Called “The End” by locals and visitors, Montauk is located at the easternmost point on Long Island, between the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound, surrounded by water on three sides. Montauk has a unique appearance and character that set it apart from the rest of the Hamptons spiritually as well as geographically. About 65% of Montauk is preserved land. The scenery here is dramatic – around Montauk Point high bluffs overlook the rocky ocean shore and beaches below, where seals can be spotted in winter and spring. Montauk Point is the site of the oldest working lighthouse in the United States, commissioned by George Washington in 1792, which is a national landmark. Montauk has a working fishing fleet, and baymen continue to harvest shellfish from the pristine waters. Many charter boats offer deep sea fishing for recreational anglers. Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working horse ranch in the U.S., offers scenic trail and beach rides, boarding services, pony rides and camps and educational tours.
The Montaukett tribe were the earliest inhabitants of Montauk. Since the Revolutionary War, when the British army occupied the East End and grazed their livestock in Montauk the area has played a role in U.S. military history. After World War I Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders were quarantined here to recover from illnesses. During the Second World War, after Pearl Harbor the army and navy both came to Montauk, and Camp Hero opened in 1942. After the war builders arrived to construct second homes for people of average means, giving rise to Montauk’s reputation as the working people’s Hampton.
The local community has traditionally been low key and family oriented, with a large proportion of year-round residents. These days town has become a wildly popular destination for a younger crowd as well. The hamlet is the only Hampton with numerous motels, as well as marinas, snack bars and restaurants offering a range of cuisines and price points. A favorite destination for aficionados of fishing and surfing, Montauk has more than 5,000 acres of beaches on both bay and oceanfront, and some of the best surf breaks in the U.S. Ditch Plains Beach is a particular destination for surfers year-round, the heart of Montauk’s vibrant surfing community. Surfer magazine has rated Montauk #8 among the best surf towns in the US. Golf is also popular here; Montauk Downs state park golf course, with its challenging terrain and crosswinds, is among the highest rated golf courses in New York State and nationwide. PGA.com rates it the best NYC-area public golf course, and golf.com ranks it in the Top 10 public courses in New York. Other activities to enjoy here include hiking, birdwatching, camping and horseback riding. Music for Montauk presents classical music concerts at various times of year, including a series of summer concerts under their festival tent at Third House in Montauk County Park, as well as multimedia performances and educational programs in various community venues.