Montauk, named after the Native American tribe, the Montauketts, who first inhabited the area, is popularly known as “The End.”
Located at the easternmost tip of Long Island’s South Fork, Montauk juts out into the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Block Island Sound on the north. Famed for its high surf and great fishing, Montauk is the quintessential beach town.
Surfing, the ultimate pastime in Montauk is bigger than ever, with throngs of surfers paddling out in pursuit of the “perfect wave.” Legendary longboarder and five-time winner of the New York State Surfing Championships, Tony Villar, has been surfing Montauk since the 60’s. Known for his unique drop-knee turns and classic 360’s, he is also recognized for his iconic Tikis at Ditch Plains. His latest Tiki, “Horatio,” survived both Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has also become a very popular sport in Montauk. The larger size boards with long paddles allow you to stand up while catching the waves and are a little easier on the knees. Just remember to respect your fellow surfers and especially the ocean. Check out Air and Speed Surf Shop for the latest in stand-up paddle and surfboards.
In town, you can find cool sandals at Kai-Kai Sandals and stylish beachwear at Kailani, a boutique with a Hawaiian motif. Grab some fried chicken at Herb’s Market; try the sushi bar and seafood at The Coast; eat lobster at Duryea’s Lobster Deck; and enjoy live music and great drinks at The Sloppy Tuna. For fabulous food with great ambiance, go to Harvest On Fort Pond or sit by the harbor at Gosman’s Dock. For awesome nightlife, enjoy Montauk’s trendy nightspot, The Surf Lodge.
Stay at historic Montauk Manor on Signal Hill, built in 1927 in an English Tudor style, by Carl Fisher. With 140 beautiful condominium apartments, indoor and outdoor pools, and views of the bay, sound, and ocean, it is a splendid resort hotel. Or visit the luxurious Gurney’s Inn, Resort & Spa, open since 1926, located up on the cliffs of Old Montauk Highway. Enjoy the magnificent seawater spa, fine dining, and lavish accommodations with spectacular views overlooking the ocean.
Listen to Sunday Evening Concerts “In the Harbor” and Monday Night Concerts “On the Green” throughout August. From The Nancy Atlas Project to The Lone Sharks, the music scene is always exciting in Montauk. The 19th Annual Fine Art Show on the Village Green is August 16-18. View the beautiful paintings, sculptures, photographs, and jewelry on display.
Surrounded by water, Montauk is known as “The Sport Fishing Capital of the World.” Go inshore fishing for striped bass, bluefish, fluke, sea bass, and flounder and offshore fishing for tuna, marlin, and shark. Enter the 21st Annual Mako & Thresher Tournament at Star Island Yacht Club & Marina on August 1-3 or The Mercury Marine Montauk Grand Slam Fishing Tournament on August 16-18 at Uihlein’s Marina. On Sundays in August, go whale watching aboard the Viking Starship out of Montauk Harbor. Or take a day trip on the Viking Superstar to Block Island and enjoy 17 miles of beautiful beaches. Or just relax and go sailing on Lake Montauk.
For horse lovers, Deep Hollow Ranch, “the oldest working ranch in the U.S.A,” features fantastic horseback riding and fun pony rides for the kids. Enjoy riding Western style through scenic nature trails and along the gorgeous coastline of Block Island Sound. For golfers, Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course is a challenging 18-hole public golf course. And for the family, play miniature golf at Puff “N” Putt overlooking Fort Pond.
At the very end of the island, visit Montauk Point Lighthouse, built in 1796 and designated a national historic landmark on March 2, 2012. It is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. Climb the 137 iron steps winding up to the top of the tower and watch the waves crashing off the rocks below.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder Montauk is the “hottest” real estate market on the East End. Surrounded by breathtaking cliffs overlooking the glistening sea, Montauk is an enchanting paradise. Come visit “The End” and you’ll soon discover it’s “Only The Beginning.”
Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at [email protected]