Montauk Travel Guide

Montauk, New York, located at the end of Long Island’s South Fork Peninsula, is a major tourist stop, for its six state parks, its Montauk Point Lighthouse, and its abundant fishing opportunities. The town lies only 20 miles from the coast of Connecticut, and it is not much further to the western edge of Rhode Island.

History

The area around Montauk was inhabited by the Montaukett Indians, from which the modern town takes its name. Montauk Point was first sighted by a Dutch explorer in 1614, but the area was not taken by Europeans until it was gradually purchased by the English colonial town of East Hampton between 1661 and 1686. Even then, the Montaukett continued to live, hunt, and fish in the area into the 19th Century. Between 1792 and 1796, the famous Montauk Lighthouse was constructed. In the early 20th Century, state parks were established in the area, and Montauk became a popular tourist haven.

Things to see and do in Montauk

Visit Camp Hero State Park, the site of a former coastal defense fort that was disguised to look like a mere fishing village. You can see remnants of the fortifications, fish for striped bass or bluefish at the beach, go hiking in the summer, or go skiing in the winter.

 

Lighthouse – Montauk, New York

An aerial view of the Montauk Point State Park from the Montauk Lighthouse balcony.

See Montauk Point State Park. This is the site of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the first lighthouse ever built in the state of New York and one of the oldest still in use in the U.S. You can also see here the Amistad Memorial, dedicated to the memory of slaves who took over their slaving ship and were ruled by the Supreme Court to be free men who had been illegally “kidnapped.”

Visit Shadmoor State Park, where you can see two observation bunkers built to help defend New York City during World War II. You will also see a bluff, where grows the namesake shadbush, overlooking a stretch of beach. You can also see the endangered plant called “sandplain gerardia,” go salt water fishing, and bird watch from platforms made for that purpose.

Head to the beaches. Montauk is well known as a prime beach resort getaway town and has many beaches to choose from. Kirk Park Beach, Ditch Plains Beach, Navy Beach are all public, and there are many private resorts with good stretches of sand as well. At Teddy Roosevelt County Park has not only a beach but also over 1,100 acres of trails and canoeing, fishing, and wintertime hunting opportunities.

Climate conditions

Montauk’s climate is warmer than almost any other point as far north within the United States. The oceanic effects results in warmer winters and coolers summers than inland areas at comparable latitudes.