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Montauk is my beach dream.  When friends offered me their Montauk casa for the weekend (how much do I love you?!), I was thrilled and even happier when I arrived in their perfect paradise atop a hill with views of the water from nearly every room, and the sound of the sea putting me to sleep at night.  I love sleeping with windows open and an ocean breeze keeping the air cool.

My first car was a ’72 Olds Cutlass Convertible.  I SO wished I had that car in Montauk with a surfboard in back and sand on the floor mats!  Nothing fancy, and no manicured hedges, Montauk feels like an old surf town with rough natural beauty.

Our hosts left a list of their favorite Montauk highlights and we attempted to hit them all although some hadn’t yet opened for the season.  Here is a peek at our weekend journey:

EAT

As usual, Erela and I ate A LOT.  We dined at The Lobster Roll aka LUNCH on our drive out and headed across the street to CLAM BAR the next day.  Hard to say what’s better.  It’s kind of like a Nantucket vs. Martha’s Vineyard rivalry.  We had good meals at both but if pressed I suppose I love the round tables and umbrellas at CLAM BAR on a sunny day.  They get E’s vote too.  Do I need to tell you that both menus are lobster and clam heavy?  That’s probably a given?

My kid could eat black beans and rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so finding our way to The Hideaway was a no brainer.  An open air spot perched in the parking lot overlooking the harbor, this place is local heavy (which made it super fun!), hard to find as there is only a small roadside sign saying ‘Mexican BBQ,’ and everything comes in plastic including the salty margaritas.   We loved it.

We tried Dave’s Grill and Crow’s Nest for dinner but both hadn’t yet opened for the season.  A bummer as they both come highly recommended.  So we ended up at Gosman’s Inlet Cafe for sushi and chowder.  Location can’t be beat if you want casual waterfront dining.  They just renovated and the long narrow space is open to a patio.  You can watch the fishing boats come in from anywhere and the sushi isn’t bad either. Head next door for mint chocolate chip ice cream with rainbow sprinkles for dessert.

Anthony’s was our choice for breakfast both mornings primarily because any place that serves up cinnamon toast gets my vote.  Joni’s isn’t far and has a great menu (think fresh veggie juices and everything organic), but alas the cinnamon toast won me over on a cool morning.

BAR

Not usually my purview, especially with a tot in tow, but we discovered the bar at the Montauket as we were getting lost chasing the sunset.  Most likely the busiest, most ‘happening’ spot in Montauk.  A rundown, ramshackle hotel with a super fun sunset crowd.  Kinda loved.

DO

Get lost.  We drove everywhere, exploring every street and dirt path.  We never consulted a map or GPS.  We hiked in the dunes of Shadmoor State Park until Erela complained her legs hurt.  I highly recommend renting a bike as that is my preferred mode of transport these days and is the best way to park at the beach.

Give Rita’s Stable a go if you bring the kids and want to pet sheep like ‘puppy’ (my daughter requested repeat visits to see them) or have a pony ride.

Ditch Plains Beach was our favorite.  A surfer spot with the Ditch Witch serving up lattes on the dunes.  Loved seeing the morning surf riders warm their bodies at fires set up in the sand.  You can’t do that in Cali. . .

 

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