Connecticut, a state in southern New England, has an abundance of things to do, including some beautiful beaches. The Connecticut coast faces New York’s Long Island from Stamford in the south to New London along the north coast. Many Connecticut beaches are inside state parks, and there are several public beaches to enjoy.
Connecticut has a surprisingly good beach scene, from quiet rocky to soft sandy beaches. Many beaches have excellent amenities that make spending all day at the beach easy. So, if you’re looking for the best beaches in Connecticut, here are 20 to get you started.
- Connecticut Beaches
- 20 Beaches In Connecticut
- 1- Ocean Beach Park
- 2- Waterford Beach Park
- 3- Calf Pasture Beach
- 4- Compo Beach
- 5- Jacobs Beach
- 6- Esker Point Beach
- 7- DuBois Beach
- 8- Sherwood Island State Park
- 9- Silver Sands State Park
- 10- Hammonasset Beach State Park
- 11- Harvey’s Beach
- 12- Clinton Town Beach
- 13- Jennings Beach
- 14- West Beach at Rocky Neck State Park
- 15- Hole-in-the-Wall Beach
- 16- Green Harbor Beach
- 17- Indian Well State Park
- 18- Pear Tree Point Beach
- 19- Shady Beach Park
- 20- Westbrook Town Beach
- 20 Beaches In Connecticut
20 Beaches In Connecticut
1- Ocean Beach Park
The first of these Connecticut beaches is Ocean Beach Park in New London, a popular soft-sand beach ideal for relaxing and spending the entire day.
There are a ton of amenities at this beach, meaning it’s perfect for those with young children to keep them entertained.
As well as the ocean, there is an Olympic-sized swimming pool if you don’t fancy the salty water.
There are waterslides, an 18-hole mini-golf course the whole family can enjoy, kiddy rides, and an arcade.
There is a restaurant and a gift shop where you can stock up on sun cream or forgotten towels.
The ice cream shop will satisfy all those calls for “Mum, can we have ice cream?”.
The Boardwalk Stage is a brilliant entertainment centre that hosts weekly events, including magic shows, car shows and more.
There are Memorial Day and Labor Day events as well.
Ocean Beach Park is at 98 Neptune Avenue, New London.
2- Waterford Beach Park
Waterford Beach Park is an excellent choice if you are searching for a dune-backed beach.
Waterford Beach Park is next to Ocean Beach Park in New London and has views across Long Island Sound.
The tidal marshes at this Connecticut beach make for a varied visit each time you go.
There are lifeguards manning the waves during summer and picnic areas, bathroom facilities and boardwalks.
This beach is also popular for shore fishing in the non-swimming areas.
As it’s close to the popular Ocean Beach Park, it’s less frequented and has a much quieter and calmer vibe.
Waterford Beach Park is at 317 Great Neck Road, Waterford.
3- Calf Pasture Beach
Head to Norwalk, and you’ll find the curiously named Calf Pasture Beach.
The name dates back to the 17th century, when some of the U.S.’s earliest residents used the land for their cows to graze.
This beach in Connecticut is sheltered, so it’s an excellent place to swim and a family playground to escape the summer heat.
There is a fishing pier, boat ramp, volleyball courts, a skateboard park, and a baseball field.
There are also restrooms and a restaurant to refuel in.
The Norwalk Sailing School is an ideal place to visit to rent sailboats or kayaks, making for an adventure-filled day.
Calf Pasture Beach is on Calf Pasture Beach Road, Norwalk.
4- Compo Beach
Looking out onto Long Island Sand is another of the best beaches in Connecticut, Compo Beach.
This beach is part of a 29-acre (11.7 ha) park along the Saugatuck River and a safe place to swim as lifeguards patrol the beach in summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
There are restrooms, lockers and a well-stocked concession stand.
It’s a good beach for families with kids of all ages as there are volleyball courts, softball fields and basketball courts.
The younger kids will love the playground, and there’s a skate park for the older kids.
Once you’re done with the beach, walk along the boardwalks taking in the incredible views.
Compo Beach is at 60 Compo Beach Road, Westport.
5- Jacobs Beach
If you are tired of the summer crowds, Jacobs Beach may well be one of the best Connecticut beaches.
It is known for its picturesque setting and even more appreciated for its peace and tranquillity.
The beach is a 25-acre (10 ha) stretch of shoreline that provides visitors with softer than soft sand and a great place to launch a kayak or boat.
In addition to stunning views and seclusion, there are several picnic areas, barbeque stations, bathroom facilities and a playground.
Jacobs Beach is at 140 Seaside Avenue, Guilford.
6- Esker Point Beach
Esker Point Beach is a 600 ft (182 m) manmade beach in Groton and one of the smaller Connecticut beaches.
This pet-friendly beach is the perfect spot to watch the boats in the harbour.
Visit in summer for a beach day out or in fall for some vibrant colours.
There are beach volleyball courts which make for a fun activity if you visit with friends.
Many Connecticut beaches require payment, either for the parking or the beach itself, but Esker Point Beach is a free beach with plenty of room for parking.
Esker Point Beach is at 900 Groton Long Point Road, Groton.
7- DuBois Beach
DuBois Beach is in the beautiful seaside village of Stonington Borough, a charming coastal community bordering Rhode Island.
There’s a harbour where you can watch the boats bobbing around.
Once at the beach, you’ll find a pristine, soft sand beach with shallow water perfect for splashing.
Visit the Lighthouse Museum, which was built in 1840 and houses information about the lighthouse’s history and surrounding area.
After enjoying the beach, you should check out Stonington Borough’s cute shops selling clothes, gifts and jewellery.
Those interested in antiques might find opportunities to find some bargains in Stonington Borough.
DuBois Beach is at 5 Water Street, Stonington.
8- Sherwood Island State Park
Connecticut’s first state park, Sherwood Island, has a decent beach known for its tri-coloured sand (cream, red, and black).
The park is 235 acres (95 ha) and has woodlands, wetlands and, of course, the beach.
Several walking trails in the oak forest are ideal for catching some much-needed shade.
In the park, there are opportunities for bird watching, fishing, hiking, scuba diving and several sports fields.
Sherwood Island State Park is at Sherwood Island Connector, Westport.
9- Silver Sands State Park
Silver Sands State Park’s beach is one of the best beaches in Connecticut.
Silver Sands is maintained by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
This park and beach are well maintained, and it’s a stunning place to spend the day.
Silver Sands State Park has several dunes, salt marshes, woodlands, a bird sanctuary and a beach.
You can swim, and there are several boardwalks, trails, bird watching and picnic spots.
Keep your eyes peeled in the sky for ospreys and eagles, usually seen in the area.
You can even walk across to Charles Island via a sand bar at low tide.
Silver Sands State Park is at 1 Silver Sands Parkway, Milford.
10- Hammonasset Beach State Park
Hammonasset Beach is Connecticut’s largest beach, stretching for two miles (3.2 km) and facing Long Island Sound.
With a seemingly endless stretch of sand, it’s not surprising that over one million visitors flock to this Connecticut beach each year.
A beautiful boardwalk hugs the beach, and there are shady spots for sunny days.
If you want to spend the whole day at the beach, there is a concession stand to stock up on food and drinks.
Although you are not allowed to bring dogs on the sand, you can walk your dogs along the boardwalk.
Before heading home, stop at the Meigs Point Nature Center, which has a variety of wildlife exhibits and 50 plus species of local wildlife.
Hammonasset Beach State Park is at 1288 Boston Post Road, Madison.
11- Harvey’s Beach
Harvey’s Beach is another of the best beaches in Connecticut that is super charming.
Shy of 328 ft (100 m) long, this beach is a gem, and if you’re looking for a gorgeous beach to watch the sunset, this is the place to be.
As well as sunsets that reflect in the wet sand, there is a playground for kids, bathrooms and a concession stand to buy snacks and drinks.
You can even join in with beach yoga classes or learn how to kite surf.
Bring a bag or a bucket because you are bound to want to take home shells from your time beach combing.
After sunset, head into Old Saybrook for good food at their eateries and cafes.
Harvey’s Beach is at 29 Plum Bank Road, Old Saybrook.
12- Clinton Town Beach
If you’re exploring with the family, you must check out Clinton Town Beach.
There’s a playground, sports such as volleyball, basketball and bocce ball courts (the American version of pétanque or boules).
Several sand bars are exposed at the beach at low tide and are great for exploring and walking along.
There are even walking trails behind the beach.
In Clinton itself, you’ll find a variety of eateries, clothing stores and good places to stay, making it an excellent base to explore other Connecticut beaches.
Clinton Town Beach is at 96 Waterside Lane, Clinton.
13- Jennings Beach
For an affordable beach to visit on the weekend, try Jennings Beach.
A bonus is the parking fees are lower than many other beaches in Connecticut, especially during the week.
The beach has lifeguards and even offers beachfront swimming lessons during summer. This beach is also wheelchair accessible.
There’s a Sandcastle Playground next to the beach for the little ones and a skate park.
This beach caters to visitors with all the amenities you could need, such as bathrooms, concession stands, volleyball courts and boat storage.
Jennings Beach is at 880 South Benson Road, Fairfield.
14- West Beach at Rocky Neck State Park
Visiting Rocky Neck State Park is a great day activity close to New London.
Inside this park, you can find the soft sand of West Beach, which has a boardwalk running along the back of the beach that is ideal for a gentle stroll, especially at sunset.
This is an ideal place to ride a bike after a relaxing time on the beach and handy bike racks where you can lock up your bike while relaxing on the sand.
There are tons of hiking trails, camping areas and a salt marsh.
The salt marsh provides a perfect place for wildlife enthusiasts to try and spot birds such as herons, ospreys and cranes.
West Beach at Rocky Neck State Park is at 244 West Main Street, Niantic.
15- Hole-in-the-Wall Beach
To access this beach, you enter through a tunnel beneath some railway tracks, hence the name.
Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is part of McCook’s Point Park in East Lyme along Niantic Bay opposite the Hamptons end of Long Island.
If you are into watersports, you should check out this Connecticut beach as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and crabbing are popular activities.
To launch a kayak or canoe, you’ll need a boat launch pass. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you’ll also need a pass to access the beach.
Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is at 4 Baptist Lane, Niantic.
16- Green Harbor Beach
Green Harbor Beach is located right in the heart of the New London oceanfront and is a small beach that overlooks the harbour.
It’s an idyllic spot to watch the boats going in and out of the marina, and it isn’t one of the busiest beaches around, so you may have the place to yourself.
If you find yourself in downtown New London, you’ll enjoy visiting this cute inner-city beach.
Green Harbor Beach is at 163 Pequot Avenue, New London.
17- Indian Well State Park
Now, this isn’t your traditional ocean water beach. Indian Well State Park beach sits along the Housatonic River, and if you don’t fancy the sea, it might still give you the beach vibe you’re looking for.
The beach is clean and has an uncrowded swimming area to cool off in the summer heat.
A feature of the area is the charming Indian Well Falls waterfall.
Indian Well State Park is at 1 Indian Well Road, Shelton.
18- Pear Tree Point Beach
Pear Tree Point Beach in Fairfield County is 8 acres (3.2 ha) and incorporates two beaches.
Pear Tree Beach has all the amenities needed for spending the entire day at the beach, including grilling stations, concession stands, a pavilion, a lifeguard and bathrooms.
You can launch kayaks or canoes right from Pear Tree Point Beach or visit the Darien Boat Club to enjoy some of the water activities they offer.
Pear Tree Point Beach is on Pear Tree Point Road, Darien.
19- Shady Beach Park
This beach has stunning views and a nice shady area close to Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.
The sand, pebbles and grass blend on this beach makes it popular for picnics.
There’s a splash pad, basketball, volleyball and softball fields, and a playground.
During the summer, there is an area for supervised and unsupervised swimming, so you’ll have peace of mind if you have kids in tow.
Shady Beach Park is at 14 Canfield Avenue, Norwalk.
20- Westbrook Town Beach
This is a tiny beach that relatively few people visit, so head there early, and you might have the place more or less to yourselves.
Tiny shells and snails litter the beach, making it a perfect spot for beach combing.
There is a barbeque hut for those who fancy eating lunch or dinner on the beach.
Depending on what time you go, you may not see anyone else and feel like you have your own private beach.
Westbrook Town Beach is at Seaside Avenue, Westbrook.