BY TRACEY TOOMEY
Panoramic View Resort
|Buttermilk pancakes with strawberries, blueberries and bananas at Mr. John’s Pancake House|
For more than 50 years, the Panoramic View Resort has been dazzling visitors with its immaculate landscaped lawns, vibrant flower gardens and over 1,000 feet of pristine white sandy beach. The perfect getaway for busy New Yorkers, the Panoramic provides its guests with access to an exclusive beach serviced by personal attendants. Each guest room, suite and cottage of the Panoramic has a stunning view of the ocean. Don’t feel like getting sandy? The resort’s heated pool has private lounges and cabanas that overlook the ocean. When the weekend draws to a close and you just cannot imagine leaving all this luxury, why not consider moving in? The Panoramic View Residences are the perfect second home—the year-round staff will cater to your every need, whether that be a fully-stocked refrigerator, personal trainer or last-minute massage. 272 Old Montauk Hwy., 668-3000; distinctiveventures.com
Nestled among Montauk’s oceanfront dunes, Gurney’s Inn Resort, Spa and Conference Center is the ultimate getaway. Unwind at the resort’s Sea Water Spa, which features treatments that harness the ocean’s healing properties, like the Marine Kur Therapy, a hydrotherapy massage followed by toning seaweed gel. Rather live it up than bliss out? Hit the surf for a game of beach volleyball, then indulge in some après sport cocktails at The Port O’Call bar. 290 Old Montauk Hwy., 668-2345; gurneysinn.com
Did You Know?
Due to its location at the very tip of the South Fork peninsula, Montauk has been used as an Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force base. Originally named Hoeck van de Visschers, or “Point of the Fishers” by a Dutch explorer, Montauk got its current name from the Montauketts, an Algonquianspeaking tribe who inhabited the area. Centuries later, Montauk is still home to the largest commercial and recreational fishing fleet in the state (locals claim Montauk has more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world), and this boisterous coastal town has some of the best surfing on the East Coast.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York and the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the country. It is so old, in fact, that the Second Congress under President George Washington authorized its construction. Currently on display at the lighthouse museum are historic documents signed by Washington himself.
Montauk features many places to watch the sun set, but the Montauket Hotel bar’s off-thebeaten- path location makes it a local favorite. Perched high above Fort Pond and facing Gardiner’s Island, it is the ultimate place to drink a couple of cold beers as the sun sinks below the horizon. 88 Firestone Road, 668-5992
Fishing and surfing really can work up an appetite, so head over to Dave’s Grill, a comfy waterfront bistro beside the fishing docks on Montauk Harbor. Since 1988, Dave’s has been serving the freshest local seafood. Not to be missed is the original cioppino—fresh fish, lobster, scallops, clams, shrimps, mussels and calamari poached in a rich fish and tomato reduction. 468 W. Lake Drive, 668-9190
Before you lug your long board to Ditch Plains, stop by Mr. John’s Pancake House for a fortifying breakfast. In order to quell the age-old debate of sweet versus savory, Mr. John’s provides us with “the No. 2”: three pancakes, two eggs and three strips of bacon. For the calorie conscious, the whole-wheat pancakes with granola and blueberries are an excellent second choice. 721 Main St., 668-2383
Out to Sea
Ditch Plains is perhaps the most famous surfing spot on Long Island and is considered one of the best surfing beaches on the East Coast. Hailed for having “the most consistent wave on Long Island,” Ditch Plains is great for beginners and adepts alike. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 5 PM, and the beach is equipped with public restrooms and showers in the parking lot. So slather on some sunscreen, grab your surfboard and start paddling.
In 1951, sport fisherman Frank Mundus (who is reputedly the inspiration for Quint in Peter Benchley’s Jaws) began to lead charter-fishing trips out of Montauk. He was initially looking for bluefish but soon discovered that hunting sharks was far more profitable, and the sport of “monster fishing” became Montauk’s signature attraction. There are now strict laws against killing great white sharks, but you can still charter a boat and try your luck at catching striped bass and bluefish. seawife.com
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN LOMITOLA (GURNEY’S INN); NICOLE FESTA (DITCH PLAINS, MONTAUKET RESTAURANT, MR. JOHN’S)