The End…Nancy Atlas: Why I Love Montauk

Nancy Atlas performs with Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Winston Irie.
Nancy Atlas performs with Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Winston Irie. Photo credit: Kelly Laffey

“Love large and play hard!” So says rocker Nancy Atlas, a mainstay in the Montauk music scene. The year-round Montauk resident can be found at the Surf Lodge on Wednesday evenings at sunset; as well as at Navy Beach, Gosman’s and the Stephen Talkhouse throughout the summer. Here, she discusses the beauty of Montauk, what drew her to it, and how she’d spend the perfect 24 hours on The End:

Why do you love Montauk?
Because I feel very much a part of the community. There is a certain type of person that is drawn to this place year-round. I feel so fortunate to be living here within this generation. I am not sure what the future holds for this town, but right now it’s still a gem.

What drew you to Montauk?
A six-foot-three, 37-year-old hunk of burning love

Favorite season to be in Montauk?
If I had to choose just one season it would be fall. All the restaurants are still open, the community is humming and the weather is usually divine.

The perfect 24 hours in Montauk:
Breakfast at John’s Pancake house, then a nice hike in Shadmoor, followed by a nap. Wake up go to Ditch, where there are some perfect glassy warm waves peeling in for the little kids to Boogie Board on. Not collar bone-breakers [that] we get from time to time. It would end with a beach fire. Our friends. A nice glass of rosé. Guitar. Then skiff out to our boat and sleep there for the night. I’ll take that 24 hours any day of the week. Did I mention a late night skinny dip? Sure. Why not. It’s the perfect day after all.

When you hear Montauk, what word immediately comes to mind?

A trip to Montauk isn’t complete without…
A stop to John’s Ice Cream. If you eat meat get the “John’s Burger.” If you don’t eat meat, get some ice cream.

Something people may be surprised to know about Montauk.
Summers can sometimes be foggy while the rest of the island is in sun…I remember when I was young that every now and then we’d get a summer that had a lot of misty, grey days and the sun would be beaming in Amagansett.

Perfect soundtrack for a summer day:
The Doors Classics. I have a ’69 convertible caddie and I love listening to that album with the top down.

What distinguishes Montauk from the rest of the East End?
The raw, scenic beauty and the salt air. The island gets very thin out where we are so you are wedged between the bay and the ocean. Good for your lungs, not so good for your cars.

For more info, visit Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @nancyatlas; visit her Facebook page,

More from Our Sister Sites