by Mike Virgintino,
swimming and surfing abound along with calm and shallow water for children. Each beach has unique features. Facilities vary at each location. Mountauk’s wide ocean beaches rank among the top in the country. They feature rolling breakers that cover miles of white gleaming sand.
The warm water current from the Gulf Stream moves closer to Montauk during the summer, raising water temperatures as early as June and keeping them constant through August. Sometimes the water remains warm for swimming into October. The beaches are all natural in Montauk. Boardwalks will not be found. Low rolling dunes rim some of the beaches. At others, high cliffs can be found. Beaches on the north side front Block Island Sound.
Montauk’s Beaches for Surfers, Children
Nicks Beach is located in the heart of the village at the end of South Edison Street. It has a lifeguard on duty during the summer. Public parking is not available but restaurants and stores are nearby.
Kirk Park Beach is west of the village. This sandy beach stretches for more than 500 feet. For parking, visitors without a permit pay a daily fee while permit holders enjoy free parking. Public restrooms are available and restaurants and stores are within walking distance. A park is available and a picnic area is located across the street.
Ditch Plains Beach is known as the surfers’ beach and it is located two miles east of the village. Parking is permitted by permit only. The scene includes cliffs rising at its western end at Rheinstein Park. At the east end, the beach narrows and sand mixes with pebbles and rocks. Restrooms, outdoor showers and two concession trailers are available.
Gin Beach is found at the end of East lake Drive on Block Island Sound. It has gentle water that is appropriate for children. Part of the enjoyment is watching boats move in and out of Montauk harbor. A jetty allows for leisurely walks. Parking is available by permit. Restrooms, outdoor showers, a concession trailer, the Gin Beach Grocery market and Whole Food Co-op provide all necessities.
South Lake Beach is on the south end of Lake Montauk. Its warm and shallow water is appropriate for small children. Lifeguards are on duty only for swimming lessons. Parking requires a permit and public restrooms are available.
Hither Hills State Park is located four miles west of the village and has lifeguards on Memorial Day weekend and then daily from end of June through Labor Day. Facilities include a playground, picnic tables, outdoor showers, restrooms and a general store. Non-campers pay a daily parking fee.
Fort Pond is on Fort Pond Bay. It is popular to launch ocean kayaks and other small boats. It is filled with pebbles, so use water shoes. Parking requires a permit and the beach does not have restrooms.