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Top 9 Beaches in Connecticut

Here's what you need to know...
  • Connecticut’s beaches are located on the Long Island Sound rather than directly on the ocean.
  • Summer weather conditions in Connecticut are ideal for enjoying a day at the beach.
  • Drivers should practice safety tips when driving to and from Connecticut beaches.
Connecticut may be a small state, but it has an abundance of beaches. With its unique location in New England, its beaches are located on the Long Island Sound.

This often creates milder waves than what you will find at many beaches that are located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Tourism has increased dramatically in the state recently, and many of these visitors are spending at least some of their vacation time at the beach.

Among the many beaches to explore in Connecticut, you will often find gorgeous natural views and soft sands. You may also find a great mix of amenities and a couple of lighthouses at a few of the beaches.

Now that the weather is warming up, it is the ideal time to head out to a Connecticut beach and to enjoy. Connecticut is known for its warm, sunny summers, and this is perfect beach weather. Make sure to compare rates with our free comparison tool above! 

You may live in Connecticut and be searching for a beach to visit that is close to home, or you may have a road trip to Connecticut planned soon.

With so many amazing Connecticut beaches to consider, it can be difficult to determine which one is ideal for you. Take time to learn more about a few of the most popular and scenic beaches in Connecticut before you decide which beaches to visit.

Top 9 Beaches in Connecticut

#1  Clinton Town Beach

AdobeStock_62371122-1600x1600Known For: Great sports activities
Must Do Activity: Play basketball, volleyball, or bocce near the beach

Clinton Town Beach is ideally located in the small town of Clinton, and it is the ideal location for spending a day at the beach. Here, you will find exceptional amenities, such as sports areas for basketball, volleyball, and bocce.

You can also enjoy a pavilion with picnic tables and grills, and a snack bar is available if you do not feel like grilling out with your family and friends while at the beach.

At the Clinton Town Beach, the kids can play on a well-maintained playground or on the splash pad. Dogs love spending time at the beach, and you can walk your dog along a specialized and scenic dog trail here. The beach itself has soft sand and gentle waves most of the time, making it a great location for spending a day at the beach with your family.

#2  Hammonasset Beach State Park

Known For: Being the largest public beach in the state, its impressive boardwalk
Must Do Activity: Stroll along the boardwalk, camp at the beach

Situated near the lovely town of Madison, Hammonasset Beach State Park is the largest public beach in Connecticut. Many visitors from across the state and beyond flock to this beach regularly during the warmer months of the year, but its large size means that there is usually ample room for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.

Splashing in the waves is one of the most popular ways to spend the day at Hammonasset Beach State Park, but you can also enjoy saltwater fishing, bicycling, boating, picnicking, and more at this well-appointed park.

Unlike many of the other public beaches in the state, Hammonasset Beach State Park permits overnight camping in designated areas, and there are 550 campsites available to choose from.

An overnight stay provides you with more time to stroll along the boardwalk and play at the beach. Restrooms, concessions, and a nature center are also located on-site.

#3  Compo Beach

Known For: Its abundance of sports amenities and beautiful beach
Must Do Activity: Enjoy the many sports facilities, let the kids play on the wooden playscape

Compo Beach is a 29-acre park area in Westport, and it offers everything that you need to enjoy a relaxing, fun day at the beach with friends and loved ones.

The beach is well-maintained, and lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.

A boardwalk and a concession stand make your time at Compo Beach more enjoyable. This beach is a popular destination for sports-minded individuals because it has an exceptional range of sports areas.

This includes lighted basketball courts, a skate park with an open skate area, a multi-purpose sports court, and a softball field. The wooden play scape located at Compo Beach is a favorite for kids.

#4 Walnut Beach

paddle-board-1629165_1920-1600x1600Known For: Its many outdoor events scheduled throughout the year
Must Do Activity: Rent a paddle board or kayak for a few hours

Walnut Beach is a small, scenic public park in Milford, and it boasts a spacious boardwalk that is ideal for taking in views of the coastline.

Several special events are scheduled at Walnut Beach throughout the year, such as the Walnut Beach Arts Festival, Thursday Night Art Strolls, the Halloween parade, a summer concert series, and more.

While this is a popular space for community residents in Milford to gather, it also is a great place for out-of-town visitors to explore because of its exceptional amenities.

At Walnut Beach, you will find an exceptional range of food vendors offering delicious fare. The culinary options range from lobster rolls and deli sandwiches to ice cream and more. For a fun experience on the water, take advantage of the kayak and paddle board rentals available on-site.

#5 Waterford Beach Park

surf-fisherman-1633996_1920-1600x1600Known For: An unspoiled beach
Must Do Activity: Stroll along the shoreline looking for signs of the abundant wildlife in the area

Waterford Beach Park stretches for one-quarter mile in Waterford, and many people love to visit this beach because it gives you an unspoiled beach experience. Amenities available are minimal, and they include a picnic area and restrooms.

Many visitors enjoy fishing from the shore or walking along the well-maintained walkways in hopes of seeing some of the wildlife species that the area is known for.

Because the beach fronts the Long Island Sound, waves are typically mild. However, lifeguard service is available at the beach during the summer months. Parking is limited at the on-site lot, so consider arriving early or carpooling with others.

#6  Hole-in-the-Wall Beach

Known For: Its large tunnel and the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
Must Do Activity: Walk through the tunnel to reach the beach

If you are looking for a unique beach experience while you are in Connecticut, a visit to the Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is in order. This beach is appropriately named because you must pass through a tunnel underneath railroad tracks to reach the main beach area and water.

It boasts white sand beaches, and the main swimming area is protected from large waves by the jetty. This makes it an ideal beach spot for families with kids.

Many people who visit Hole-in-the-Wall Beach will walk along the Niantic Bay Boardwalk. This is a large boardwalk that is comprised of wood in some sections and gravel in others. It takes you from the beach all the way to the shops on Main Street and beyond.

#7 Dubois Beach

Known For: Its small size
Must Do Activity: Sit on the sandy beach and watch sailboats float by

Dubois Beach is a very small, secluded beach in Stonington, and it has only 265 feet of water frontage. This beach has minimal amenities and services to provide you with a relaxed, quiet day at the beach.

Only beaches, a water fountain, a lifeguard stand, a portable restroom, and benches are located on site.

Because of the beach’s small size, many people will arrive earlier in the day to claim space for their towels or beach blanket. During your day in Stonington, you can walk a short distance from the beach to tour the town’s historic homes and quaint shops.

The Old Lighthouse Museum is also located only a few steps from the beach, and it gives you a fabulous look back in time at the maritime history of the area.

#8 East Haven Town

beach-1047096_1920-1600x1600Known For: Its volleyball and bocce courts
Must Do Activity: Play bocce or volleyball at the beach

The beach at East Haven Town offers visitors a large, flat beach with soft sand as well as exceptional amenities that can make your day at the beach more exciting.

When you are not splashing in the waves with family or friends, get a bocce or volleyball competition going on with other beachgoers. Picnic tables are on-site for your dining convenience after you work up an appetite.

The beach itself is stunning and boasts an escarpment for dramatic natural flair. Some of the swim areas are supervised by a lifeguard during the summer months. East Haven Town beach also offers restrooms with showers and a large pavilion.

#9  Sasko Beach

bar-tailed-godwit-944883_1920-1600x1600Known For: A low-key beach with a dedicated wildlife and nature area
Must Do Activity: Look for signs of beach wildlife

Sasko Beach is one of the smaller beaches in the Fairfield area, and it covers only 2.5 acres. The beach itself has soft sand and is rather wide, which gives visitors ample space to make themselves at home. The salt marsh area located at the far end of the beach is ideal for bird watching.

At Sasko Beach, you can enjoy swimming under the watchful eye of a lifeguard during the summer months, and convenient drive-up parking. There is a small bathroom onsite as well. For those who are looking for a quiet day at the beach, Sasko Beach is an excellent option to consider.

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Safety Tips While at the Beach in Connecticut

As relaxing and beautiful as the beach may be, it can also be dangerous at times. By following a few safety tips, you and your loved ones can stay safe and healthy while enjoying Connecticut beaches. These tips include:

  • Always wear sunscreen, and consider wearing protective eyewear.
  • Never swim alone or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Keep children within arm’s reach while in the water.
  • Be aware of signs of dangerous wildlife, and stay far away from any animals in or out of the water.

There are also a few safety tips that you can follow while driving through Connecticut on your way to and from the beach, and these include:

  • Observe and obey all traffic signs.
  • Avoid speeding, and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and wildlife on or near the roads.
  • Fasten your seatbelt, and confirm that everyone in the vehicle is properly fastened as well before you start driving.

– Comparison Shop for the Best Auto Insurance

AdobeStock_107417448-1600x1600Because accidents can happen at any time, it is wise to review and update your current auto insurance policy before starting on your road trip to the beach.

Request quotes for at least three to four different policies to find the most affordable option available, and remember to repeat this step twice per year. The minimum amount of car insurance required in Connecticut includes:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury for one person or $40,000 for more than one person
  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $20,000 for uninsured motorist coverage per person or $40,000 per accident

The beaches are a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy when the weather is warm. You may want to arrive early to ensure that you get a parking spot and that you have a great spot on the beach close to the water.

Remember to lock your vehicle and to hide or conceal all valuable items in the car to deter criminals from targeting you. Also, pay attention to sand depth when driving on unpaved surfaces.

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