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Ultimate Guide to Visiting Montauk Point State Park with Kids

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Are you heading to Montauk Point State Park with kids and wondering how kid-friendly (family-friendly) it is? I have you covered! Montauk Point State Park is a beautiful, picturesque beach at “the end of the world,” or rather Long Island. Whether you’re headed for a day trip to hike the beautiful trails or planning a family vacation in the Hamptons, here are some helpful tips to assist you in planning your trip!

Montauk Point State Park With Kids

Last spring, I began researching day trips from NYC, specifically State Parks and ran across a post about seal hikes. Yes, you read that correctly: seal hikes.

I began deep-diving the seal hikes because it sounded like a fantastic experience.

I mean, how often do you get to see seals out in the wild?!

As I dove further into the walks, I discovered they were offered at Montauk Point State Park in Montauk, New York. And so began my obsession with planning a trip to Montauk Point State Park with the kids.

All the pictures I had seen of Montauk were stunning. It was a rock-pebble beach with potential seals sunbathing. I was ready to photograph it, hike it, and explore it.

However, it rained basically every weekend last spring, and a chilly, 30-40-degree walk along the beach with rain and wind, when you have four kids, sounds pretty miserable, so we didn’t end up making it.

As soon as the weather started turning around this year, Montauk returned to the top of my bucket list. I was literally dying to take a road trip out to Long Island just to see this beach.

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Day Trip to Montauk Point State Park in New York

Where is Montauk?

Welcome to Montauk, the “end of the world,” as it is Known. This picturesque small town is located at the eastern tip of New York state.

Have you heard of “The Hamptons,” primarily known for their luxury vacation homes in South Hampton? Well, Montauk is technically part of “The Hamptons,” and it is at the tip-top of Long Island. I would consider it a more “low-key” vibe than the famous South Hamptons.

Getting to Montauk Point State Park from NYC

The drive from the NYC area is roughly 2.5 hours. We ran into a bit of traffic, plus toddler bathroom breaks, and it ended up being closer to 3 hours.

But remember, our trip was in March, in the off-season. I’ve heard that if you go during peak season, which starts at the end of March, the drive can be even longer because of all the traffic through the Hamptons.

If you’ve never been there, the drive through the Hamptons was a neat experience. There were some charming houses. And trust me, you’ll know immediately once you’ve entered South Hampton. There are no questions about it; luxury homes and shopping are immediately noticed.

My favorite part of the drive was coming over the hill right before you get into Montauk. You’re immediately greeted with an ocean view. It was truly breathtaking. The picture below doesn’t do it justice, but as you peak at the hilltop and descend, you have a picturesque ocean view.

To get to Montauk Point State Park, you’ll drive through the little town of Montauk and to the very end of the island, passing restaurants, stores, and even some beautiful nature-preserved land.

Alternative Travel Options

If you’re not up for a drive, you can also take a beautiful 3-hour train ride on the LIRR, but then you’ll have to think of the logistics of getting around town. If you were staying in South Hampton, most of that area is walkable, but I personally would not want to walk with kids from Montauk to Montauk Point State Park or even the beach area.

Lastly, you can also take a bus from the city, the Hampton Jitney or Hampton Luxury Liner, but then again, you’d have to think about how to get around once you’re there.

Best time to visit Montauk Point State Park with Kids

Montauk hits “peak season” at the end of May through early September, and the weather is lovely. If you’re making a day trip to the State Park, you don’t have to worry about prices, but if you want to make a vacation out of it, know that prices also soar during this timeframe. You’ll be able to enjoy everything in Montauk, but it will be costly.

The crowds slow down in late September and October, and if you can sneak in a “rain-free” day, you’ll enjoy it with fewer crowds and the beautiful fall weather.

Don’t write Montauk off in the winter, though!!

Remember those seal hikes I talked about? Seals migrate from January through April and are frequently spotted along the shore on the Seal Haul Out Trail. However, if you visit in the winter months, many touristy restaurants and shops may be closed.

This means that visiting Montauk Point State Park with kids at any time of year has pros and cons.

I do recommend checking the weather before you go. The wind from the ocean can make it much chillier than you anticipate, so plan accordingly.

Montauk Point State Park

What to Know Before You Visit Montauk Point State Park with Kids


This state park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.


Parking costs $8 at Montauk Point State Park but is not required in the off-season.

According to their website, here’s a breakdown of when they collect parking.

  • Weekends: April 6, 2024 – May 19, 2024 (8:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Daily: May 25, 2024 to October 14, 2024 (8:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Weekends: October 19, 2024 to November 11, 2024 (8:00 – 4:00 pm)


The restrooms at Montauk Point State Park are right by the parking lot and playground area (you can see the building in the back of this picture). There are some state park restrooms I’ve been to where the maintenance and cleaning are lacking, but this isn’t one of them. The restrooms were very clean, and despite being a cold and windy day when we were there, they were also warm.


Although this state park is on the beach, I do not recommend flip-flops. The paths have many stones and different textures, so make sure you wear shoes with traction. If you plan on hiking the pond trails, they can also become very muddy at times, so keep this in mind.

Things to bring when visiting Montauk Point State Park with kids

  1. Water Bottles: You’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated during your time out exploring.
  2. Sunscreen: If you plan to come during the hot summer, don’t forget to bring your sunscreen.
  3. Bug Spray: There are a lot of bugs; don’t forget that bug spray.
  4. Binoculars: These are perfect if you want to spot seals on the trails, as they can be further out on the rocks.
  5. Camera: If you’re a photography enthusiast like me, bring your camera! There is so much inspiration in the area.
  6. Picnic Supplies: If you want to save money (the restaurants can be expensive), pack a picnic to enjoy.

Things to do in Montauk Point State Park with kids

Montauk Lighthouse

At the tip of the island is the Montauk Lighthouse. It is the oldest lighthouse in New York and the 4th oldest lighthouse in the United States.

The kids were so excited to see the lighthouse (from afar). We did go up to the entrance. Surprisingly, even for the off-season, the lighthouse museum tours were busy. However, we opted to skip the tours, as I thought the kids would enjoy the beach walk more than the lighthouse tour.

Lighthouse Tours:

  1. Adults $15
  2. Seniors $10
  3. Children $5

Best kid-friendly hiking trails

Montauk Point Beach Trail

This trail is an easy out-and-back trail at 0.8 miles. This trail begins at the lighthouse and circles down along the beach. The kids loved walking this path as you got to explore the large rocks behind the lighthouse, too!

Oyster Pond and Beach Loop

Although a little longer at 3.6 miles, this trail is a rather easy walk. It starts near the Lighthouse and heads out to the shoreline, then towards the Oyster Pond, before heading through the woods and back to the starting point.

The kids really enjoyed this loop. We found a lot of animal tracks near the pond and loved the change in scenery along the way.

Seal Haul Out Trail

This trail is another kid-friendly out-and-back loop at 1.6 miles. It starts near the highway, and you walk through the woods, to the beach, and then back again.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see any seals during our time here. Rumor has it that the seals come during low tide, and unfortunately, we didn’t make it out until high tide. If you’re hoping to spot seals, remember that their peak migration is January through April.

Point Woods Loop Trail

This 3.6-mile loop trail starts near Camp Hero Road and is part of the Paumanok Path, a 130-mile trail that runs from Montauk to Rock Point. You walk through the forest until you meet the coastline.

Nature Walks

Not a fan of staying on hiking trails? You can make your own nature walks and explore the coastline. The beautiful thing about Montauk Point State Park is that the terrain is very diverse. You can walk the sandy shore, explore along ponds, or even make your way through the woods.

Search for Seashells

This was by far my four-year-old’s favorite activity. She came home with both of her pockets full, plus a few extras she stored in my pockets as well.

Animal Tracking & Identification

Animal tracks can be found along the shore and by the ponds. The kids thought it was cool to identify the different types of tracks they saw. We spotted raccoon prints near the pond and bird tracks along the shoreline.

Montauk Point Playground

The playground is located right beside the parking lot. It was the perfect spot to start our trip after a long car ride. We took turns taking bathroom breaks while the others played. They have a large playground for our older kids and a smaller area for the younger ones. My oldest really enjoyed using the sand diggers they had, too.


When the kids spotted the binoculars, they darted towards them and couldn’t wait to try them out. They are located right by the swings, just down the hill from the lighthouse, and you can get a beautiful view of the coastline.

Swing by the Ocean

This Instagram-worthy spot is located right beside the lighthouse. The kids were so excited to explore more of the trails that we only spent a very brief period here at the swing. If you’re visiting solo or with your significant other, it’s the perfect spot to sit and relax and enjoy the view.

Climb the Boulders

Behind the Lighthouse and just off the path are these beautiful big boulders. The kids loved climbing them. I will warn you, if you have smaller children, to keep an eye on them because there are steep inclines and holes where they can literally fit between the boulders.

Once you get to the top, the view of the Atlantic Ocean is beautiful.

Stack Pebbles

Once we were on the shoreline, there were so many stacks of pebbles. It was the second thing the kids noticed, aside from the crashing waves. They thought the pebble stacks were so neat, and you better believe we spent some time making our own stacks. It became a fun game of how high we could make it and who would be the person to make it topple over.

Find Skate Eggs

These little black cases are actually egg cases of fish called Skates. I don’t know if they’re found year-round, but the shoreline had so many when we visited in March.

Look for Ocean Treasures

We spent the entire day at the state park, and at various points, the kids would start searching the grounds for any ocean treasures they could find. Usually, it was a seashell, but occasionally, they’d have some really neat treasures.


Bring a cooler full of your favorite picnic items and enjoy a picnic on the beach with a picnic blanket. If that’s too windy for you, then you can always head over to the playground area to find some picnic tables and enjoy the view of the lighthouse.


Although this wasn’t on our list, you can fish year-round here, but you will need the appropriate permits.

More Travel Inspiration

I hope this family-friendly guide to visiting Montauk Point State Park with kids has helped you plan your trip.

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Be sure to check out Best Family-Friendly Hikes in the US to find another adventure for your family!

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