There are as many reasons to go to Montauk as there are miles to reach it.

I go every year, typically for a week, usually in August. Last count: 25 years.

The Hamptonization can be seen now and then, encroaching and expanding. But once you reach the Napeague stretch, you still know you're headed somewhere else.

You can make a list, but the first, second and third things have to be the beach, the beach and the beach -- at sunrise, which is incomparable; in the afternoon, for the relaxation and a splash; in the evening, to take in a painterly, moonlit night.

Yes, go horseback riding, on the beach and along trails that let you know where you are. Visit Deep Hollow Ranch and Rita's Stables.

Sure, visit the lighthouse at least once. And take in the view as often as you can.
Naturally, spend some time at Ditch Plains when the waves are high. It's a show from nature, with a supporting cast of surfers.

Get your fill of lobster, at spots ad different from each other as the ultracasual and alfresco Duryea's Lobster Deck and the reborn Montauk Yacht Club.

Cool off with gelati at coffee 'tauk; ice cream at Ben & Jerry's at the harbor; and from the sno-cone wagon that appears annually, currently next to Primavera Pizza (also good) and opposite the movie house.

Plan to go whale watching. Maybe seal watching.

Or, of course, do absolutely nothing.

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In the end, at The End, that's part of the beauty of Montauk, too.