Well, it looks like someone took a little vacation. That someone being me (no new post in 12 days, say what?!) and the vacation being NYC, The Hamptons + Montauk, followed by a bachelorette weekend in Amsterdam. Lots of play, some work (daily posts over on The Daily Dose – as the name would suggest) and a lot of content still to be shared with you. First up: A travel diary from the end of the world. Or at least the end of the world to the New Yorkers…
Travel Diary: Montauk
When I started watching “Revenge” in 2011 during my college days, the Hamptons first became a place on the map to me. Wealthy families, huge estates and endless beaches. Not the beaches I knew from California, but more rustic with a slight melancholic feel. Since then, it has been a dream of mine to visit The Hamptons. Little did I know that there was a place beyond The Hamptons at the Eastern tip of Long Island in Suffolk County. Montauk. It is not really the end of the world being less than 200 km from Midtown Manhattan, but it certainly is a magical place. A place where my best friend got engaged 2 years ago in July and a place that is definitely worth visiting. When you drive past South Hampton, Bridgehampton and East Hampton, you pass through Amagansett and end up in Montauk. We were there for Memorial Day Weekend, which is more or less when half of New York City heads East to celebrate the long weekend and kick-off the Summer on Long Island.
Where to stay in Montauk?
Unfortunately, like most popular destination, The Hamptons and Montauk are not the most affordable holiday destination. 3-star hotels will set you back a couple of hundred dollars per night, just like a plain salad goes for 25$ and a glass of rosé tops the menu at 15-17$. In other words: Luckily no hangover the next day. There are not really that many hotels in Montauk, let alone ones on the beach. However, despite it being the most popular weekend of the season, we found a great little place to stay and came across some other options as well.
- Solé East: Where we stayed. A cute place, super friendly/helpful staff, very casual, the food by the pool did not impress me too much but I loved the incredibly spacious garden that had enough pool beds for all hotel guests, a beautiful fire pit, hammocks and everything else you need to relax. Would definitely stay at Solé East Montauk again! Between 300-500$ per night.
- Gurney’s: This is Montauk’s only oceanfront resort with actual beach access, a restaurant on the sand and sun beds for hotel guests. However, the rates start at 875$ during the Summer… I would take a trip to the Maldives instead and opt for a beach walk in Montauk instead. We did have lunch at one of the hotel’s restaurants (Tillie’s) however, and all though the service was not great, the food was delicious (pricey, but then again, what else is new) and the atmosphere of the resort itself was beautiful!
- Hero Beach Club: We spotted this Hotel + Beach Club while driving into town. In comparison to the other options, this one is also located super close to the beach (short walk) and very picturesque. The “advanced purchase” rate runs around 625$.
- Ruschmeyer’s: Tried and approved by my best friend, Ruschmeyer’s is very down-to-earth and cozy. We drove by a couple of times and it looks so cute and welcoming, plus, rates start at under 200$, which is such a steal for Montauk.
PS. it is where she stayed when she got engaged. Happy memories free of charge!
- The Surf Lodge: This place is super special and definitely a must-see in Montauk. It is located on the water of Fort Pond and the sun sets right across from the lodge – beautiful! However, you don’t necessarily have to book a room (hard to get). We opted for dinner on a Friday and loved every second of it. The standard room starts at 295$ per night.
Where to Eat in Montauk?
If you look past the price-point (trust me, you get used to it…), Montauk has a ton of great places to eat to offer. And by great, I don’t just mean the food but also the atmosphere with live music, lakeside bars to watch the sunset, laidback vibes (no need for heels) and fresh seafood. Plus, the best almond milk flat white I have ever had.
- The Surf Lodge: It is hard to snag a room at The Surf Lodge, and in all honesty, we purposely decided against it. It is one of the most popular places in town with live music on the weekends and an immense line outside of people waiting to get in, to probably not the best place to catch up on your beauty sleep. However, the food, atmosphere on the lake and sunset is definitely worth a visit.
- Crow’s Nest: My personal highlight of the trip was our dinner at Crow’s Nest. We didn’t have a reservation so we had to wait around 40 minutes for a table. Not a problem at all since they have a super cute bar down by the water. The food was incredible, as was the rosé by the local Wölffer estate. Both, the hostess girls were super friendly, as was the service. Apparently they also have rooms to stay at. Unfortunately we did not get a peek, but I am sure if the hotel is only half as welcoming as the restaurant, it is worth a try!
Fun fact: Danielle of We Wore What walked in right next to us for a casual dinner with friends. No make-up, simple black sweater and leggings. That’s Montauk!
- Bluestone Lane Coffee: If you appreciate good coffee and a healthy breakfast to-go, this is the place for you. They just opened their Montauk location on the weekend we were there and we got to chat with the founders (super friendly boys from Australia) while browsing a bit of Australian fashion in the beach collective concept store. Don’t miss it if you are in town.
- Tillie’s: Not my favorite dining experience in Montauk, but definitely worth it for the view! Next time, I think I would try to have lunch down by the beach club to join the party afterwards.
- Wölffer Kitchen: Even though this place is not located in Montauk but rather in Amagansett, it is only a short drive and cute place for brunch and mimosas on a Sunday. We also tried the rosé from Wölffer Estate and liked it so much, we decided to import some of their “summer in a bottle rosé”.
What to do in Montauk during Summer?
Unlike New York, Vienna or Morocco, Long Island is not really a place with much sightseeing or touristy activities to take part in. As a matter of fact, you rarely come across people that are not “from the city” and when we spoke to others and said that we were from Vienna, everyone was so surprised. That being said, there are some things I would highly suggest putting on your list of things to do in Montauk during the Summer:
- Beach walks: All day, every day. We headed down to the beach for a little stroll or long walk at least once per day. Coffee in hand and time for a lot of girl talk or to simple enjoy the magic of being by the ocean.
- Dinner at The Surf Lodge: As mentioned, this is one of my personal must-dos! For the opening weekend, they had acts like Jessie J… just saying! The crowd is young and the vibes are good.
- Montauk Brewing Co.: I don’t really drink beer, but I’ll make an exception for a Summer Ale or Watermelon Ale by Montauk Brewing Co. – only in Montauk, of course!
- The goop Pop-Up Shop in Sag Harbor: A reader suggested stopping by the pop-up shop of the goop! (by Gwyneth Paltrow) in Sag Harbor. Even if it is just to browse.