Montauk Day Trip: Things to Do & Itinerary + Map

Welcome to the “end of the world” as Montauk is called. This beautiful small town is located at the most eastern tip of New York State. As such, it’s about 3 hours driving from NYC or a relaxing 3-hour train ride on the LIRR train. But don’t let those few hours deter you, a day trip to Montauk is well worth it!

Montauk offers several beaches, some of the most beautiful state parks in New York, outdoor activities, and endless restaurants to choose from. Let’s plan your Montauk itinerary!

How to Get to Montauk From NYC

  • TRAIN: The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers regularly scheduled trains to Montauk. You can leave at 7:30 AM and come back from Montauk at 10:00 PM.
  • BUS: The Hampton Jitney or the Hampton Ambassador
  • CAR: You can drive your own car or rent one. The first two hours are on a highway, but the last hour is rough because it’s on a skinny local road with slow cars. 
  • TRAIN + UBER: Take to LIRR to Ronkonkoma. From there, you can Uber it to Montauk. 
  • HELICOPTER: A helicopter is the fastest option to Montauk beaches, with Blade’s $395 helicopter ride out East taking only 40 minutes. 

Your Day Trip to Montauk – Itinerary

If you are planning a Montauk day trip, this handy itinerary will help you structure your day to enjoy as many of the best Montauk activities as possible.

Early Morning: Grab Breakfast & CoffEe

Here’s where I recommend you grab some breakfast or coffee in Montauk:

  • Left Hand is one of my top favorite places to get AMAZING coffee. You can stop here for your morning coffee or in between your activities. They also have teas and baked goods.
  • Or, consider Tillie’s at the Gurney’s Montauk Resort for a sit-down breakfast with a view. Expect yummy comfort food with limited pressed juice options.

Since it’s a bit of a ride to Montauk, you might get hangry sooner. So you can also stop in one of the many neighboring Hampton towns that are on the way.

  • Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee offers the finest selection of gourmet coffee drinks and health-conscious snacks. (Amagansett, NY)
  • Across the street, Organic Krush cafe is a great place to grab a smoothie or a green juice for the road. (Amagansett, NY)
  • Goldberg’s Famous Bagels is an excellent choice if you are looking for a more substantial breakfast meal. (Southampton, NY)

Morning + Afternoon: Explore Montauk’s Natural Wonders

You want to dedicate this time to one of the many outdoor adventures in Montauk. I recommend choosing one of the following:

Option 1: Montauk State Park + the Lighthouse

You can start your Montauk adventures at Montauk Point State Park. The parking situation at this year-long operating park is cheaper and more accessible than in most places. For $8 a day, you can drop off your car at the State Park and walk to the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse. 

A picturesque spot, the Montauk Point State Park offers outstanding views of the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets the Block Island Sound. The easternmost point of Long Island, this park opens at 8:00 am, allowing you a few hours to hike, enjoy the ocean views, watch the seals sun on the rocks, and even surf.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the Montauk Point State Park parking lot to Montauk’s most recognizable historical sight, the Lighthouse. Planning your day, keep in mind that the gift shop at the Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum opens around 10:30.

Option 2: E-Biking Tour ★

We took a tour with Electric Bikes A Go Go and it is officially one of our favorite things to do in Montauk! You get to see all the highlights while pedaling through roads, grassy trails, and epic sights. The cost starts at $240 per person, but it is well worth it! You also get two guides that lead your group and I felt very safe biking with them.

If you rather bike without a guided tour, another option is to rent a bike at the Montauk Cycle Company. They offer mountain bikes and e-bikes all varying in price.

Option 3: Surfing (Or Surfing Lessons)

Montauk is known for surfing, so there are plenty of options to explore if you love the waves. Ditch Plain and Turtle Cove are some of the best beaches in Montauk. The prime destination for surfers of all levels, while Gin Beach is more suitable for beginners.

If you’re new to surfing, here are the three places that offer lessons:

Option 4: Hiking in Montauk

Some of Long Island’s best hiking trails are in Montauk! In addition to Montauk Point State Park, there is also Shadmoor State Park which is one of the most beloved trails for birdwatching and enjoying the shore views. Point Woods Loop Trail is a quick 3-mile walk along the water with little elevation.

Other Options for Montauk Outdoors:

Afternoon: Lunch in Montauk

After an outdoor fun-packed morning, you’re going to be very hungry! It’s time to relax and enjoy a tasty meal. There are countless restaurants in Montauk serving anything from seafood to tacos. Here’s what I recommend for lunch:

  • Bostwick’s Chowder House : 20 minutes west of the Montauk, but hands down my favorite restaurant in the Hamptons. It’s not fancy but the food slaps. Get the blackened fish tacos, the hot bun lobster roll, and the fries.
  • Lobster Roll Restaurant : Serving comfort seafood since 1965, this outdoor restaurant serves classic plates like clam chowders and lobster rolls.
  • Hooked ★: A fast- all about local seafood and the freshest ingredients. It’s a self-serve cafe with delicious meals and non-Hamptons prices. 
  • Mostrador Montauk: For a Michelin-quality gourmet by the beach, at Marram hotel.

Late Afternoon: MONTAUK’S Beaches + SHOPPING

After lunch, spend a few hours wandering around the downtown with tiny shops and coffee places. Reapply sunscreen, get your beach bag and towels ready — it’s time to head over to the beach.

There are about 9 great beaches in Montauk, to choose from. Here are the top 4 I recommend:

  • Kirk Park Beach: If you aren’t lucky to get a parking spot in the village, the white-sanded Kirk Park Beach is within walking distance from the city center. This family-oriented beach offers showers and bathrooms, but there are no beach chairs to rent. Only locals can park at this beach, so you’d have to park in the city if you plan to visit.
  • A little out of the way is Ditch Plains Beach, a popular spot for swimming, surfing, and paddleboarding. In summer, there are lifeguards on duty at this beach. It’s kind of ugly at the entrance but you have to keep walking.
  • Hither Hills State Park: Known for having one of the best Long Island hiking trails and educational programs for the entire family, the park also has access to a white sand beach. You can enjoy the sun and ocean and fishing, biking, surfing, and windsurfing there.
  • Navy Beach ★: I also really liked visiting Navy Beach (pictured above). It’s totally different from the other beaches in that it’s got calmer and clearer waters for swimming. I loved looking at the unique pebbles and colorful quartzes along the shore.

Alternative: Shopping in Montauk Village

Montauk is home to many cute shops and stylish boutiques. If you happen to have extra time before hitting the beach, check out some shopping (or window shopping) for a piece of clothing, jewelry, or home decor as a souvenir or a gift. I liked NIBI MTK for boutique clothes and accessories. But there are a bunch of other shops from home decor spots like The 8th Drifter to Below the Blue for craft jewelry. 

Early Evening: Visit a Winery or Brewery

Brewery: After visiting the beach and getting some vitamin D, head to the Montauk Brewing Company for a glass of craft beer. There is typically a crowd outside of the brewery with outdoor tables available. There is beer on tap, bottled options, and small snacks. I recommend buying a half-pint ($4) of their various beers so that you can create your own tasting menu.

Winery: The gorgeous Wolffer Estate Vineyards is 20 minutes west of Montauk is in Sagaponack. Get an outdoor table facing their vineyard, order a charcuterie board, and order their best rose. Depending on the season and which day of the week you are visiting, there are live music events and various wine tastings. If you get there after 5:00 PM (after it is closed), they have an outdoor wine stand booth open until about 8:00 PM (summer weekends), where you can get the finest selection of rosé in their outdoor area. This is one of my favorite Long Island wineries.

Evening: Dinner in Montauk

Enjoy a relaxing dinner at one of Montauk’s best sit-down restaurants. There are plenty of options to choose from, most of which offer spectacular sunset views around 8 pm.

  • Harvest on Fort Pond ★: Serves Tuscan-style Italian platters in family portions complemented by stunning waterfront views of Fort Pond.
  • Scarpetta Beach: At Gurney’s is a fine Italian restaurant located in the fanciest resort in town. 
  • Inlet Seafood Restaurant overlooks Montauk Harbor and splits its menu between finest seafood and sushi. Traditional Long Island restaurant. Scallops were amazing.

Montauk Day Trip Budget

Here’s an idea of the prices for a Montauk day trip:

  • Transportation to Montauk cost: from $22.25 one way during the off-peak season on the LIRR train; or the cost of renting the car with gas (around $100 per day).
  • Lighthouse + museum cost: $15 admission
  • Lunch cost range: from $10 taco to $33 lobster roll.
  • Dinner cost range: about $45 main course fish, depending on the restaurant.
  • Rent a bike cost: from $10 per hour or $39 per day to $150 for a guided e-bike tour (worth it).
  • Horseback riding cost: from $55 per person, not including a suggested 20% gratuity.
  • Rent a kayak or paddleboard cost: from $22 for 30 minutes and $40 for one hour.
  • Visiting the parks: are free except for parking which starts from $8.

How to Get Around Montauk

Walking: Montauk is more walkable than other famous Hamptons towns. If you arrive by train or bus, you can walk to the downtown area and from there easily head on over to the beach. Many restaurants are located on the main road, too.

Car: However, if you are planning on visiting sights like Montauk Lighthouse or National Parks, a car is required. Or a very long walk. All the hiking, kayaking, and bird-watching trails, as well as farmer’s stands and some iconic restaurants, are outside of the downtown area.

Taxis: Street taxis are harder to find in Montauk. There are some local cab-operating companies that you can call, as well as taxi stands, but it’s challenging to find them, especially if you are new to this town. So plan ahead.

Uber and Lyft work in Montauk. But the wait times for these services could be long so take the wait time into consideration when planning your Montauk trip itinerary.

Parking is a problem for the Hamptons in general, but in Montauk, it’s an even bigger challenge. And there is a parking permit requirement if you want to park at some of Montauk’s beaches.

Bike rentals: Consider renting an e-bike in Montauk with the Montauk Cycle Company. Or joining an e-bike tour with Electric Bikes A Go Go like I did!

Best Time to Visit Montauk + Weather

You can visit Montauk year-round. However, it’s important to keep an eye out for the distinct weather in Montauk. It’s different from the rest of Long Island. Even within Montauk, two parts of the town can have completely different weather. It’s also about 10-15 degrees cooler here than in NYC, so bring a sweater.

Summer in Montauk is heaven. End of May through early September are the busiest times here. You can swim, tan, and do all the other outdoor activities. The sun also sets later which means you can squeeze in more fun into your day trip. Weekdays, the town is pretty quiet. But the drawback to that is that places will close earlier. 

Late September to October still provide warmer weather so that you can enjoy the many things to do in Montauk without the crowds. However, a lot of businesses are closed outside of May-September.

During the winter season, most things are closed in Montauk. However, that doesn’t stop some people from coming out to admire the snowy views. In fact, it’s one of the iconic parts of the popular movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which put Montauk on the map for many New Yorkers.

One-Day Montauk Itinerary Summary + Map

That’s a wrap on how to spend a perfect day in Montauk. To overview, here is a suggested order of activities to consider while exploring The End:

  • Grab your breakfast on the way to Montauk or in Montauk at Left Hand or Tillies.
  • Start with an outdoor adventure of your choosing. Such as:
    • Montauk Point State Park + the Lighthouse
    • Hiking
    • Biking
    • Surfing
  • Grab lunch at Bostwick’s, Hooked, or Lobster Roll Restaurant.
  • Admire one of the many Montauk beaches, or go shopping
  • Go beer tasting at the Montauk Brewing Company or wine tasting at Wolffer Vineyards.
  • Dinner at Harvest on Fort Pond.
  • Take the late train or drive back to the city when the traffic clears after 8:00 PM!

Where to Stay in Montauk

If you decide you want to stay longer, here are some hotels to consider:

  • Montauk Manor ($$$): Aside from stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and natural scenery, this historical landmark boasts elegant architecture, luxurious amenities, and easy access to Montauk’s downtown. With multiple-room units, this is a great choice for big groups and families. | Expedia
  • The Ocean Resort Inn ($$$): If easy access to both the beach and downtown and affordability are what you’re looking for, this property easily hits the spot! | Expedia
  • Marram ($$$$): This hotel is where luxury meets minimalism. So, if you’re going to Montauk for rest and relaxation, it’s the perfect place to be. It’s surrounded by quiet but is still walking-distance from some restaurants. | Expedia

Montauk Day Trip: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Montauk, NY Worth Visiting on a Day Trip?

Yes, Montauk is worth visiting even just for a day. The little fishing and surfing town is home to beautiful beaches and nice restaurants and shops. If you love the outdoors, you’ll definitely enjoy the hiking, horseback riding, e-biking, and surfing opportunities here. 

What is So Special About Montauk?

Aside from its lighthouse that offers an opportunity to see the eastern tip of New York, Montauk is home to sleepy laid-back beach vibes but with enough exciting things to do such as hiking, horseback riding, surfing, e-biking, and shopping!

Can You Go to Montauk Without a Car?

Yes, you can go to Montauk without a car. Instead, you can take the Long Island Rail Road train (LIRR) or hop on a bus or helicopter. 

When it comes to getting around, it’s easy to walk around downtown and to the beach. You can also rent an e-bike. However, going carless might not be the best idea if you’re visiting the lighthouse and spots beyond the city center. 

Is Montauk Expensive to Visit?

Montauk is a part of the Hamptons, which has a pricier tag. But it’s possible to visit Montauk on a budget! The train there is $22 each way, the Montauk light house is $15, some tacos cost $12, the parks are $8 parking fee, etc.

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About the Authors: Katya & Gerry

Katya Bychkova is a blogger and writer based in New York City. Katya enjoys traveling the world and sharing her adventures through writing and photography. She also loves beauty and skincare which she writes about in her Style Sprinter blog.

Gerry Isabelle is a born-and-raised New Yorker of proud Dominican heritage. She is the founder of Dominican Abroad, a world travel blog with a special focus on her home state of New York. Gerry believes in intentional and informed travel/cultural experiences so that as a community we are traveling with knowledge and respect. You can follow our adventures on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on our upcoming adventures and travel guides.

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