Head east out of New York City and keep going… and going. The surf town of Montauk is on the point of Long Island’s South Fork, at the very end of a long line of wave-beaten sandbars, dunes and beaches.
JFK airport is New York’s largest international hub, and also on the right side of the city for escaping to Montauk; it’s about two hours and 45 minutes by car. Closer still is MacArthur airport (one hour and 45 minutes by car), which has routes to several cities in the eastern US. Newark and LaGuardia are New York City’s other major airports, with arrivals from around North America and Europe.Smith24 can arrange flights on request.
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) runs from New York City all the way to Montauk in just over three hours. Get on at Penn station (34th Street in Manhattan) and then change onto the Montauk branch at Jamaica station. The hotel is a five-minute cab ride from Montauk railway station.
A car will come in handy for exploring the Long Island coast, even more so if you’re carrying surfboards. The Smith24 team can help you arrange a rental; picking up from an airport usually gives you the best rate, but there are countless merchants in the city, too. There’s plenty of parking space at the hotel.
The Hampton Jitney busses Manhattanites out to the East End several times a day; check out the Hampton Ambassador and Hampton Luxury Liner for cushier alternatives. Private aircraft can land at Montauk airport (five minutes from the hotel by car), or the larger East Hampton airport (40 minutes’ drive from the hotel).
Worth getting out of bed for
Start the day with a dip in Lake Montauk, either intentionally or because you can’t balance on a paddleboard. Then borrow a Crow’s Nest bike and pedal down to Ditch Plains beach, where Atlantic breakers crash into soft golden sand at one the East Coast’s swellest surf spots. Hit the waves, take a lesson, or just gulp in the salty air before mooching around Montauk to top up on tie-die and scout out a pool party. Local critters hang out in the wetlands at Camp Hero State Park, and at the very tip of Long Island, Montauk Lighthouse has been politely posing for tourists since 1796.
Fine-dine at Scarpetta Beach (290 Old Montauk Highway), the flagship restaurant at Gurney’s resort hotel – seafood is the star of the menu, and the best catches of all are the halibut with artichokes, the yellowtail crudo, and the jumbo seared scallops. For Mex on the marina, sneak off to The Hideaway (364 West Lake Drive) and don’t forget to finish with a palate-cleansing jalapeño-infused tequila. The go-to for fish tacos and poké bowls is Seamore’s (769 Old Montauk Highway), at the Breakers Motel.
A lobster roll is a lobster roll, right? Wrong. Hot or cold, with crunchy celery, creamy butter, or a housemade secret sauce – there are countless varieties and only one, tasty way of settling on a favourite. Start the sampling at cryptically-named roadside diner The Lobster Roll (1980 Montauk Highway) and then see how Salt Box (99 S Edgemere Street) and Red Hook Lobster Pound (34 S Etna Avenue) compare. For a day at the beach, fill up the hamper with cold cuts and deli delights from Herb’s Market (778 Montauk Highway).
There’s really not that much going on… only kidding – any Montauk bar worth its sea-salt has a party scene. Surf Lodge (183 Edgemere Street) is the most raucous rave-den in town, with live DJs and dancing till dawn all summer long. Grey Lady MTK (440 West Lake Drive) is more low-key but still upbeat; house cocktails and rosé flow until 4am on the patio overlooking the lake. Ruschmeyer’s (161, 2nd House Road) has a grown-up summer camp feel, with ping pong and cornhole in the garden.