While only about 3,000 people live in Montauk permanently, many people come to this charming Long Island hamlet for the magnificent white sandy beaches, miles of hiking trails, wine tasting and excellent restaurants. A popular weekend getaway from New York City, Montauk is full of history, from its 1797 lighthouse to the quaint Second House, a farmhouse built the same year. Here are the best things to do in Montauk, NY.

1. Montauk Point Lighthouse

Montauk Point Lighthouse
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A National Historic Site, the Montauk Point Lighthouse offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from the easternmost point of Long Island and is one of the best things to do in Montauk NY. Visitors can climb 137 iron steps to the top and tour the beautiful grounds. The visitor center houses a gift shop and a museum exhibiting an extensive collection of maritime artifacts and historical documents pertaining to the nation’s fourth oldest active lighthouse.

Wedding packages are available, and the Sprint Triathlon and Relay is hosted here in July. In November, visitors can watch the holiday lighting complete with hot cider and a visit from Santa. Group and school tours are available year round. Plan a fun day trip from NYC and visit this beautiful National Historic Site.

2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, Long Island, Phone: 631-668-2544

2. Camp Hero State Park

Camp Hero State Park
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If you keep going east to the very end of Long Island, you will find the undisturbed, wild, and diverse Camp Hero State Park. A former military base surrounded by dense, maritime forests mixed with freshwater wetlands, the park is bursting with wildlife and will offer you hours of peace and quiet.

Well-maintained trails will take you along the ocean coast opening to spectacular vistas and near deserted beaches where swimming is too dangerous but surf fishing (with a permit) is among the best in the world. You can hike, bike, ride your horse, or bring your dog for a walk. This park feels like a completely different world from the sophisticated, civilized Montauk.

3. Hither Hills State Park, Montauk, Long Island

Hither Hills State Park, Montauk, Long Island
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Campers at Long Island’s Hither Hills State Park can choose from 153 sites bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Napeague walking dunes. The park’s biodiversity makes it a perfect spot for fishing, hunting, biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, bird watching, and plenty of other forms of entertainment.

Summer visitors can head to the beach and try a variety of children’s activities and special programs. The park offers a playground and playing fields along with a scenic picnic area with fireplaces. In addition to a two-mile sandy beach, a 40-acre lake is open to anglers year-round. Special features include the Napeague Bird Conservation Area and “walking dunes.”

164 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954, Phone: 631-668-2554

4. Montauk Yacht Club, Montauk, Long Island

Montauk Yacht Club, Montauk, Long Island
© Montauk Yacht Club

The Yacht Club is a 80-year-old iconic Montauk beach resort located on Star Island in the middle of the Montauk Lake. It will greet you with an excellent replica of the historic Montauk Lighthouse with timeless elegance matched by all the modern comforts. All your needs will be met, including docking for your boat right in front of the hotel in their luxurious marina.

It is to be expected that the food is equally superb, and it is served in Gulf Coast Kitchen’s light and airy dining room overlooking the beach. Fresh fish and seafood is the name of the game, but you can also get a pizza or a burger if that is what you are craving. Don’t forget to go for cocktails at the Turtle Lounge located inside of the Lighthouse tower.

32 Star Island Rd, Montauk, New York 11954, Phone: 631-668-3100

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5. Hero Beach Club, Montauk, Long Island

Hero Beach Club, Montauk, Long Island
© Hero Beach Club

Hero Beach Club is an ideal weekend getaway for beach lovers. This unique boutique hotel will charm you with clean and comfortable rooms, many of which feature private balconies with views of the sea. There is a large lawn area, a temping heated swimming pool, comfortable loungers and BBQ facilities. Although the hotel does not have an on-site restaurant, guest will find a variety of nearby eateries which range from white-linen exclusivity to lobster-shack simplicity. At the height of the summer season complimentary coffee and bagels are served in the lobby at breakfast time.

Hero Beach Club, 626 Montauk Highway, NY 11954, Phone: 631 668 9825

6. Navy Beach, Montauk, NY

Navy Beach, Montauk, NY
© Navy Beach

Navy Beach restaurant redefines “beach chic.” Designed to look like interior of a luxury yacht, this delightful, colorful place is not easy to find, but once you get there, you will not regret stopping by. It is located right on the beach on Fort Pond Bay. The beach was used during the WWII for torpedo testing. They took all torpedoes away, but don’t tell the kids, as they might enjoy a bit of a treasure hunt while you are sampling fabulous custom cocktails.

Here, you can easily bump into a number of celebrities, who, just like you, love the fun take on the seafood served at the Navy. Try the Montauk Seafood with mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, coconut milk, and bamboo rice or the outstanding crispy rock shrimp. They know their wine, and the wine list is extensive, but the rosé, of which they have three kinds, is the specialty of the house.

16 Navy Rd, Montauk, NY 11954, Phone: 631-668-6868

7. Lake Montauk

Lake Montauk
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Lake Montauk stopped being a lake in 1927 when Carl Fisher, the owner of Montauk at the time, blasted a hole and let the seawater get in. The lake, once dredged, became a deep, protected bay and is today Montauk’s main port and a home to the biggest commercial as well as sporting fish fleets in New York State. Tiny Star Island, located in the middle of the lake, hosts Montauk Yacht Club and a casino as well as the Coast Guard Station.

There is a ferry service that takes tourists from Long Island to Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, and New London, Connecticut during the summer. Lake Montauk is famous for fishing charters that are coming back with record catches. The myth is that local captain Frank Mundus was the inspiration for the character in the movie Jaws, although the writer Peter Benchley denies it.

8. Ditch Plains

Ditch Plains
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Situated at the Hamptons' easternmost point on Long Island, around two miles from Montaukvillage, Ditch Plains is a sandy stretch of beach with a background of dense greenery. This popular surf spot in the East Coast was formerly a lookout point used by the Montaukett Native Americans. While it may cost money to park your car here, it's free to visit by foot or bike. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Ditch Plains is manned by lifeguards daily. However, many people can be seen on the beach even in the winter. Dogs are allowed on the beach from dawn until dusk.

9. Gosman's Dock

Gosman's Dock
© Gosman's Dock

Gosman’s Dock opens for the season in May and is the ideal place to admire beautiful Montauk scenery while dining on delicious local seafood. Founded in 1943 by the Gosman family, the small restaurant and chowder stand has grown to include a casual dining room, rooftop deck, café, and clam bar. The restaurant and fish market boast the freshest seafood right from the dock, and exotic specialty items are flown in daily.

Shopping includes gourmet foods, clothing, and Montauk souvenirs. A summer concert series takes place on the outdoor stage on Sunday evenings in July and August. The dock is within walking distance of Gosman’s Culloden House Motels.

500 W Lake Dr, Montauk, New York 11954, Phone: 631-668-5330

10. Montauk Point State Park

Montauk Point State Park
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Montauk Point State Park offers the best vantage point for spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean where it meets Block Island Sound. On calm days, the merging tides and beautiful scenery are guaranteed to awe visitors. Native seals can often be spotted sunbathing on nearby rocks. Nature trails provide great opportunities for hiking or cross-country skiing.

Visitors can also enjoy surf fishing and small and large game hunting in season. A restaurant and gift shop overlook the ocean, and the park’s rocky shoreline and Montauk Lighthouse are accessible from the parking area.

2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954, 631-668-3781

11. Things to Do in Montauk: Deep Hollow Ranch

Things to Do in Montauk: Deep Hollow Ranch
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Explore some of the most beautiful coastline in the United States on horseback at Deep Hollow Ranch. Let true cowboys and cowgirls guide you through 3,000 preserved acres of picturesque countryside and pristine beaches. Located on the easternmost tip of Long Island, Patrick and Cate Keogh’s family-run ranch caters to riders of every experience level.

Pony rides and parties are available, and the ranch offers children’s summer camps and activities. As the oldest working ranch in the U.S., Deep Hollow’s tours provide guests with the perfect opportunity to experience Eastern Long Island’s ranching tradition, area history, and local Native American culture.

8 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954, Phone: 631-668-2744

12. Montauk Brewing Company

Montauk Brewing Company
© Montauk Brewing Company

Montauk Brewing Company has transformed Montauk into a major destination for craft beer and offers a good place to relax with a pint after a long day on the shore. Founded in 2012, Montauk Brewing Company was started by three friends who attended East Hampton High School together: Joseph Sullivan, Eric Moss, and Vaughan Cutillo. However, Sullivan isn't involved in the brewery's daily operations today. After only seven years, this Long Island craft brewery is now one of the country's top one hundred craft breweries based on volume of sales. Beers produced include the Summer Ale, Pilsner, and Driftwood Ale.

62 S Erie Ave, Montauk, NY 11954, 631-668-8471

13. Scarpetta Beach Restaurant

Scarpetta Beach Restaurant
© Scarpetta Beach Restaurant

The view from the Scarpetta Beach Restaurant will take your breath away. Whether you are seated in their sleek, modern, airy dining room with an expanse of French doors or on the outdoor deck high above the beach, you can spend hours over your cocktails watching the waves washing over the beach or kids playing volleyball.

This new restaurant, one of only few in Montauk right on the beach, is located in the luxurious Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa. Its menu corresponds nicely with the dramatic view. It is classic Italian, with a natural focus on fabulous seafood, but the chefs have given all dishes their own imaginative flair. Simple polenta made with mushrooms and truffles becomes a gourmet offering. Bread stuffed with spinach and pepperoni can make a meal on its own. A pleasant atmosphere, superb food, and spectacular setting make a visit to Scarpetta a special event.

290 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, New York 11954, Phone: 631-668-2345

14. Things to Do in Montauk: Double D Charters

Things to Do in Montauk: Double D Charters
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Double D has been offering the ultimate experience in Montauk sport fishing for 20 years. Their mission is to provide anglers of every age and experience level with the best fishing possible. Double D has received excellent reviews for their knowledge and navigational skills that provide patrons a fun day on the water while they reel in tuna, marlin, sea bass, and more.

They offer charters for Montauk’s shark tournaments that are a great weekend getaway. Two-day tournament charters include the entry fee and a complementary dinner with drinks on the last day. Sightseeing, sunset cruises, and ferry services can also be arranged.

West Lake Marina, 352 West Lake Drive, Montauk, NY 11954, 631-678-3960

15. Naturally Good Foods and Cafe

Naturally Good Foods and Cafe
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If health food and products are necessities for you, you can relax: you can get all you need during your vacation in Montauk. Naturally Good Foods and Café offer fresh organic produce, groceries, vitamins, herbs, and cosmetics. Their tiny but charming café sells delicious healthy breakfast and lunch, so just stop by on the way to the beach and stock up. You can get healthy salads, vegetable and fruit juices and smoothies, organic Fair Trade coffee, teas, and vegan and gluten-free baked goods.

If you want to eat in, check their lovely backyard garden, which is bursting with flowers and juicy tomato plants. They have homemade soups, veggie burgers, burritos, veggie stir-fries, salads, and all kinds of wraps. And, since you are in Montauk, there is fish. You have to try The Bruce, the store’s signature sandwich made with fresh yellow-fin tuna on seven-grain bread.

779 NY-27, Montauk, New York 11954, Phone: 631-668-9030

16. Montauk Downs State Park

Montauk Downs State Park
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While Montauk Downs State Park features several different amenities for visitors to enjoy, the park is perhaps best known for its 18-hole, championship-length golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. Along with the golf course, the state park includes a clubhouse with a grill offering breakfast and lunch, a catering facility, a driving range, a children’s wading pool, a swimming pool, and six championship tennis courts. The pools are typically open from the end of June through the beginning of September, and the tennis courts are open to the public from the middle of May through the middle of September.

50 S Fairview Ave, Montauk, NY 11954, 631-668-3781

17. Shadmoor State Park

Shadmoor State Park
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Shadmoor State Park is an awesome place to spend a day admiring Long Island’s natural wonders. An easy walk to the bluffs provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and two stairways lead to the 2,400 feet of beach where visitors can picnic or saltwater fish. Elevated platforms provide even more spectacular views and opportunities for bird watching.

The park also offers freshwater wetlands and hiking trails for exploration of its ninety-nine acres. For history buffs, the park has two preserved WWII artillery bunkers worthy of inspection. Shadmoor’s impressive foliage includes its namesake shadbush, black cherry trees, and the endangered gerardia plant.

900 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954, 631-668-3781

More ideas: 27 Best Day Trips from NYC

18. The Montauk Beach House

The Montauk Beach House
© The Montauk Beach House

The Montauk Beach House is one of the top rated hotels in all of Montauk, with many past guests falling in love with this property at first sight and returning many times again. You'll surely want to do the same after stepping foot into your beautifully decorated room and experiencing the excellent on-site features and amenities of this classy Montauk hotel. Many of the rooms feature high ceilings with traditional features and a very elegant, tasteful type of decor.

The Montauk Beach House is also fitted out with not one, but two swimming pools, along with an open-air bar serving up tasty cocktails and a wide range of other drinks throughout the day. There's also a nice outdoor communal space and a cozy on-site cafe serving up some delicious breakfast treats in the mornings. Naturally, due to the classy nature of this Montauk hotel, prices aren't the cheapest but if you choose your dates carefully, you can get a great deal here.

55 S Elmwood Ave, Montauk, NY 11954, Phone: 631-668-2112

19. The Ocean Resort Inn, Montauk, Long Island

The Ocean Resort Inn, Montauk, Long Island
© The Ocean Resort Inn

Right by Montauk Beach, the Ocean Resort Inn can boast of one of the best locations of any Montauk hotel. Being located in such a great spot, you might think that this Montauk hotel comes with some high prices, but the truth is very different: The Ocean Resort Inn is actually one of the best options for budget-conscious travelers in Montauk. It's only a few paces from the soft sands of Long Island but rooms can be reserved for some very attractive prices.

The Ocean Resort Inn offers a nice range of simple, cute rooms with all the amenities and accessories you could need including TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, good quality bathtubs, and free Wi-Fi throughout. A pool and barbecue grills are located on-site too and the hotel also offers various rentals of beach equipment and bikes. The staff at the Ocean Resort Inn are also said to be very friendly by previous guests, so if you’re looking for a warm welcome at a great price, this is the one to choose.

95 S Emerson Ave, Montauk, NY 11954, Phone: 631-668-2300

20. Inlet Seafood, Montauk, Long Island

Inlet Seafood, Montauk, Long Island
© Inlet Seafood

When a restaurant belongs to a cooperative of fishermen, you can be absolutely sure that the fish will be fresh. It literally goes from their boats to your plate. You will never taste fresher sushi, but we recommend making it just a starter. There is so much more to try: scallops wrapped in bacon, fabulous clam chowder, huge oysters, and whatever ends up in the nets that particular day.

The restaurant is located in an attractive but unassuming two-story building on Lake Montauk, and the views from the outdoor deck are spectacular. Try to make it for sunset, grab one of their funky cocktails, and wait for the daily spectacle. The restaurant also has quite respectable wine list.

541 E Lake Dr, Montauk, New York 11954, Phone: 631-668-4272

What is Montauk, Long Island known for? What to do.

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