Known as the most tranquil part of the Hamptons, Montauk is a popular summer destination for both people living in New York City and visitors from across the globe. Between Montauk’s beautiful beaches, vivid food scene, and the iconic lighthouse, there are so many things to do in Montauk that often it’s hard to pick what to choose. If you plan on heading out East, this guide on the best Montauk activities will help you arrange an idyllic getaway.
How to Get to Montauk, Long Island
There are various ways to get to Montauk. And yes, even if you’re coming from NYC without a car! Below are all the options from the least expensive to the fastest options.
Buses to Montauk
- The Hampton Jitney: This bus departs from multiple locations in NYC to different cute small towns on Long Island. It can take about three hours to travel from Midtown Manhattan to Montauk; fares start from $37 one-way (if pre-booked online during the off-peak season).
- Hampton Ambassador: You can upgrade to the more comfortable Hampton Ambassador ride that offers snacks, free WiFi, and even gift bags from local brands; pre-paid internet rate starts from $58.
LIRR Train to Montauk
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers regularly scheduled trains to Montauk. We find that the train feels less crowded than the Jitnet, even during the peak season. You will likely need to make a train transfer at the Jamaica Station. Online ticket prices start from $22.25 (during the off-peak hours).
Driving to Montauk + Car Rentals
Driving in your own car can be a great option to get to Montauk because then you can explore the area better. The best time to drive to avoid traffic is before 6 am and after 8 pm. If there are more than two people in your car, you can take the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway.
Renting a car to Montauk can get very expensive and sometimes they are sold out. So search ahead of time. The cheapest and nearest place to rent a car is Ronkonkoma. From there, then you drive to Montauk.
Helicopters to Montauk
A helicopter is the fastest option to Montauk beaches, with Blade’s $395 helicopter ride out East taking only 40 minutes. The flights depart from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, a 12-miles ride from Midtown Manhattan.
Another option: take a helicopter ride from West 30th Street to East Hampton and drive to Montauk from this nearby village (about half an hour).
Private Jet to Montauk
A private jet is another luxurious transportation option for visiting Montauk. Evo Jets offers a charter flight from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, starting at $5,000 per flight (for 4-9 people). Travel time on a private jet to East Hampton is about 28 minutes, plus nearly the same for a car ride to Montauk.
24 Best Places to Visit & Things to Do in Montauk
From the outdoor fun and water sports to exploring chic restaurants and cozy Hampton wineries, Montauk has you covered. Depending on what activities you enjoy, we divided these beloved Montauk activities into outdoor fun, gourmet adventures, and famous food places.
FOR Outdoor Activities IN Montauk
Montauk is one of the best small towns on Long Island to visit if you are outdoorsy and/or a foodie. There are so many things to do here from diving with sharks to biking to wine tasting. So whether you want to do a day trip to Montauk or you want to dedicate a weekend really see the most of Montauk, there are options for all budgets and outdoor sports experiences.
1. Hiking in the State Parks in Montauk ☆
If you enjoy experiencing the beauty of Long Island in your hiking boots, then these New York State Parks are some of the most scenic Montauk places to visit. Also, some of them also offer access to some of the most beautiful beaches in New York State.
- Camp Hero State Park is an abandoned military station turned National Park that now features 415 acres of maritime forest, freshwater wetlands, and an extensive system of hiking trails. This park is known for surfing and fishing with a permit, but swimming is prohibited in this scenic location.
- Hither Hills State Park offers sandy beaches, camping and picnic areas, and a 190-site campground on the Atlantic Ocean. This state park also offers bike and kayak rentals and horseback riding experiences. This is also one of our favorite hiking trails on Long Island!
- Shadmoor State Park is one of the best Montauk places to visit for hiking, too. It offers spectacular panoramic views of the beach and diverse vegetation, including black cherry trees and the federally-endangered sandplain gerardia.
- Montauk Point State Park is the eastern point of Long Island, known for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets the Block Island Sound. In addition to the Montauk’s oldest lighthouse located in this park, hiking and nature trails are available for visitors. It’s one of the top state parks in the United States to visit.
Please be very careful with ticks when hiking in New York State!
2. Montauk Point Lighthouse ☆
One of the defining sights in the area, the Montauk Point Lighthouse, is a must-visit. Located at the easternmost tip of Long Island, it’s a historical site with a museum, gift shop, and abundant hiking opportunities. Locals say that if you didn’t take a photo with the Montauk Lighthouse in the background, you didn’t really visit Montauk. Keep in mind that this site is not open on bad weather days; the museum updates opening hours daily on its Facebook page.
Pro tip: Make sure it’s not foggy when you visit or you may not be able to see the lighthouse from afar.
3. Electric Biking Tour ☆
There is a special kind of joyous and rejuvenating high you can feel when biking through Montauk’s beautiful nature. On a bike, you can cover more sights and get in some exercises simultaneously. And even better? With a bike, there are no car parking lot issues to worry about.
For a biking tour in Montauk, we absolutely loved the Electronic Bikes A Go-Go tour. With them, you can explore the top Montauk natural sights on an e-bike! An e-bike is the perfect boost to get you up any inclines and keeps you from getting too tired.
This guided tour starts at Montauk’s LIRR Train Station. There, you can leave your car and through all sorts of paths, from paved roads to grassy fields. It is one of our favorite things to do in Montauk, hands down. So if you love being active in the outdoors, then this is one of the best Montauk activities.
4. Go Kayaking in Montauk
At Long Island’s “End,” you can find some of the best beaches in Montauk. Sandy or rocky, suitable for surfing or swimming for kids – you decide what works best for you. This fisherman and boating village offers some of the best places to go kayaking on Long Island. Whether you are an experienced paddler with your kayak or a newbie searching for a kayaking lesson, Montauk got you covered.
- Lake Montauk is a popular kayaking spot in the area. Its calm waters are ideal for kayaking beginners.
- Fort Pond is a national historic site ideal for kayaking but banned for swimming. You can rent a kayak, canoe, or a boat in that area.
- Big Reed Pond is an ideal spot for bringing your kayak if you want to enjoy the views of Montauk Country Park from the water.
5. Take a Surfing Lesson
Get your wetsuit and surfboard ready – Montauk is the best place to reconnect with nature and ride on the waves. A local company Surf Montauk offers a private surfing experience at Ditch Plains Beach. After a quick warm-up, the instructor explains the basics of surfing – and the practical part begins. From dozens of positive reviews on this surfing company, training with Paul is a must-try adventure for watersports lovers.
6. Go on a Sailing Tour
Be your captain on this private sailing tour of Montauk. This two-hour Taste of Sailing in Montauk tour starts on Lake Montauk, where you can enjoy the views of the harbor and tours all the way to Block Island Sound. You can bring your drinks and snacks while enjoying this private ride with your company and the Captain, or try steering the boat yourself.
7. Go Fishing
If you visit Montauk with a group of friends or just enjoy fishing, the local Alyssa Ann Sportsfishing company is a popular option. Fishing the inshore and offshore ocean waters off Montauk, the charter boats Alyssa Ann specializes in catching striped bass, monster bluefish, doormat fluke, tuna, marlin, and mahi-mahi. Both day and night trips are available; the season starts in late May and ends in November.
8. Shark Diving Around Montauk
Experience the excitement of shark diving in Montauk! Sea Turtle Dive Charters bring the aquatic world explores 15-20 miles south of Montauk to the clear waters. With a licensed captain and scuba diving instructor, you can enjoy shark cage diving, shipwreck diving, and free dive spearfishing. Montauk offers more than 30 diving spots ranging from 15 to 150 feet of water.
9. Montauk Beach Hopping
Surrounded by water on three sides, Montauk is known for its diverse beach offerings. There are many options: from well-developed sandy beaches with lifeguards on duty to seemingly abandoned pebbly spots. These are some of the most beautiful Montauk beaches to consider:
- Kirk Park Beach is a popular option as it’s located within walking distance from town. Expect soft white sand, public showers and bathrooms, and a lifeguard on duty during the summer season.
- Gin Beach is a quieter and less developed alternative. It’s one of the rare RV-camping-suitable beaches in the area.
- South Edison Beach is also known as Nick’s Beach due to its proximity to a famous Nick’s Bar. It’s a city beach with a party vibe, and small shops surround it.
- ☆ Ditch Plains Beach is Montauk’s beloved spot for surfing – or enjoying other people surf while relaxing on the beach.
10. Horseback Riding at Deep Hollow Ranch
With its spectacular coastal views and white sand beaches, Montauk is an ideal spot for horseback riding. You can experience a private guided tour on the beach or a more advanced stroll through a trail with the guides from the Deep Hollow Ranch. During the summer months, a pony camp is also available for kids ages 7 to 12, offering 3 to 5 rides per week for pre-registered summer campers.
11. Montauk Library
This is a beautiful library that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. What better way to catch up on some work or reading, than in a library overlooking the “end of the world”. The beautiful exterior architecture is reminiscent of Montauk’s 1920s Tudor style. It was designed to offer that hillside charm while surrounded by natural vegetation.
The library has a collection of different books and materials, including a Spanish language collection.
The Montauk Library also hosts several free events such as musical performances, art exhibits, workshops, presentations, and other events for all ages. You can check their events here.
Cultural & Culinary Experiences in Montauk
In addition to a wide range of outdoor activities, Montauk is also known for its wine and culinary offerings. From guided wine tasting tours to picnics on the beach and even private chef experiences, Montauk might seem unattainably luxurious. But there are plenty of budget-friendly experiences to enjoy in that part of Long Island.
12. Montauk Wine Tasting Tours ☆
Long Island Wine Tasting Tours from Montauk can take you through the most famous wineries in Long Island’s wine region. Locally owned Tapped Enterprises organizes round-trip tours from your Montauk spot to Long Island’s famous Wolffer Estate and Duckwalk Vineyards.
Psst… We have a full list of the best Long Island Wine Tours here!
13. Montauk Brewing Company
Visit the Montauk Brewing Company for a wide range of locally-produced beer in cute cans. Enjoy a sip of chilled beer on location, or grab a pack to-go for your upcoming party. This place has a very laid-back and relaxing atmosphere. Perfect place to stop after a nice beach day.
Sadly don’t offer flights for tasting. But want to a taste each drink without being wasteful, here’s what you can do:
- Order half-pints of different beers ($4) each. I really liked the Belgian Ale and the Summer Ale. But they offer lots of IPAs and hoppy beers.
- Get some of the water cups for you and a friend to pour the beers in.
- Bring all those cups to your table and that way you can get a taste of different beers for about $10 a person!
14. Montauk Indian Museum
The Montaukett (aka the Montauk people) were the original inhabitants of Montauk’s land. Then centuries after the European invasion, Montauk is now mostly comprised of very affluent white Americans. But a visit to the Montauk Indian Museum can help you reconnect to important facets of Montauk’s indigenous heritage. The curator is known for having a wealth of knowledge, so don’t be shy if you have any questions!
Not-so-fun fact: Many Montauk descendants today live in Wisconsin or on the Shinnecock Reservation. Sadly, there are no federally-recognized Montauk tribes, despite their petitions.
Hours: They are only open during the warmer months. However, they don’t have specified hours on their website, so be sure to call ahead to confirm exactly when they are open. (631) 903-9603
15. Private Montauk Chef Experience
Do you enjoy gourmet food but the thought of cooking it doesn’t sound appealing? For situations like that, a private chef experience might be a lifesaver. Taste the Hampton with Private Chef Nick experience allows you to feel that celebrity life with a gourmet pro on duty. Not only will he prepare you a delicious lunch or dinner of choice, but you might also learn a thing or two about cooking.
16. ☆ Private Luxury Picnic on the Beach
Make your Instagram dream come true with a luxury picnic organized for your enjoyment only on a Montauk beach. Montauk-based Destination Haus is a prime provider of luxury picnic planning for all the special occasions in your life. If you prefer to easily book a more casual experience, consider Luxury Beach Bonfire and Picnic Dinner offered at the neighboring Weinscott village.
Cool Restaurants in Montauk to Visit
Of all the villages in the Hamptons, Montauk is known for its relaxed approach to dining. While there are fine-dining restaurants in the area, such as Scarpetta Beach at Gurney’s and Snowfish Montauk, most of the lunch and dinner spots in Montauk are casual. However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get a phenomenal meal there. Some places in the area have been in business for decades, mastering their recipes to perfection.
17. The Lobster Roll ☆
Also known as “Lunch,” The Lobster Roll restaurant is known for its lobster roll and seafood, corn, and clam chowder. Fun new offerings are “take-home lobster roll” kits that include all the ingredients required for a perfect seafood feast at home.
18. The Different Restaurants by Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina ☆
Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina is the home of different restaurants and cocktail lounges. Here are their most popular ones:
- Scarpetta Beach offers upscale Italian cuisine. They describe themselves as “Manhattan meets Montauk”.
- Snowfish Montauk offers one-of-a-kind plates emphasizing locally-grown vegetables and fine seafood dishes
- Il Forno is a grab-and-go pizza and pasta cafe
- The Pool Club is a casual gourmet cafe with signature cocktails
19. Navy Beach Restaurant
Navy Beach Restaurant is a beloved spot for the Montauk Yacht Club members or anyone who wants to stop by for a meal right off their boat. Located on the 200-foot private beach overlooking Ford Pond Bay and Gardiners Island, this casual spot is ideal for boats-watching and catching sunsets.
20. Inlet Seafood Restaurant
Inlet Seafood Restaurant is about pairing locally-caught seafood with wine from the Long Island wineries. Located in a two-store building right off the Montauk Harbor, old school seaside restaurant offers spectacular sunset views with no reservation needed. The main dishes here are about $40, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a nice seaside lunch/dinner with an ocean view.
- Pro tip: If you’re super scared of bumblebees, then choose the outdoor seating to your immediate left instead of the other outdoor section that’s in the back. Or pick an indoor table!
- Pro tip 2: Order the scallops dish. It’s incredible! We also really liked the Piccata dish.
21. Left Hand Coffee Shop ☆
Left Hand has some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted in all my world travels. Smooth. Not too sweet. Perfectly balanced. And they offer almost any kind of milk alternative you can think of. Left Hand is conveniently located in the downtown area, so you can stop here for some morning or mid-day coffee. Perfect for your Montauk day trip travels or just to sit down and relax with friends. We absolutely loved the Caramel Latte and the Nutella Latte!
22. TT’s Restaurant
Two T’s at the Montauk’s TT’s restaurant stand for “tequila” and “tacos.” Choose from eight kinds of tacos — just $10 for two – or Mexican specials, such as guac or queso. You won’t believe the quality of TT’s meals for such a non-Montauk price! Very cute spot.
23. Gosman’s Dock
Gosman’s Dock is a seafood restaurant overviewing the Montauk Harbor and known for its clams and spectacular sunset views. You can also find sushi by Chef Tony at this restaurant and soft-serve ice cream.
24. Best Pizza & Dive Bar
Best Pizza & Dive Bar lives to its name. If you are craving some carbs or ready for a casual drink in town, this Brooklyn-born pizzeria is a great place to explore. They are known for their large-format pizzas, game-watching nights, and good music.
25. Clam Bar at Napeague
Clam Bar at Napeague has been a landmark for the Hamptons foodies over the last 40 years. Primarily known for clams, burgers, and hot dogs, this local favorite is a casual spot for travelers to need a quick but gourmet meal to hold them through dinner. Most people like their fried clam strips. We really liked the tuna bites here, too! I wasn’t feeling the raw clams, the plate had a bit of muddy water with an aquarium smell to them.