The best part about visiting Montauk in the winter is the price tag.
Off season beach towns are the best! Montauk is one of those fishing towns that welcomes tourists for the few summer months with hotels, restaurants, mini-golf and shops and then puts closed for season signs on the windows in the winter for many of the businesses.
The ocean changes it’s personality day by day, and season by season. Water can be calm and soothing to the soul, it can reflect inner turmoil with waves of fury, or it can create waves that escalate into grand crescendos and softly release and melt back into sea with few ever having witnessed the moment. Watching the sea is one of my favorite things to do. And in the winter, you can even afford an oceanfront room so you can watch from inside with a cup of coffee in your favorite pajamas and slippers!
Visiting Montauk with family in the summer is ideal. If you need a girlfriend spa weekend getaway this is a perfect location for indulging in spa activities while even staying for an overnight. If it is the romantic night away, Montauk is the place. And even if you are alone, and need a day to reflect and rejuvenate your life, an overnight in Montauk can do the trick.
As a widow and mother of young men in their 20’s my life is different than it was 10 years ago. I have done some traveling on my own, and while I do enjoy the company of others I have also done a few adventures by myself and would love to share this great beach town and how I have enjoyed a day alone, a girls weekend, and a romantic getaway. You can too!
WHERE TO STAY?
Royal Atlantic. Beginning October 10 – April 14th winter rates are in effect. Ocean view room rates begin at $80.00 per night. The price is close to $400.00 per night in the summer! What a bargain.
The Royal Atlantic is located on the ocean in the town of Montauk. Once you park your car you can walk to restaurants, shops and take a glorious walk along the shore.
From my sunny balcony one chilly morning I looked out to the sea and saw a spout of water. Not sure what I had seen I kept my eyes on the horizon and was pleased to be able to watch, without binoculars, at least 3 whales swimming, coming up for air and flapping their large tails. What a show.
Gurneys Inn Resort & Spa – Winter rates are discounted to $270.00 per night and up. This hotel located on the cliff on Old Montauk Highway features expansive views. The amenities including the spa facilities which are included in the rate. A large indoor salt water pool is available with lounge chairs for sunning oneself while watching the ocean in a plush white spa robe.
Massages and facials are offered as well but must be booked in advance. I have had some amazing treatments here so that has been a fun day trip to take my mom for her birthday or simply spend the day with friends while we stay for less in a hotel a few miles away.
HIKING IS FREE!
Walking along the beach is more strenuous than on a street as your feet sink into the soft sand on each step. Montauk also has several State Parks with trails. Montauk State Park was easy to park at in January since no one was taking the seasonal $8 park fee.
You can walk around the lighthouse however it is generally not open for climbing in the winter. We were surprised to see several surfers in wetsuits braving the icy waves. Tours are offered and people have seen seals sunning themselves on the rocky shores of the point by the Montauk lighthouse.
Recently I visited for the first time Camp Hero State Park which is located south of the Montauk Point Lighthouse. This park was free in the winter as the gate guard was not there. Camp Hero was used during WWII as a coastal defense site for New York City. It is also the location that the Netflix original show STRANGER THINGS is based on. From the 3 permanent firing stations facing the Atlantic Ocean, soldiers fired on targets and conducted antiaircraft artillery practice during World War 2. At times The trails hug the cliffs and the warning signs are prevalent that erosion is an ongoing issue at the point.
Read more reasons to visit Montauk from my old post: 17 Fun Facts about Montauk
Harvest is my favorite restaurant. Located on the pond in town, the family style meals are always delicious. Open only for dinner and closed on Tuesdays, this busy restaurant has a friendly bar area where many people end up eating solo or as couples due to the high volume of reservations. The servings are large and so grilled pizza or an appetizer is a good choice if eating alone.
Scarpetta Beach located at Gurneys has brought fine dining to the East End. The food is delicious and the trendy East Hampton set is now dining and enjoying the ocean front atmosphere along with high prices. Make reservations here as well and you will not be disappointed.
Shagwong is located on the main street in town and is usually easy to get a table for lunch or dinner. The food and bar scene is not at all posh but has the rough edges of the Montauk fishing town. You can get good fresh fish and lobsters here. Be sure to check out the sign in the front window “Piano player wanted – must have knowledge of opening clams”.
As a guest of Gurneys hotel and spa, use of the oceanfront saltwater indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room are included. However you can plan a day to use the facilities for a $40 fee. You can make the day even better by booking one of the many services such as a Swedish massage or facial.
After enjoying the spa, dining is available at Gurneys and is so much better than it used to be. The casual restaurant Tillie’s offers breakfast and lunch from 7 am until 4:30pm. A counter area is available in the lobby area that also makes specialty sandwiches. For a real treat, make reservations at Scarpetta Beach for “sophisticated italian fare”.
Not all the stores are closed. You can always get food at the IGA, pharmacy items, magazines, beach decor and knick knacks at Whites Drug Store or a sweatshirt on sale at the sweatshirt store on Main Street. You could also stop west in East Hampton for more upscale shopping available year round.
PARRISH ART MUSEUM
Located next to Duck Walk Vineyards on Montauk Highway in Southampton lies this barn shaped structure. Built in 2012, the museum features modern realistic art. The collections of art are often accompanied by the artists who are visiting the museum as well. Open daily from 10am – 5pm and closed on Tuesdays. The fee is $15 for adults and we were given complimentary passes for a subsequent visit.
Duck Walk Vineyard is the first big vineyard that you pass on your way to Montauk on the North side of Montauk Highway. For years I used to stop for the free tastings and to purchase a bottle of something. The tastings are no longer free but they do make a blueberry port that tastes great on vanilla ice cream.