Montauk

The Montauk Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington and built in 1797.

Welcome to Montauk

Background

In 1686 the Montauk Indians sold Montauk to a group of East Hampton settlers. So began Montauk’s history as a summer pasture for cattle, sheep and horses. The annual cattle drive in which some 1200 to 1500 cattle would come from all over Eastern Long Island were a big local event, and townspeople went out in numbers to watch the riders herd their livestock.

The Montauk Lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington and built in 1797. It was a Coast Guard station for many years and its signal light and foghorn warned ships to stay clear of the treacherous rocky shoals that extend outward from the point. 
 
More recently, legend has it that treasure chests of pirate booty are buried in Montauk. No pirate loot has ever been found (supposedly) however in more recent history plenty of loot, in the form of liquor, could be found on Montauk’s beaches. During the 13-year prohibition period, the Rum Runners, as they were called locally, used Montauk as a drop-off place for liquor. Old timers remember signals from ships moored out past the legal limit rousing the men to sea in small boats to bring in the cargo under the cover of darkness. The cargo, liquor, was brought to the sand dunes in small boats, where it was dug into the dunes, to be later picked up and transported to New York City in armed trucks.

Fun Fact

The hit Netflix show Stranger Things was originally a story about Camp Hero in Montauk!  Local stories about time travel and mysterious happenings are very much commonplace. There are even two documentaries on it!

Beaches

  • Ditch Plains - is probably the most famous. World class waves are a surfer’s dream. Try the Ditch Witch for lunch.
  • Nick’s beach - is at the corner of S. Emerson and S. Essex.  This is where the action is with proximity to the bars and hotels of town.
  • Kirk Beach - is directly behind the IGA. Take the stairs over the Dunes.  More of a family beach than some of the others. 
  • Hither Hills State Park - has a great beach and there is camping available. Call ahead for reservations
  • Gin Beach - is a super bay beach with amazing views of the Sound and Block Island. 
  • Groceries, etc…

Restaurants

  • Harvest on Fort Pond- Idyllic location sitting on the water, wonderful views and consistently great food over the years.
  • Navy Beach- Classic American cuisine leaning heavily into seafood.  Dine with your toes in the sand watching the sunset or hang at the fun bar.
  • Salivars- Italian seafood overlooking the marina.  What could go wrong?
  • South Edison- Extensive raw bar with outdoor seating.  Fun.
  • The Montauket-Old school bar feel inside, fantastic casual outdoor area set atop a cliff with the best sunset views in the Hamptons.  Period.
  • Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Café- Fun family spot on East Lake.  Beautiful vies of the harbor. Great lobster roll.
  • West Lake Fish House-Best sushi on the east end.  Fun and casual.  Live music (call ahead to check).
  • Star Island Grill-American fusion/seafood.  Outdoor dining.  Fun spot.
  • Random- The Netflix series Stranger Things is based on stories of the Camp Hero Military Installation.  True!  Rumored science experiments and local stories galore.   It was too expensive to film here.
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