It’s the end of the LIRR line; the very eastern tip of Long Island jutting out into the teeming Atlantic, much closer to New England (by ferry) than New York City, 120 miles away—and it indeed feels far away from anything resembling hustle and bustle. Long the laid-back, clam-shack-dotted, surfer-friendly alternative to the posh Hamptons, Montauk is ruggedly beautiful year-round (though certainly quieter in the winter). Recent years have brought more modern accoutrements, with big-name Manhattan hoteliers and the like renovating old-school restaurants and bars into hip establishments, but the surfers and fishermen aren’t going anywhere. And while Montauk has its fair share of celebrity-spottings and jaw-dropping mansions, the area’s six state parks remain well protected against rampant development. So don’t worry about the “Hamptonization” of Montauk too much. You should be more concerned with choosing your next meal—soft-shell crab sandwich or local fish tacos?—whilst debating another ocean swim versus cliff hike. This is the summertime life.