residents around than there used to be!

  • Amy

    Hello! Fellow blogger here, currently living in Sag Harbor! Thanks for sharing this guide. Love Shadmoor, so beautiful!

    • ariana
      AUTHOR

      Hi Amy! Love shadmoor too – that is definitely my favorite walk/hike in Montauk. Love Sag but I sadly don’t get there nearly enough!!

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