One of my all-time favorite summer things to do is spend a day in Montauk. It’s called “The End” for a reason: once you get out there it’s only beaches and wide open skies. The natural beauty of this coastal beach town is incredible. With several beaches to choose from, easy hikes, yummy seafood and ice cream, well, a trip to Montauk is the perfect family day. Also, don’t miss the chance to stop at this donut and this coffee spot on your way out to start your trip off on a delicious note!
The Montauk Lighthouse
Montauk boasts the iconic lighthouse and it is our family’s first and favorite stop every time we visit. The Montauk lighthouse stands tall as the perfect symbol of summer. It is a National Historic Landmark and not only does it provide the perfect backdrop for gorgeous pictures, it is the site of some interesting history. It is always incredible to walk around it and see the scenery.
You can enter the lighthouse tower and climb the 128 stairs to the lookout deck (while we have done this as a couple, we have NOT done this with toddlers!). We like to head over to the Conway Visitor’s Center and hang out on the open air deck with treats from the gift shop.
After that we round up the kids to walk down the path next to the gift shop and take in the views from the rocky beach. My little ones love to dip their toes in the cold water and they could spend all day making piles out of the rocks!
This playground is located at the back of the parking area at the lighthouse. While there is not much shade here in the middle of the day, you can use it in the early morning or evening. It’s a great picnic spot for the family and bathroom facilities are right next to it. Change everyone into bathing suits here before you hit the beach!
Our next stop is always a few hours to play at the beach. The surfy town of Montauk has the beauty of Hamptons beaches, but the ease of free public parking lots and restroom facilities. Our favorite is Kirk Park Beach. Get here early to find easy parking, then head out on foot for a day in the sand. Buckets, pails, and a picnic lunch is our family’s pick for the best way to enjoy gorgeous Montauk beaches. I repeat: Get here early for free parking, the lots fill up quickly!
Shadmoor State Park
Don’t miss the chance to stop at Shadmoor State Park and hike a short distance to see the beach cliffs called, “hoodoos”. They are unlike anything I’ve ever seen; they are certain to impress even seasoned travelers. You will find yourself on high sand cliffs overlooking the clear water and it’s gorgeous. **We did take kids in a stroller on this hike, but we were EXTREMELY CAREFUL.
Where to eat?
To round out this perfect day, you must end with a classic lobster roll. Where else? The Lobster Roll Restaurant! It is located just minutes out of town on Montauk Highway. The iconic “Lunch” restaurant serves up lobster rolls, key lime pie, and lots of other goodies from the sea. Whether you sit on the cheerful patio or one of the tables inside this nautical spot, it’s the perfect way to round out the day.
1980 Montauk Highway, Amangansett, NY 11930
It’s time to head out to the beach! I’d love to hear from you- have you been to Montauk and what’s your favorite thing to do there?
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Party of Five Life
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All photos by Kimberly Chacon.
What a beautiful place! Wish we lived closer to a beach place like Montauk that seems to have something for everyone.
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We visited with my dad and I think he loved it! It’s just beautiful!
We have been wanting to visit Montauk, but it’s pretty far for us at the moment. It looks absolutely stunning! Shamelessly, our friend was on a show that was filmed there and we couldn’t get over how much there was to see and do.
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It is gorgeous and it has a fun atmosphere- I’m sure y’all would love it!