Long Island's East End has been a long-time summer destination for many, with Montauk being the ultimate weekend getaway. Affectionately called 'The End' by its locals, this endpoint on the fish-shaped island is one that's historic, scenic, and dramatic. As travelers pass by through the famed Hamptons on their way, they'll notice the scenery begin to feel more remote and isolated. And, in terms of Montauk, this is a good thing.

Just before reaching The End, though, there is one stop that travelers should know about that makes for the ultimate summertime, nature-filled weekend: Hither Hills State Park.


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A Weekend In Hither Hills, Visiting Camp Hero

Rather than booking accommodations in Montauk, Hither Hills is another great option for the weekend. With two major hotels flanking this state park on either side, it's safe to say that any one of them would be a great option. While Long Island's East End does come with a price tag, there is some wiggle room when it comes to budgeting for lodging near Montauk. The other alternative is to ditch the hotel reservations and consider camping - more about that later.

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is an excellent choice for those looking to splurge a little, something that this part of New York is abundantly known for. If the full spa experience and the cost of about $228/per night don't scare travelers off, it's well worth it. This hotel features sweeping views of the Atlantic, indoor and outdoor pools overlooking the beach, and a restaurant with wall-to-wall glass windows featuring the ocean view of a lifetime. Guests can also arrange for beachside cabanas and have multiple tiers of outdoor decks to explore. Seacrest Resort, located on the opposite side of Hither Hills State Park, comes at the price of $186/night. These simple but comforting accommodations include an outdoor pool, as well as rooms with balconies that overlook the beach and the Atlantic. It's a more budget-friendly option for those looking to keep their cost per night under $200.

The Wavecrest Resort is the closest hotel to Hither Hills State Park and puts travelers practically within walking distance of the entrance. This resort features simple rooms, suites, and studios, all of which offer views overlooking the ocean (with the exception of the garden view rooms). With an indoor pool, an on-site food truck, beach or lounge chairs, and cabanas as amenities, it's tough to beat the location and perks of this resort. Check the website for nightly prices. 

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Camping At Hither Hills State Park

Visitors to Hither Hills Campground will need to get their reservations in early since they book up almost immediately. Many are made up to nine months in advance, and campers can thank the incredible ocean views and beach access for these quick bookings. There aren't many other campgrounds like it - especially not for $35/night for state residents and $70/night for out-of-state visitors.

Those interested in camping can camp traditionally with a tent or bring the TV or trailer if they've rented a site with hookups. The beach is within walking distance; as soon as a camper unzips their tent or opens their RV door in the morning, they'll be greeted with stunning Atlantic views.

Exploring Hither Hills & Camp Hero

Hither Hills has a range of hiking trails that take visitors past some of the most scenic oceanside views. None of the park's main trails are more than five miles long, with most being less than a mile in length from end to end. Thanks to the buildup of dunes near the beach, these trails offer slight elevations from which to get sweeping views of the beach just before Montauk. Some of the trails lead to Block Island Sound on the opposite side of the park, as well as to the Nepeague Harbor, giving hikers the option to see three different bodies of water in one hiking trip.

Obviously, one of the main tourist attractions in this area is the Montauk Lighthouse - so this is definitely something that should be on the list whether one is camping or staying at a resort.

  • Driving Distance: Just under ten miles for a 17-minute trip

At the lighthouse, visitors can explore the surrounding grounds, as well. This includes the beach at the bottom of the cliffs, as well as the bluffs themselves. Historic Camp Hero is always a hit for those who know about its long (and very strange) history, as well as it serving as the inspiration for Netflix's Stranger Things. Those looking for scenic views can head to Ditch Plains, which is a well-known surfing spot set against dramatic, mountain-like dunes.

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