Montauk: The Hamptons’ less haughty sibling

There’s something about the way the Northeast names its getaway spots that gives them an auto-snooty air: The Hamptons, The Berkshires, The Poconos, The Catskills. And anytime I visit a so-named spot, my West Coast friends scoff.

But Hamptons aside, most of these places aren’t snooty at all. Namely Montauk, which I wholly loved.

Just a drive past The Hamptons, the laid back beach town is equal parts California low key and East Coast classy.

There’s seafood for days, sidewalk shops selling trendy Turkish towels to spread on the sand and little pancake places, like John’s Pancake House where you can eat your breakfast and watch bathing suit clad riders on beach bikes peddle past and motorcyclists rev for no reason.

Off the main road, though, things get even cuter.

Like at Gosman’s Dock, which has been there since 1943 when the Gosman family were fish packers for the Fulton Market, and now it serves up seafront fare at multiple places. We ate at Gosman’s Clam Bar, an open-air eatery where you order your food from a counter and eat it under an umbrella. I took down a crab cake sandwich (and a chowder, which wasn’t wise pre beach time, but I eat what I want when I travel!) overlooking the water. It’s one of those things you’ll salivate for and it’ll stay top of mind for dining when the town calls you back. The boyfriend, who carted me to Montauk to explore his favorite childhood haunt, ate a blackened tuna sandwich, which he also dubbed delicious.

When you’re sated and ready for sun, walk down to the water near the jetty at the Montauk Inlet, which for whatever reason, isn’t overrun. It’s a smallish strip of beach, but that it’s you and only a handful of others makes it just right for relaxing.

Then there’s the style. And don’t be fooled by the beach town label Montauk has, even the casual cover ups were chic. I mean, it isn’t Hamptons-level fashion, where everyone wears stylish white get ups with the staple straw sun hat, but you’ll want to look cute.

I have to say, I assumed The Hamptons et al would be a place to get snubbed if you’re lacking in the funds department, but Montauk at least, isn’t anything like that.

It’s the kind of place where you’ll feel slightly tempted to use summer as a verb (as in, “I summered in Montauk”) when you tell people what you did during New York’s sticky months. And it’s the kind of place you’ll want to flee to whenever the days get blah.