Are you seeking a balmy summer destination combining pristine beaches, achingly beautiful state parks, delicious seafood restaurants, and picture-perfect historical sites? Then, Montauk, in New York, is the perfect place for you.
Ideally located at the tip of Long Island’s South Fork, this atmospheric beachfront village is a popular summer getaway and a favorite weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Whether you’re an avid surfer, hiker, or history buff, Montauk has something to offer everyone.
Here’s a guide to the top 10 things to do in Montauk, NY, to plan your perfect trip. From visiting the 200-year-old Montauk Lighthouse to taking a scenic walk in the gorgeous Camp Hero State Park, the options are endless.
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The 10 Best Things to do in Montauk, NY
Check The Views From The Montauk Point Lighthouse
One of the bucket-list attractions in Montauk is the iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse. Located adjacent to Montauk Point State Park, at the easternmost point of Long Island, this lighthouse is a truly commanding monument that has stood the test of time.
This instantly-recognizable landmark was commissioned by Founding Father George Washington in 1796, making it the oldest lighthouse in New York. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark due to its historical significance.
Standing majestically at 110’6″ high, this stunning red and white tower treats visitors with showstopping 360-degree views of Block Island Sound and the glittering waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A visit to Montauk Point Lighthouse is an opportunity to travel back in time and experience New York’s rich coastal heritage.
Address: 2000 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954
Recommended Read: Best Weekend Getaways in New York State
Explore The Camp Hero State Park
Camp Hero State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Napeague walking dunes, this stunning park encompasses 415 acres of maritime forests, freshwater wetlands, and an extensive network of nature trails.
Tried and true activities at Camp Hero State Park include hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, and horseback riding. Bird watching is also popular here, as the park is a true nature wonderland home to a dazzling array of bird species. But that’s not all — Camp Hero State Park is also known for its exceptional surf fishing opportunities.
So, whether you’re looking for a serene day out in nature or an action-packed adventure, Camp Hero State Park is the place to go!
Address: 1898 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY
Take A Hike In The Hither Hills State Park
Hither Hills State Park is the ultimate family-friendly outdoor destination in Montauk. Home to a two-mile sandy ocean beach, a glittering 40-acre freshwater lake perfect for boating and fishing, and nature trails for hiking and horseback riding, the park spoils visitors with a glorious range of recreational opportunities.
The park also boasts designated picnic areas for a scenic meal amidst nature. You’ll certainly be delighted with the natural beauty in the Hither Hills.
Address: 164 Old Montauk Highway Montauk, NY 11954
Enjoy A Scenic Picnic In The Shadmoor State Park
Montauk is home to breathtaking natural charms, and Shadmoor State Park is no exception. This 99-acre state park is a stunning medley of more than 2,400 feet of beach, dramatic bluffs along the Atlantic Ocean, and freshwater wetlands teeming with bountiful wildlife. This richly-diverse destination protects black cherry trees and the rare and federally endangered sand plain gerardia plant clusters.
Shadmoor State Park is largely undeveloped, so visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience nature in its purest form.
The park features several spectacular trails for hiking and biking and elevated platforms for birdwatching and enjoying the stunning shoreline views. Bring snacks and enjoy a peaceful picnic in the open air!
Address: 900 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
Soap Up The Sun At The Kirk Park Beach
Kirk Park Beach is the place to go if you’re looking for a peaceful and uncrowded beach experience. This beautiful Montauk beach spans about 500 feet and flaunts soft sands, refreshing waves, and plenty of space to relax and soak up the sun.
Visitors can make themselves at home and enjoy swimming (when the lifeguards are on duty) or simply lounge on the sand. Kirk Park Beach also offers restrooms and daily beach parking, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for a family day out in the sun.
Address: 95 S Emerson Ave, Montauk, NY 11954
Play Golf At The Montauk Downs State Park
Golf enthusiasts visiting Montauk won’t want to miss a round at Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course. This legendary course was originally developed in 1927 and underwent an artful redesign project by prestigious architect Robert Trent Jones in 1968.
With its emerald-green fairways and challenging layout, it’s no wonder this 18-hole par 72 course has consistently been rated as one of the top public golf courses in the United States.
The Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course is open year-round and also has additional amenities like tennis courts, a clubhouse, and an Olympic-size pool, making it a prime destination for a day of sports and recreation.
Address: 50 S Fairview Ave, Montauk, NY 11954
Spend The Day At The Gin Beach
Great news for beach lovers! Gin Beach is the perfect escape for a fun-filled day by the ocean. Perfectly located on the eastern shore of Lake Montauk, this wide-opened beach offers a gentle and inviting setting for all ages. It has soft sand and gentle waves, meaning visitors can spend hours soaking up the sun and swimming.
Gin Beach is also known for its excellent facilities, including restrooms and outdoor showers. Lifeguards are also on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day, ensuring your safety while you enjoy your beach day.
Address: Montauk, NY 11954
Go Surf At The Ditch Plains Beach
Ditch Plains Beach is Montauk’s most popular spot for watersports. Framed by dramatic green cliffs and known for its immense natural beauty, this beach has been a famous destination since the 1960s, as it offers well-formed waves ideal for activities like surfing and paddleboarding.
When leaving the beach, stop by Ditch Witch Food Truck, famous for its lip-smacking burritos, wraps, and salads.
Address: 18 Ditch Plains Rd, Montauk, NY 11954
Enjoy Montauk’s Thriving Food Scene
Montauk has become a veritable foodie’s paradise. With new eateries popping up every year, this alluring coastal town has something for everyone regarding dining.
If you’re a seafood lover, the Inlet Seafood Restaurant, owned by six local fishermen, is a must. The Gig Shack is a popular spot for a mouthwatering lobster roll served on a freshly baked croissant, and Navy Beach is known for its grilled Portuguese octopus.
And no trip to Montauk is complete without a visit to Gosman’s Dock. Founded in 1943, this iconic restaurant is known for its homemade clam chowder, juicy lobster rolls, and delectable swordfish platters, which you can eat while marveling at the picturesque backdrop of Montauk Harbor.
Horseback Ride In The Deep Hollow Ranch
Deep Hollow Ranch is the ultimate destination for anyone who loves horses and the great outdoors. Considered the oldest working ranch in the USA, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore thousands of preserved acres of stunning coastal land on horseback.
Here, families can enjoy horse and pony rides along the idyllic shore of Block Island Sound and through endless miles of sandy beaches.
Address: 8 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954
What is so special about Montauk?
Montauk is a charming coastal city known for its pristine beaches, family-friendly state parks, seafood restaurants, and historical sites.
What to do in Montauk if it rains?
The top things to do in Montauk on a rainy day:
- Montauk Point Lighthouse;
- Montauk Playhouse;
- Second House Museum;
- Long Island Aquarium.
Do you have to pay to go to Montauk Lighthouse?
If you want to go into the Montauk Lighthouse Museum area, you must purchase a ticket.
Seniors 62+: $10
Children under 12: $5
What are the top things to do in Montauk?
The best things to do in Montauk are:
- Check The Views From The Montauk Point Lighthouse;
- Explore The Camp Hero State Park;
- Take A Hike In The Hither Hills State Park;
- Enjoy A Scenic Picnic In The Shadmoor State Park;
- Soap Up The Sun At The Kirk Park Beach;
- Play Golf At The Montauk Downs State Park;
- Spend The Day At The Gin Beach;
- Go Surf At The Ditch Plains Beach;
- Enjoy Montauk’s Thriving Food Scene;
- Horseback Ride In The Deep Hollow Ranch.
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