Forget the Hamptons—This Is Why NYC Girls Prefer Montauk


The Surf Lodge

It's just after noon on Saturday, and the wharf is already abuzz. Midsummer rays beat down,  tempered by the salt breeze that drifts across Fort Pond Bay, and groups of friends and family gather around picnic tables, sheltered only by the dappled light cast by fisherman's net strung above.

There's a familiarity to this scene, yet it's totally foreign. Having grown up in Sydney, Australia, I'm reminded of beachfront restaurants in Bondi or Coogee, yet we're actually just a few hours' drive from Manhattan. Now, I get it. For years, friends had preached the lure of Montauk, a village at the east end of Long Island peninsula, known by those in the city as the Hampton's cool, young, laid-back neighbor. It isn't until that moment that I understand—and become completely enamored. 

It's the kind of weekend destination you wish you'd been visiting for years. Indeed, many of the crowds are regulars—it's a favored by the likes of Cynthia Rowley, Naomi Watts, and Nina Agdal, who you'll likely spot sipping cocktails or paddleboarding in the bay. By no means a local, I reached out to those who consider the town their home-away-from-home for tips. Consider this your first-timer's guide to Montauk, the so-called "end of the world."

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