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It’s a very, very rare weekend where Lucky Spouse and I can travel for a little parent’s only getaway. The stars were recently aligned and we dropped the kids off on Long Island with the grandparents and continued east to Montauk – the end.
Getting to Montauk
Montauk is the most eastern point on Long Island and there is only one main route to get there, which also involves driving through all of the Hamptons. The road meanders through chic towns mixed with local seasonal farm stands, gorgeous cedar shingled homes and a few tasty wineries. After what can be a scenic, though congested drive, the vegetation takes over as the historic homes and villages disappear and you enter a serene getaway. Once you make it to Montauk, the laid back beach vibe makes you almost forget that you’re in driving distance of Manhattan as you allow yourself to sink into vacation mode.
Location is Everything
Since we don’t get away alone that often, we wanted accommodations that were smack on the beach. Nothing with a partial view, short walking distance away or access to the beach in the description would do. We chose to stay at the Ocean Beach Resort, just a stone’s throw away from Montauk Village and directly on the beach. This is a simple, no frills hotel and includes balconies practically hanging over the dunes with every room. Although simple, Montauk is not cheap and the room was a splurge at $300 per night. This momma was in so need of a break, I was almost teary eyed when I saw the view from our room. If you are looking for more luxurious accommodations I would suggest Gurney’s Inn or Panoramic View Resort and Residences. Both are a short drive for the village. Montauk Village has your mix of beach town shops, breakfast and lunch eateries as well as a number of hotels. Staying on the beach gave us the opportunity to sip post dinner drinks from the balcony while watching the bon fires burning on the beach in the evening. It’s a really cool site to look down a beach dotted with small fires and beach goers unwinding for the night. Next time we visit we’ll bring all of the fixings for a fire.
As any parent with young children is aware, dining out can often be hurried chaos of boring food which makes parent’s wonder why you wanted to dine out in the first place. One of the goals of the weekend was to leisurely eat several meals filled with as much local seafood as possible. The only prerequisite was that the menu could NOT include chicken fingers, pizza and absolutely no crayons provided at the table.
I love my children but the thought of spending 2 hours at dinner made me think that I was back to being a normal adult again who would take in every bite with gratitude and truly appreciate the food and of course the cocktails with dinner. For lunch we ate on the upper deck area at Gosman’s Dock. Children are actually prohibited from eating on this deck for insurance reasons so this was truly adults only. We watched the fishing boats check in with the daily catch of blowfish, lobster and clams. Along with several different restaurants, Gosman’s has a fish market and little souvenir shops to make for a fun side trip.
For dinner we splurged at Fishbar located on Montauk Lake across from the docks. We gorged ourselves on the seafood for two entree which included 2 lobsters, 10 mussels, 10 grilled shrimp, 10 clams, chorizo and corn. The plate covered the entire table and was right on the money for two parent’s desperate for a parent’s only gastronomical indulgence.
The Famed Lighthouse
Montauk is known for the beaches, surfers and of course, the lighthouse. The lighthouse has gone through extensive efforts over the last couple of decades to keep erosion at bay. The lighthouse is located in Montauk Point State Park. There’s an $8 entrance fee to park the car and additional admission cost to enter the museum.
Fun facts about the famous lighthouse:
- Built in 1796 and was first operated in 1797;
- First lighthouse in New York State;
- Electricity added in 1940
- Manned by civilians until 1943 when the U.S. Army took control during World War II (now controlled by the Coast Guard);
- Originally painted all white and the lone brown stripe was added in 1899;
- Lighthouse was originally 300 feet from the cliff and now it is a mere 100 feet.