Finally, it’s summer and July 4th festivities are fast approaching! When planning your Montauk trip, there are some new and notable places to visit – as well as the perennial favorite spots.
There are some new eateries in and around the Village this year. Sandbar Montauk located in the Royal Atlantic Resort is the new go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner spot right on the ocean. Open every day from 7am to midnight, there’s a newly refurbished beachside dining area and bar as well as a low-key, casual indoor dining room. Covid permitting, there will be a roster of live, local bands and artists for diners’ entertainment.
Gary Costello, proprietor of the pink and white palace TT’s Montauk is busy revamping the old Tacquito’s on Montauk Highway across from the Plaza. The glassed-in space will house a classic Italian market, café and pizza joint. Look for the grand opening around July 4th weekend.
Finally closed for good, Sloppy Tuna has been reengineered as Bounce Beach Montauk, part of an upscale sports club chain based in Manhattan and Chicago. While the restaurant is reservation only, beachgoers can get lobster rolls and cocktails from the takeout windows. In a nod to reducing pandemic exposure, dancing shall be restricted to one’s reserved table. Similarly, late-night dining/hot spots Ruschmeyer’s and Surf Lodge reopen this season as reservation-only while following strict(er) social-distancing measures. Patrons will be required to remain seated: no table-hopping permitted.
La Fin Kitchen and Lounge takes over the former Swallow East spot on West Lake Drive. A south of France-inspired farm-to-table restaurant, La Fin works with more than 20 local farms to create a menu highlighting seasonal ingredients, delicate homegrown herbs, sustainably caught fish and responsibly sourced meats.
Kissaki, the cutting edge sushi joint, has teamed up with NYC Thai restaurant Fish Cheeks to present Kissaki x Fish Cheeks, a quick service pop-up restaurant at the Montauk Anglers Club. The menu features seafood-focused Thai food as well as a full sushi menu. Order from the counter and sit at tables overlooking the marina.
Other oldies but goodies with new menus: Kenny’s Castaways, now serving high-end Italian fare featuring gourmet brick oven pizza; Morty’s Oyster Stand serving fresh seafood in the old Cyril’s locale on the Napeague stretch.
After a tough 2020, Montauk shopping is back in full swing. High-end Wyld Blue is back for another season offering unique and timeless vintage handbags, jewelry, clothing and vintage accessories. Montauk Surf & Sports remains the premier purveyor of all things beach for sale or rental, including clothing, footwear, surf boards, paddle boards, mopeds and bikes. The shop also runs Ryde Montauk, a contactless bike share company. Simply download the app, locate a bike station, pick a bike, unlock it from the app and ride away. When you’re finished your ride, just bring it back to any available station and press “end rental” in the app. It’s that easy. Don’t forget to grab a post-ride donut from Sundae Donuts, downstairs in Montauk Plaza.
There’s so much to do in and around Montauk aside from beaching, surfing and boating. World class public golf is available at Montauk Downs State Park, which boasts a 6,500-yard championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones. New York State residents can get in a round for $48; non-residents pay double. Tennis is also available, with six Har-Tru courts open for daily play.
Hikers, birdwatchers and animal lovers have tons to do as well, as Montauk boasts a plethora of state and county parks. Historical attractions abound at Montauk Point State Park, featuring the Montauk Lighthouse and its extensive collections of exhibits and photographs. The 724-acre property has trails, rocky beaches and freshwater ponds. Hither Hills State Park is the largest park in Montauk, featuring 1,755 acres of bay and ocean beaches, hiking trails, horse trails, fishing and campgrounds. Along with its pristine Atlantic coastline, visitors can also fish the 40-acre freshwater pond in Hither Woods. Camp Hero State Park is the site of an abandoned Cold War era Air Force radar station, now turned into hiking trails with spectacular surfing and surfcasting. Theodore Roosevelt County Park houses the site where Teddy Roosevelt and his Roughriders quarantined after returning stateside after the Spanish-American War. Tour the park on horseback with guided trail rides from Deep Hollow Ranch. Hike the trails and see the remains of WWII bunkers at nearby Shadmoor State Park.
Families can get into the swing of things at Puff & Putt Family Fun Center located in the center of Montauk Village. Play mini golf or rent sailboats, paddle boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards to tool around Fort Pond. Of course, there are myriad fishing and boating rental places all along the harborside and Lake Montauk for additional family fun.
And the highlight of the July 4th holiday? The Stars Over Montauk fireworks show by Grucci sponsored by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Based upon current NYS pandemic guidelines, the show is tentatively scheduled to go off on July 4 (raindate July 5) at 9pm from Umbrella Beach – but sightlines are terrific from anywhere in town. For additional information: www.montaukchamber.com/events.