Its laidback, crocs-welcome vibe at local watering holes and rosé-all-day mantra have made The End the beginning of many summer weekends. Come Tumbleweed Tuesday, though, Montauk transforms back into a quiet fishing town (or semi-quiet, anyway).
But while some might say the warm months in Montauk are the best, we’d beg to differ. Montauk genuinely becomes chill when the chill sets in. Though some establishments go into deep hibernation for the winter season, others remain open—and it’s easier to get a table, parking spot and elbow room at some of the most popular spots.
Consider this your ultimate guide to a post-Labor Day trek to Montauk—no brake lights required.
Stay at Montauk Manor…
They don’t call it The End for nothing. Montauk is two hours on a good day from Huntington, the Northern-most part of Suffolk County. It’s worth booking a place to rest weary legs and strained odometers at night. Consider indulging yourself at a place that proves that Gatsby-esque luxury isn’t simply reserved for the North Shore. A stay at the Tudor-style Montauk Manor, which sits atop a majestic hill, is like a trip back to a bygone era—with modern amenities, of course. The Grand Foyer looks like it did in 1927 when multimillionaire developer Carl Fisher moved in. Glistening chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and Victorian-era furniture creates nooks for relaxing while waiting for any travel partners. Guests also have access to a day spa, indoor pool and tennis courts. But the real draw is the view. Regardless of the temperature, head out to the courtyard for a panoramic look at Montauk from on high.
236 Edgemere St., 631-668-4400
Or Daunt’s Albatross
For a more laidback spot to lie down, opt for Daunt’s Albatross. The unassuming rooms are comprised of life’s necessities—cozy beds, minifridges, microwaves, TV and Wi-Fi. Frills aren’t entirely necessary if you plan to spend most of your time out and about, anyway. Therefore, bonus points that this spot is a four-minute walk from Kirk’s Beach, perfect for a brisk, late season stroll.
44 S Elmwood Ave., 631-668-2729
Brunch at Mr. John’s Pancake House
Jerry Seinfeld and Jimmy Fallon once sipped coffee together at this wood-paneled diner, but the pancakes and crepes are no joke. The pancake menu features 14—count ‘em 14!—options ranging from sweet (chocolate chip or chocolate and peanut butter chips) to savory (potato) to semi-guiltless (whole wheat or topped with fruit). The crepe choices are similar. Think ham and cheese, chocolate chips or crepes stuffed with fresh fruit.
721 Montauk Hwy., 631-668-2383
Hike Camp Hero State Park
Help breakfast digest while learning about Long Island history with a side of waterfront views. The National Historic Site spans more than 400 acres and was commissioned as an Air Force station in 1942. Today, It’s a fishing village known for its Atlantic bluffs, bountiful wildlife, woodlands and trails.
Grab lunch grub at Naturally Good Foods
Pack a picnic lunch with a healthy twist at Naturally Good Foods. The spot has a menu with salads, wraps and sandwiches. The signature sandwich, the Bruce, includes an ample helping of locally caught yellowfin tuna between sprouted multi-grain bread. Kombucha, smoothies and wellness shots with everything from ginger to raw apple cider are also available.
779 Montauk Hwy., 631-668-9030
Picnic at Montauk Point State Park
Head back toward the beach with lunch in tow. First, snap the obligatory selfie at the Montauk Point Lighthouse—you’re far less likely to get photobombed during the quieter fall season. You can spread a blanket and dine on the grassy lawn by the lighthouse or venture down to the beach for a quiet, if breezy, lunch. The waves will serve as a soundtrack.
Though Montauk Manor has a spa, if you’re looking for a change of scenery (that still includes water), hightail it to Gurney’s newly revamped and reopened spa. The saltwater pool still gives way to stunning Atlantic views through walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, and it’s heated for year-round dips. Facials and massages emphasizing relaxation and pain relief are also available.
290 Old Montauk Hwy., 631-668-2345
Happy Hour at Montauk Brewing Co.
Those blue-and-white cans of Montauk summer ale have been a mainstay at LI parties over the last decade. And the brewery behind the popular beverage is open year-round. The craft beer destination boasts indoor and outdoor space for sipping everything from the Wave Chaser IPA with tropical and pine aromas to fall-friendly pumpkin ale.
62 South Erie Ave., 631-668-8471
Dinner at Harvest on Fort Pond
This Tuscan-style eatery is so popular that reservations are recommended even in November. One bite of the fresh, indulgent burrata, with its creamy, soft texture, will make you understand why. Grilled pizzas include creative favorites like bacon, onion, jalapeño and mozzarella or less adventurous but still delicious tomato and mozzarella. Pastas, salads and a 16 oz. skirt steak are also available.
11 S. Emery St., 631-668-5574
A Pit Stop at Montauk T-Shirts
On your way out of town, get something to remember your weekend staycation by grabbing a souvenir at Montauk T-Shirts. The eclectic shop includes T-shirts, onesies for the little one you left with Grandma before jetting out of town and watersport gear…because warmer days are always ahead.
37 Carl Fisher Plaza, 631-903-4962