The Best Summer Things to Do in Montauk, NY
It’s amazing how much Montauk, New York has changed, not just from 30 years ago, but in the last five as well. The seemingly endless array of activities range from the usual Sunbathing and Beach Walking, to Mountain Biking and Kayak Fishing, Farmers Market to Monday night Concerts on the Green. Montauk Beach is one of the most revered beaches in Long Island! It’s time you come experience it.
Recently Travel and Leisure voted the beaches in Montauk as one of the best in New York to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Honestly, we think any day of the year is a great time to visit Montauk beaches. But you’re here because you’re asking, “what is there to do in Montauk?”
We are here to help!
The best way to experience Montauk is by searching for a Montauk Vacation rentals. Especially, Montauk summer house rentals. We can help you find the perfect home away from home so that you can enjoy Montauk to the nines.
Here’s a great list of things to do in Montauk, beaches, fishing, shopping, special events and fun things for the kids too! I’ll try and give you some “insider tips” along the way from my 30 years of living here. Summer is here and it is time to have fun!
Best Montauk Beaches
The beaches here in Montauk range from rocky to sandy, heavy surf to calm waters, bays and inlets, family friendly, resident only and an unofficial clothing optional beach; Bet you didn’t know that, huh? The only way to find the perfect beaches in Montauk for you and your party is to come try them all out…unless, of course, nudity is not your cup of tea. In that case you should do your research beforehand. If you are looking for a nude beach–then do your research to find one!
1. Kirk Beach Park (and downtown)
The large free parking lot with restrooms and showers right downtown makes this the easiest beach to access. Lifeguarded and plenty of sand to spread out. Volleyball courts are there during the summer. It’s a great beach for surfing, sunbathing and relaxing. There are lifeguards during the summer which makes it a safe beach for the whole family!
Just west of Kirk is an area called Umbrella Beach which is a bit quieter and where the Grucci 4th of July fireworks are displayed; you gotta go. Also popular downtown is S. Edison beach, affectionately known as Nick’s Beach. All 3 beaches are in the downtown area so you can walk for lunch and head back to the beach to complete your afternoon.
The downtown area here by Kirk Beach Park is full of boutiques, restaurants, and of course ice cream shops!
2. Atlantic Terrace
The locals call it “Terrace” as per the name of the hotel nearby. This is at the end of the downtown beaches and you enter down a memorial path called Lowenstein court.
Named after Alexander Lowenstein, son of local Suse Lowenstein, who died in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scottland. The beach is known as having a great break for surfing as Alexander loved to surf. So, make sure to rent or bring your gear! This is a beach that boasts great surf and paddle boarding.
Be prepared for a slightly precarious walk though! The path you tread is between the dunes which separate Montauk’s beaches.
3. Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk NY
If you’re planning a surfing trip then make sure to head to Ditch Plains Beach–the locals call it “Ditch”. About half-way between town and the lighthouse off Ditch Plains Road, this is by far the hot spot for surfing. Surfers from around the world come here. Jimmy Buffet is here in the summer months.
It’s a truly great beach for surfing, body boarding, wind surfing, and wake boarding. You can even take surf lessons–if you need them. Don’t forget to try out the food trucks! There is no development on this beach so it truly feels like you’re spending the afternoon in nature. Even though you’re spending the day in this gorgeous natural inlet–there are bathrooms, outdoor showers and life guards!
The largest downside to Ditch is, because of its popularity, it can be tough to park. Try “dirt lot”.
Note: The residential neighborhood in Ditch is one of the most popular amongst Montauk summer rentals by owner. It is truly a great community making it a truly awesome New York vacation destination!
4. Gin Beach
Located at the end of East Lake Drive, right at the mouth of the inlet to Montauk Harbor, this wonderful family-friendly beach is relaxing and fun. It’s on the bayside so there are no waves. It’s great for peaceful swimming and sandcastle building in its soft white sands.
Gin beach has a roped-off guarded swimming area, and it is a great rock collecting beach to walk along. It hosts restrooms, showers, and a food truck in case you don’t feel like packing a picnic.
Note: This is one of the residents only beaches requiring a permit so park next to the adjacent Inlet Seafood Restaurant. Great lunch spot. You will get a ticket at this beach without the permit.
Related Article: A LOCAL’S GUIDE: THE 12 BEST RESTAURANTS IN MONTAUK, NEW YORK
5. Culloden Shores
Culloden Shores is a beautiful, close-knit-old-Montauk-feel neighborhood. This area boasts some of the oldest homes in town! Many of them are renovated bungalows or just completely rebuilt. Just as beautiful as this quaint neighborhood is the beach at Culloden Shores. The calm waters of the bay, the soft sand, waving beachgrass and flowering shrubs will bring peace to your day.
Culloden Shores is named for the HMS Culloden, a British Ship, ran aground while pursuing a French frigate back in 1781. There is even a marker on the beach so that SCUBA divers can go exploring the wreckage.
Now, you do need to be a resident or renter to use the beach which is why this is a very popular Montauk vacation rental area–but it will be much less crowded than the public beaches.
6. Hither Woods
Similarly to Culloden, access to the most unspoiled stretch of beaches in Montauk is limited to residents and summer vacation renters only. This area is just outside of town on the Old Montauk Highway but is still within walking distance of downtown. There are about five beach entry points guarded by a chain and a lock given to the residents for parking if they wish.
Between the Hither Woods Preserve offers fishing, walking trails and the sandy beach. Come enjoy this hidden gem at the End of the World.
Things To Do in Montauk, NY
Montauk, NY is your New York vacation playground. People come for different reasons whether they stay for a day, a week, or summer rental. Between our pristine beaches, great fishing, surfing, parties and shopping then there are abundant decisions to be made! It’s time to book your vacation rental and start making those pesky decisions so you can get on with your vacation.
1. Montauk Point State Park
An obvious thing to do is during your Montauk vacation is visit Montauk Point State Park, the lighthouse, and the museum. Here you will find the oldest lighthouse in New York State and the 4tholdest working lighthouse in the United States. It was commissioned from General George Washington in 1792 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Next to the Montauk lighthouse is Camp Hero. A decommissioned Air Force Base. The old gun turrets are there with markers containing photos and history of the base. Here at Camp Hero the old commissary, bowling alley, and the famous radar tower are still standing! There are various hiking trails, picnic areas, and spectacular views from the high bluffs. Talk about photo ops! I’ve even seen whales from up here.
2. Fishing in Montauk
Most of the world record breaking fish come out of the waters off Montauk. The Montauk fleet consists of both party boats and charters. The most popular party boats are the Lazy Bones and the Viking Fleet. Viking Fleet offers fishing trips, whale watching, sunset sails and private charters. Lazy Bones offers their famous 1/2 day fishing trip noted for bringing your lunch and catching your dinner.
There are many charters going out that offer different specialties. Blue Fin IVand Lady Grace V have been around for a long time. Blue Fin IV is great for sport fishing–whether you’re a beginner or more advanced. Lady Grace V prides itself on offering comfort and grace on your fishing trip–whether it’s a full day or a 1/2 day you will be comfortable.
If chartering a boat sounds like you’ll be under the watchful eye of the captain then you can always rent a boat at Uihlein’s Marina or enjoy the many surfcasting spots in Montauk.
3. Shopping in Montauk
Gosman’s Dock is not only a good spot for food but it also hosts so many typical summer touristy shops. You can find anything at Gosman’s Dock from clothing stores and souvenir shops to home décor and toys and gifts for kids. They also host a summer concert series is here on Sunday evenings. It’s well worth your time to stop by, get some shopping, food and to enjoy some great live music.
One of the more abundant things in Montauk is how downtown shopping there is. Mostly made up of boutiques, Montauk is a great place to spend money on the cutest stuff you can find. Make sure to try out the Montauk Salt Cave–at the entrance to the cave you can buy your fill of salt products. I’m talking salt lamps of all shapes and sizes, jewelry and clothing!
Take a walk around and enjoy our town. We offer everything from beachie-surf shops to bike shops and sporting goods stores. You can load up on clothing, gifts, jewelry, and don’t forget the Farmer’s market on Thursdays. Stock up on delicious produce, beautiful flowers and great local fare!
Relaxing in Montauk
There’s a reason that you think of celebrities when you think of Montauk, The Hamptons and this end of Long Island–because it’s a relaxing, quaint, and picturesque beach town for them to get away from it all. That means that you can also use your time in Montauk to get away from it all!
Once you’ve spent your day on the beach, your afternoon on a fishing boat, bought as much stuff as you can fit into your car, and spent the evening eating delicious seafood and watching the sunset then it’s time for you to relax! Get a massage, a facial, or go to a salt therapy session in the Montauk Salt Cave. That’s something you can’t do everywhere.
- Spa at the Montauk Lake Club – Services include deep tissue massage, facials, and waxing services. It’s a great place to unwind and loosen up!
- Montauk Salt Cave – Salt Therapy Sessions, Self Care Treatments, and Healer Led Sessions. Truly a place unlike any other–enjoy the detox of the salt along with all of these services they offer.
- The Endz Salon – A great salon that offers services for hair, makeup, nails, waxing, and air brush tan. It’s time to look on point for your first, or 50th, Montauk party!
More things to do on Montauk, NY
There are so many wonderful Montauk things to do for families, couples and friends. There are kid’s summer camps, hiking and mountain biking trails, museums, cruises and water sports. Montauk offers something for everyone!
Whatever your pleasure, Montauk can handle it. There are many music festivals and music abounds in the bars around town. If you hear names like Joe Delia and Thieves, Nancy Atlas, Booga Suga, Lyn Blue, go see them. They are the best live music shows in Long Island.
Visit Montauk for summertime fun but the off-season has so much to offer too; especially quiet. It’s a great place for making your escape from everyday life.
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