Summer is officially here, and its time to fire up those grills and head over to the beach. Connecticut has a lot of shoreline and with that comes a lot of beach access. While most of the beaches are on the Long Island Sound, there are still plenty of great spots to relax with family or friends. These are some of the best beaches that the State of Connecticut has to offer.
Ocean Beach Park
Located in New London, Ocean Beach Park offers fun for people of all ages. With over half a mile of shoreline there is more than enough space for everyone. Ocean Beach offers more than just the ocean, they also have an Olympic sized swimming pool. In addition, they have a changing area as well as token operated lockers if you want to keep things safe without taking them onto the beach. Park admission is the cost of parking and they also charge a walk in rate if you do not pay for parking. For additional charges 3 water slides and an 18 hole mini golf course can be accessed. The park also offers hiking trails and picnic areas. If you get hungry there is a full service restaurant, a snack bar, and even an ice cream shop. With so much to do you can really spend an entire day here without being bored. Ocean Beach Park truly offers it all.
Hammonasett Beach State Park
Hammonasett State Park is another great beach located in Madison Connecticut. This is the largest beach in the state with over 2 miles of shoreline on the Long Island Sound. A boardwalk also stretches across a good portion of the beach where there is a concession stand and a pavilion to shield yourself from the sun on those sweltering Connecticut summer days. Meigs Point Nature Center is also within the limits of the park and offers many activities for people of all ages. Some of these activities include nature walks, beach and dune ecology, bird watching, and playing the the touch tank. The touch tank has various ocean life living in it which provides a great opportunity to get close to wildlife that normally you would not be able to see or touch. There are also over 500 campsites within the state park and also a Hilton hotel near by with beach access. Another beach that will leave you tired and satisfied after a long day.
Compo Beach is located in Westport Connecticut and covers 29 acres within it’s limits. The beach is located on the Long Island Sound, but also has the Saugatuck River on one of its borders. From Memorial Day through Labor Day lifeguards patrol the area from 10am to 6pm. There is also a concession stand as well as bathrooms and lockers for convenience. That’s not all, the beach also features a boardwalk and a pavilion located in the park. There are several athletic courts located in the area. There are 2 beach volleyball courts, 2 well lit basketball courts, and a softball field. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a skate park and a large playground to appeal to people with all sorts of interests. The Westport Inn is located in the vicinity and has an indoor pool for rainy days. Compo Beach really has something for everybody to enjoy.
Jennings Beach is located in Fairfield, CT and is a part of a larger group of beaches on the coastline in Fairfield. It’s just off Interstate 95 which gives easy access to beach goers. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer months and they even provide swim lessons in the ocean! Parking is significantly cheaper on the weekdays, but even on a busy day you will have space to park. Jennings beach has a plethora of walk able Jetty’s which can take out as for as 50 yards into the ocean. There is also a good snack bar located on the beach as well as a pavilion to accompany it. Jennings Beach also has quite a large playground in the area known as “Sandcastle Playground” which is a huge attraction for kids. There are some great places to eat in the area as well as a hotel if you plan on spending multiple days on the beach.
Sherwood Island is also located in Westport, Connecticut. This beach is best known for it tri-colored sand which is not usually found at other beaches across the state. The three colors are red, black, and garnet, which combines for a beautiful beach. When the tide comes in and out the minerals separate leaving gorgeous streaks of color in the sand. The parks is big, it covers over 200 acres of land including woodland. There are walking trails in the forest as well as an observation deck overlooking a salty marsh. They also have other activities including bird watching, volleyball, kite flying, and they even allow salt water fishing in the non-swimming areas. There are also some nature activities that take place including live animal shows.