October 18, 2018

Connecticut Beaches

With the arrival of warm weather and summer vacation for school kids, Connecticut residents often choose to while away the summer on the state’s many beautiful beaches.  Many shoreline towns have private beaches that can be accessed by non-residents by purchasing a day pass or paying additional parking fees; however, there are a lot of great public beaches for families to enjoy, whether you want to go for a refreshing swim or simply lay on the sand and soak up the sun!

Here’s a list of beaches that may have something new for even a lifelong Nutmegger!  Why not branch out and explore a new beach this summer?  Check the link for each beach to stay updated on fees, rules, and park hours.

1.  Lighthouse Point Park, 2 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven:  Good for swimming, volleyball, and hands-on exploration at the Lighthouse Ranger Center.  There’s also a splash park for kids, picnic and barbecue areas, and a beautiful carousel.

Lighthouse Point Park New Haven CT

2.  Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison:  This huge, well-known state park is open to everyone with modest parking fees during the summer season.  With camping, hiking, birding, swimming, fishing, picnic, and biking opportunities, this beach has something for everyone!  Don’t forget to stop by the Meig’s Point Nature Center to see some wildlife up close.

Hammonasset Beach

3.  Harvey’s Beach, Great Hammock, Old Saybrook:  Not as well known as some other beaches in the state, Harvey’s Beach is a family-friendly area with a soft sand bar and playground.

Harveys Beach Old Saybrook

4.  Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme:  With a gently sloping, soft, sandy beach, trail systems, and places to view trains, salt marshes, and a variety of birds, Rocky Neck State Park is a favorite summer spot for many Connecticut visitors and residents.  You can also fish and crab here!

rocky neck state park ct

5.  Bluff Point State Park, Groton:  Located near the small Groton airport, Bluff Point is a wonderful beach for families with kids and dogs, hikers, and bikers.  The rocky beach area is fun for kids to explore.  There are well maintained paths through the woods which lead to the Bluffs themselves, an impressive sight well worth the walk or ride.  Ample parking and picnic tables help make this spot a good place to spend a fun day outdoors.

Bluff Point State Park CT

6.  Silver Sands State Park, Milford:  A beautiful spot for swimming and fishing, Silver Sands State Park includes a view of Charles Island where, according to legend, Captain Kidd buried his treasure in 1699!  The sand bar makes low tide wading a true pleasure!

Silver Sands State Park Milford CT

7.  Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk:  Parkgoers have plenty of activities to choose from here besides swimming and lounging on the beach:  Basketball Courts, Boat Launch Ramps, Boat Rentals, Concession Stand, Lifeguards, Pavilion, Picnic Areas, Playground, Skate Park, and Volleyball Courts, all round out this pretty beach that is also part of Connecticut’s first state park:  Sherwood Island State Park.

Calf Pasture Beach Norwalk

8.  Pattaconk Lake Recreation Area, Haddam/Chester:  For freshwater swimming, this part of Cockaponset State Forest can’t be beat.  The beach is part of the second largest forest in Connecticut and features activities such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking in the summer.


Which Connecticut beach is your favorite summer spot?


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