When I hear the phrase “going out east”… I unfortunately visualize a place where sprawling mansions turn into frat-like-shared-homes. Where cheap rose replaces the beer, and finance men transition to linen and pastels for their basic weekend(s) away all summer. So I made it my mission to plan a weekend away that emphasized the positive, bohemian side of Montauk that would serve as a refreshing getaway, rather than an exhausting run-in with everyone I didn’t want to date from the city.
So I stayed in a quaint beach bungalow, happily dined off-peak, and took my weekend one chilled out sip of my mimosa at a time. Below is a New Yorker’s guide to doing Montauk right. It’s for those who want the luxury of a beloved beach town without the stuffy inclination that tends to cloud a beautiful adventure.
Rent a Car
As a frequent traveler who uses many modes of transportation, I value my freedom to come and go above all else. For my most recent trip out east, I rented a Zipcar and was able to travel on my own terms and have my own space. There is nothing quite like reserving your car on the app, walking one block to the local garage, going to your vehicle with your card and seamlessly escaping the city without batting an eyelash. It's incredibly stress free... Plus you don't have to worry about annoying carpool timelines.
Take a Chopper
While I have to admit that this is a favorite among the privileged influencer and real estate moguls alike... it sure does save you a shitload of time when considering traffic. There are multiple flights a day with helicopters leaving from multiple destinations in New York City. There are flights all day leading up to the weekends.
Take the Train
This form of transportation is typically the most cumbersome and stressful with overpacked local trains making all stops. So here's the secret, get on one of the Cannonball trains that goes nonstop from Penn Station to The Hamptons, this is also my favorite way to pregame (with a cold Montauk brew from the bar cart).
Where to Stay:
Knowhere by Knowlita (Instagram: @knowhere)
If you were wondering where to look to experience the summer-in-Montauk vibe, without the snooty, stuckup attitude I would tell you it's nowhere. Well rather Knowhere by Knowlita. It's a creative hospitality project that seeks to provide guests with a relaxed shore-town atmosphere that is and always has been Montauk.
The groundwork of their efforts lies in the foundation of the Breakers Motel, a true town landmark that sits on the shoreline right off of Old Montauk Highway. Each newly renovated bungalow houses its own nautical nook with breathtaking views of the ocean. It's feels like Montauk's best kept secret and really is enchanting in a simple and pure way.
Where to Eat:
This bright and cheerful taco place may not seem new to native New Yorkers, as Tacombi also has hotspots in the city. Yet this location, right on the plaza in the center of Montauk, is airy, beachy, and fits right in. After a long day at the beach, order a jalapeno margarita, chips and guac, and a handful of their street tacos with a wide selection of options ranging from locally caught fish to sweet potato and beans. I love coming here a bit later on Sunday evenings as a last stop before the train/drive home. I typically sit down to eat while everyone is heading out of town. It saves me waiting in traffic and gives me a tad more breathing room while dining.
Sneak away for a blissful lunch under the late afternoon sun on the deck of Seamore’s, the newest culinary addition to the relaxed shore space at the Breaker's Motel. While this too is a trendy seafood restaurant born in NYC, it captures the light and fresh tastes of Montauk, while still managing to be a bit off the beaten path from the mainstream, due to its location on property. Another hidden gem within the Knowhere by Knowlita.