Land And SeaHidden Gems In Montauk
Montauk, at the very farthest tip of Long Island, is secluded, surrounded on all sides by dramatic cliffs, ocean and scenery that still feels untouched and unspoiled by man. On a clear night, it’s estimated that around 2,000 stars can be seen without binoculars or telescopes, and the Milky Way leaves a glittering white trail across the sky that’s almost unrecognizable to those accustomed to city nights. Whether you are exploring Montauk for the first time, or you are lucky enough to own precious Hamptons real estate here, you may or may not know some of the off-the-beaten-path treasures locals have known about for years.
THINGS TO DO ON LAND
Rita’s Stable The laid-back vibe of Rita’s Stable is a throwback to simpler times. Rita Foster, the owner of Rita’s Stable, has brought her love of horses and horseback riding, as well as her affection for an array of lovable farm animals (goats, chickens, peacocks!) to the Montauk community and visitors alike for over 30 years. The staff at Rita’s is warm and welcoming. During the summer younger tots can enjoy a pony camp during the week. Rita is very knowledgeable about the Montauk area. She and her staff lead horseback rides on trails all along the outskirts of Montauk. The trails run along the coastal land and contain a dirt path bordered by savannah grass, bushes, and pine barren trees on either side of the waterfront landscape.
3 W Lake Drive, Montauk (631) 668-5453
Camp Hero Point Woods Loop Trail Camp Hero is secret. The park encompasses diverse landscapes, including heavily wooded areas, a long expanse of beachfront along the Atlantic Ocean, maritime forests, freshwater wetlands, and, of course, the historic military installation. An extensive system of trails sprawls throughout the park for hiking, biking and horseback riding. While everyone visits the WWII–era base and its massive SAGE radar tower, most people pack up after that and miss the most spectacular aspect of the park—the bluff overlooking Turtle Cove. To get there, follow the 2.9-mile Point Woods Loop Trail. Along the way you’ll pass ancient beech and oak trees, the remains of old military housing, an intersection with the old Montauk Highway used to take visitors to Montauk Point. Finally, you’ll come to an open field and a bluff 40 feet above the ocean, quite possibly the best view on the entire island.
THINGS TO DO ON THE WATER
Montauk Spearfishing Why go spearfishing? Spearfishing combines the thrill of the hunt with swimming in the ocean and eating healthy, tasty fish. Has throwing a line in the water always felt a little bit boring? It’s a pretty passive activity, mostly requiring patience. Screw that! Get in the water and take the fight to the fish. Doing so gives you the ability to target specific prey, then use your wits and athletic ability to track it down, stalk it and then go in for the kill. It’s hard, but when you catch something, you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. By becoming actively involved in catching the fish, you also participate in its environment and feel a strong connection with the ocean and its local ecosystem. montaukspearfishing.com
Sailing Montauk Enjoy a day out on the water on Sailing Montauk’s Mon Tiki, a catamaran that sails daily during the summer season. Book a two-hour “Discover Montauk Sail” trip to see the sights around Long Island, or choose the “Three Hour Sail & Swim,” which includes a swimming break for guests. The company also hosts Sunset Cruises for passengers over age 8. Bring your own food and drinks when embarking on an evening cruise (beer and wine are allowed). Children are welcome, although those under age 12 will be required to wear a lift vest when on board. Bring along a sweater or jacket, and don’t forget a bathing suit, towel and sunscreen if heading on a sail & swim cruise. Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina
32 Star Island Road, Montauk sailingmontauk.com