15 Best Beaches In Connecticut Where You Can Relax By The Sea
The state of Connecticut is where you will find the combination of peaceful nature and bustling shores that is ideal for beach-goers. Known as some of the best destinations in the New England region, Connecticut will attract and entertain you with pretty beaches. Be it the Ocean Beach Park and Sherwood Island State Park or Jacobs Beach and Hole-In-The-Wall Beach, you have a plethora of Connecticut beaches to choose from. That is why we are here with a detailed list of the best beaches in Connecticut! Follow this travel guide and you are bound to have a beach-y vacation.
1. Ocean Beach Park - Connecticut’s family-friendly beach
Ocean Beach Park that stretches for only half a mile makes up for its size with a plethora of activities it offers. Take a leisurely walk or engage in different activities, it is perfect for all types of visitors.
You will find a beach boardwalk that has an excellently maintained Olympic-size pool along with a miniature golf course, separate playgrounds, and picnic areas. Rides, water slides, and a kiddy spray park make it one of the top family beaches in Connecticut.
Do not miss a chance to spend some relaxing time at the cafe here to pamper yourself with delicious food and refreshing beverages.
2. Calf Pasture Beach - A touch of history
Calf Pasture is one of the best Connecticut beaches where history meets entertainment. The beach that has witnessed the American Revolutionary War in 1779 today ensures a good old sun ‘n’ sand vacation.
This is a guarded beach where facilities like a fishing pier, boat ramp, restaurant, and restrooms are available. A play area where mature trees provide shade is ideal for kids. You will love a well-maintained skateboard park, sand volleyball courts, and baseball diamonds on the premises.
So, rent a kayak or sailboat to explore the ocean or enjoy different land activities with your loved ones while visiting Calf Pasture Beach.
3. Hammonasset Beach State Park - Most preferred in Connecticut
The long sandy stretches of Hammonasset Beach State Park will steal a piece of your heart with their serene beauty. With more than 2 miles of beaches, it is known to be Connecticut's largest shoreline park.
If you are a nature enthusiast, then a large campground with over 500 campsites is the perfect place for you. If you are a leisure seeker, you will find several picnic tables, fishing spots, and a boardwalk around here. Offering something for everyone, Hammonasset Beach State Park is rightfully one of the most-visited beaches in Connecticut.
Visit a recently-opened Meigs Point Nature Center and be part of the park’s different events and activities to make the most of your time.
4. Clinton Town Beach - Dog-friendly walkway on the shore
Clinton Town Beach, one of the best beaches in Connecticut, is loved by locals and travelers alike for its relaxing vibes. Its area is divided into two parts - Clinton Town Beach and Clinton Beach, out of which, only Town Beach is a public area.
Be it sunbathing or swimming, you can choose your activities here. Catch some tan at the beach during high tide, and take a walk to the sand bar when the tide is low. Even though pets are not allowed on the shore, Clinton Town Beach is one of the dog-friendly beaches in Connecticut where a walking trail is reserved for your furry friends.
Keep in mind that during summer months, Clinton Town Beach can be accessed only by those who have purchased day passes.
5. Compo Beach - Hidden gem in Connecticut
The 29 acres of park with a pretty sandy shore make for one of the lesser-known beaches in Connecticut, that is Compo Beach. You need to pay a small amount of entry fee to visit this beach and that also makes it lesser crowded.
The water is calm and the sand is powdery, ensuring it is safe for kids to run around and enjoy the beach to the fullest. Compo Beach is handicap-accessible with a boardwalk, volleyball courts, pavilions, concession stand, and a skate park. So, be it picnicking with your family or soaking in the peaceful vibes at the beach, you can do it all here.
As day passes are limited to only 100 visitors a day, make sure you are reaching the beach early to grab your spot.
6. Harvey’s Beach - A place to catch the sunset
Harvey’s Beach in Old Saybrook is popular for proposing a lovely Connecticut beach experience with its low tide phenomenon. It is the perfect time to walk on the soft sand and build sandcastles with your kids.
If you are looking forward to boating, paddling, fishing, and swimming, then Harvey’s Beach has it all! You can spend a leisurely day on the beach lazing on a white sandy shore and at the end of the day, its 100-yard-long shoreline will bid you farewell with a spectacular sunset. This lovely view has made it one of the best beaches in Connecticut.
Harvey’s Beach is handicap-accessible and lifeguards are available during Memorial Day and Labor Day.
7. Jennings Beach - Among the top free Connecticut beaches
When you visit Jennings Beach in the affluent town of Fairfield, you will be greeted with 27-acres of a site full of golden sand and stunning views of Long Island Sound.
Jennings Beach is one of the free beaches in Connecticut where you will find numerous fun activities to keep you engaged. From volleyball poles and sailboat racks to a concession stand and restroom facilities, you will find everything on this beach. Events like the summer-special ‘Bonfire on the Beach’ or ‘4th of July Fireworks’ keep this a bustling beach throughout the year.
Pets like dogs and horses are allowed on the beach from October 1 to March 31, making it one of the top pet-friendly Connecticut beaches.
8. Hole-in-the-Wall Beach - Where nature is at its best
Hole-in-the-Wall Beach in the town of East Lyme is famous for its natural beauty and different things you can do around here. This beach is part of the 62-acre McCook’s Point Park.
You can reach this shore area after crossing the short tunnel under the railroad tracks, thus inspiring the name ‘Hole-In-The-Wall’ for this beach. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing - choose what you want to do while visiting this beach and you will get to experience the best of everything. There are a couple of hiking and walking trails near Hole-in-the-Wall Beach that are ideal for nature enthusiasts.
As Hole-In-The-Wall is also one of the best sunset beaches in Connecticut, try to visit it in the evening to make the best of your vacation.
9. Sherwood Island State Park - All the necessary facilities
Sherwood Island State Park is a sprawling area where a sandy beach, a protected sand dune area, woodlands, and wetlands welcome you with open arms.
It is Connecticut’s first state park with a history dating back to a century. That has given it plenty of time to develop different amenities. Picnic areas, bird-watching spots, drinking fountains, restrooms, bathhouses, and sports fields attract locals and travelers alike. You can also grab a chance to go fishing, hiking, and scuba diving while visiting Sherwood Island State Park.
The sand here carries shades of white, black, and red, transforming it into one of the prettiest beaches in Connecticut. Do stop by the ‘September 11 Living Memorial’ that is established on the shore.
10. Jacobs Beach - Ideal for kids and families
Jacobs Beach in the town of Guilford is one of the secret beaches in Connecticut where you can get away from all the touristy hustle and bustle to spend some relaxing time.
This hidden gem has 25 acres of an area where crushed shells and pebbles make up for most of the beach. As there are almost no waves in the water here, it is ideal for kids and families. The sunsets are best viewed from Jacob’s beach where a colorful sky reflected in the calm water creates a breath-taking view.
Amenities like grilling stations, picnic areas, restroom facilities, play areas, and boat racks are available at Jacob Beach ensuring you have a hassle-free visit.
11. Silver Sands State Park - Quality time with your loved ones
Silver Sands State Park is full of sandy beaches, well-maintained boardwalks, tiny seashells, and different shorebirds. It is a popular public recreational area in Milford and is located on Long Island Sound.
Visiting a beach here will give you a chance to explore the restored salt marsh, wooded areas, and the bird sanctuary of Charles Island. So, be it for picnicking with your loved ones or solo birdwatching trips, Silver Sands State Park entertains all with different things to do. Easily one of the top beaches in Connecticut, this area also lets you walk across to Charles Island as there is a well-kept sand-gravel bar.
Remember that walking to Charles Island during high tide is dangerous and should be avoided.
12. Pear Tree Point Beach - Two beaches to entertain you
The simple beach of Pear Tree Point in Fairfield County is one of the most beautiful beaches in Connecticut where its 8 acres are dotted with pebbles and crushed shells.
It is divided into two beach areas where each one offers picnic tables, grills, and a fully operational concession stand. Pear Tree Point Beach is perfect for a beach vacation where you can relax for an entire day on the shore. The calm water and almost non-existant waves also make it one of the best family-friendly beaches in Connecticut.
The Pear Tree Point Beach, though developed, is still far from commercialization and will give you a chance to soak in its pristine beauty.
13. Rocky Neck State Park - A top choice among beachgoers
Rocky Neck State Park makes for one of the best public recreation areas on Long Island Sound where a gentle slope leading to a sandy beach is always bustling with visitors.
You can go here for picnicking with your loved ones, enjoy solo saltwater fishing, or simply take a dip if interested in a saltwater swimming. There is a vast campground with more than 150 campsites for those who want to be in the heart of nature. Hiking trails around the beach will let you explore points of interest like a salt marsh, Tony's Nose, and Baker's Cave.
Considered among top Connecticut beaches, visiting the Rocky Neck State Park will never disappoint you.
14. Knollwood Beach - small and simple
One of the small beaches in Connecticut, Knollwood Beach is for those who are looking for a peaceful escape.
Lovely views of Northport Bay will welcome you here and calm bay water will ensure you enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The walking area along the beach is dotted with benches where you can sit and soak in the serene vista. So, when you are interested in spending some quality time on the shore, you can head off to Knollwood Beach.
15. Waterford Beach Park - best natural beach in Connecticut
Waterford Beach Park is proud to be one of the only natural beaches in Connecticut where you see the state’s intact dune system along with tidal marshes and sandy hills.
Even though only 1/4 mile long, this sandy beach makes sure you get all the necessary facilities here. Spend some time at picnic areas, take a walk, go for a swim, or opt for fishing, whatever be your activity, you will find it at Waterford Beach Park. Keep in mind that non-residents will need to purchase passes to visit this beach.
So, which is the beach you are planning to visit while vacationing in Connecticut?