Past the congested LIE afternoon truck traffic to where the road widens, canopied in fresh green, then thins into a lighter green. Past Fire Island, sprawling vineyards and the narrow manicured single lane boutique studded streets of the Hamptons. Up narrow winding roads, dense with green, leading seemingly nowhere, you'll stumble across Montauk, a place where the land ends.
I'm not even certain how it began. We were watching a children's program about a lighthouse and Ohm developed a lighthouse curiosity. Then the weather in New York surprised us all and gave way to breezy summer temperatures. The perfect conditions were there for a day trip to Montauk, Long Island.
From New York City, Montauk makes a lovely day trip, city escape.
We left around ten in the morning. Working in the opposite direction of traffic, and traveling one week before the Memorial weekend madness, the road was essentially ours. And what a scenic drive it is!
The Montauk Lighthouse and museum was our first stop. Ohm was too little (by an inch) to climb to the top and since I had baby Jai strapped to me in a carrier, we were all prevented from climbing to the top of the lighthouse (booh!).
The museum was interesting. The Montauk Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York. Originally commissioned by General George Washington himself, the lighthouse was where the famed slave ship Amistad once docked and is said to be haunted by several spirits.
History and hauntings aside, it's just a remarkably beautiful space and makes for a quintessentially romantic destination. The lighthouse, land's dramatic end, is an experience. The rocky coastline below, is perfect for walking, meditating, and taking in the noisy fragrant waves. We collected rocks, watched the waves splutter over pebbles and simply did nothing.
If you're so inclined, there are bike trails and footpaths for jogging and hiking. You will also find lookout points complete with porch style swings for two and a restaurant in the vicinity. The Montauk lighthouse/museum and surrounding area is such a pleasant escape.
After a long late morning/early afternoon by the lighthouse, we decided to head into town for lunch.
Montauk has a small and very cute main drag with shops, restaurants and cafes. We stopped at Naturally Good for lunch, it was amazing. We decided on a fresh organic green juice and a vegetarian Sloppy Joe comprised of perfectly seasoned French lentils on sprouted grain bread. The seating outdoors gave us a front seat view of the wonderful activity outside- people walking dogs, elegant women in flowing kaftans and straw sunhats, mothers pushing strollers, everyone laughing, giddy, with the promise of a perfect beach day. And it was so perfect!
Before heading home, we stopped at Kirk beach. There is a beach beneath the lighthouse, but it's rocky and not suitable for swimming, Kirk beach, off of the main strip, was light, sandy and expansive. Calm and secluded (only because the official season was a week away), Kirk beach, had free parking, baby fine sand, and was clean to perfection. Unfortunately the water was ICE COLD! We could only stand to dip our toes in. Swimming aside, Kirk beach was lovely.
Montauk, where the land ends, is the perfect NYC city escape and makes for an idyllic ocean side retreat.