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Make Montauk Your Next Fall Getaway

Swim season may be over, but shoulder season is at its peak at beachside destinations. Spring and fall, the so-called “off-season” for warm weather locales are some of the best times to visit for fewer crowds, lower rates, crisp weather and more perks that are only evident when you’re cozied up on the beach in a sweater with a warm beverage in hand.

Montauk, the furthest Southeastern point on Long Island, a hamlet of East Hampton, is the perfect such destination for New Yorkers in need of a respite. Easily accessible but remote enough to make you feel like you’ve escaped it all, Montauk beckons city livers and suburbanites year-round, and the fall may be one of the greatest times to visit this typically surf-centric area. There’s nothing quite like slurping streamy chowder with the crash of waves just steps away. Here’s how to do it for a long weekend:

Getting To Montauk Off Season

While driving up the Long Island Expressway is a popular route for New Yorkers, you won’t need a car once you’re in the small, walkable (and bikeable) hamlet of Montauk. The Long Island Railroad runs several daily routes to and from Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Montauk and the Hampton Jitney also runs bus routes between the city and Montauk.

Where to Stay in Montauk in the Fall

Marram Montauk (rooms start at $175/night) offers barefoot luxury literal steps from the ocean. The boutique property is open through Thanksgiving weekend, with a full slate of wellness workshops like oceanfront yoga, morning meditation, guided nature walks, nightly fire pits, tarot talks, free cruiser bikes to ride around town and more. Complimentary breakfast is offered in the mornings, as well as beach service to help with chairs and umbrellas so you can curl up on the sands of the Atlantic in comfort.

What to Do in Montauk in the Fall

While autumnal surfing may not appeal to shoulder season visitors (if it does, surf schools are open), plenty of on land adventure and relaxation awaits. Visit Shadmoor State Park to walk or bike through fall foliage and seep in incredible cliffside ocean views. Two more state parks in Montauk, Hither Hills and Camp Hero, also offer excellent crisp air and Atlantic views. All parking fees are suspended after October 11, so entrance is free.

The Montauk Lighthouse Museum is also open throughout shoulder season, if you want to visit the historic spot. And beer drinkers can’t miss Montauk Brewing Company, which serves the brewery’s classic ales, IPAs and more on tap, plus cans and special releases to go. Bring your own food, like chowder and lobster grilled cheese from TAUK (just around the corner) to spend an afternoon at the outdoor tasting room.

What to Eat in Montauk in the Fall

Though a few popular restaurants close when the leaves start to change, some excellent eateries are open year-round, catering to locals and visitors alike. Start your day at Buongiorno Bakery, which summoned lines of guests over the summer pining for filled croissants and bombolini. Now, walk right in to stock up on treats and espresso.

For lunch, MTK Lobster House offers a solid selection of lobster-enhanced dishes (like the buttery roll) and Joni’s offers grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and more if you bundle up for a beachside picnic.

Sel Rrose is a trendy destination for natural wines, oysters and cooked seafood. Make a dinner reservation, as the dining rooms and bar book up quickly.

Montauk has put in place best practices to prevent COVID-19 transmission, with signs around town encouraging mask wearing (necessary in local businesses) and social distancing. Per New York State law, proof of vaccination is required to dine inside restaurants and bars.

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