Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

Crow's Nest

When Jake was just 6 weeks old, we bundled him in blankets, compulsively Purell-ed our hands each time our fingertips touched an elevator button at grime-y commuter hub Penn Station, and hoped for the best as we boarded his very first LIRR train for a 3 hour trip out to The End of Long Island.

My husband and I have been coming out to Montauk for many years now. Before the Ronjo had work done, (a golden spray-tan for the iconic statue out front and a facelift for the once-scary accommodations,) transforming the hotel into a Hamptons-style beach club that now bills guests separately to sit around its pool; when the Sloppy Tuna was still Nick’s, a seafood shack with a sloppy peeling paint-job. Even before the Surf Lodge came on the scene five years ago and ignited fueds with the neighbors, clogging up the lakefront road with their patrons’ surfboard-topped parked cars, reaching 10 miles in each direction.

Yes, the past few years have seen major changes — some welcome, some less so – and though Montauk can no longer be referred to as a “sleepy fishing village,” it will always be a place for families. So we deemed it the perfect spot to take our son for the 4th of July, on his first trip outside of New York City.

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

As new parents, every non-event moment was exciting — he napped in my arms as we walked him down the beach. We stared at him as he cooed on our giant beach blanket. We propped him up next to our table at all our local spots, in his car-seat attached to the trusty snap-n-go wheels. As the sky darkened on the 4th, we held him tight and watched the sky light up in all different colors.

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

We returned last summer when Jake was one year and six weeks old. This time he flirted with waitresses and danced to polka at the new German beerhall Zum Schneider. He sat up in a high-chair at the excellent Crow’s Nest restaurant, then toddled freely around the expansive grounds that lead down to the lake. He stayed up late watching the live dixieland band play at South Edison as Mom and Dad chowed down on salty shisito peppers and day boat fluke sashimi topped with chili jam and cilantro. He even participated in some pancake eating at Mr. John’s Pancake House – which we have always favored over Anthony’s dueling pancake house across the street. He laughed at the ocean, dug holes in the sand and had his first taste of sweet seedless watermelon at Navy Beach. What a difference a year makes!

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

Zum Schneider

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

building sandcastles at the beach

 Baby’s First Beach Escape: Montauk

watermelon at Navy Beach

This year, we fully expect him to be catching our fish and lighting our beach bonfires.

Getting there:
LIRR from Penn Station to Montauk, 3 hours

Zum Schneider
4 South Elmwood Ave, Montauk
Phone: (631) 238-5963

South Edison
17 South Edison St, Montauk
Phone: (631) 668-4200

Crow’s Nest
4 Old West Lake Dr, Montauk
Phone: (631) 668-2077

Mr. John’s Pancake House
721 Montauk Hwy, Montauk
Phone: (631) 668-2383

Navy Beach
16 Navy Rd, Montauk
Phone: (631) 668-6868


  • Arianne says:

    Could you recommend nice, family friendly places to stay? Thanks!! Great family blog!

  • 3onthego says:

    Thanks Arianne! We usually stay at the Royal Atlantic: The prices are great for the area, it’s clean and right on the beach and they have a nice pool for the kids.

    Another great option (though pricier) is Sole East Resort: There’s lot of room for kids to run around their sprawling grounds, they also have a pool and their restaurant is great. On the super high end, Montauk Yacht Club is supposed to be beautiful — and on the low end, Lido Motel is right in town and often has availability when everyone else is sold out.

    New for this year is Montauk Blue: We hope to check it out soon and report back!

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