Connecticut Beach Days Last Updated 7/18

By Kim Knox Beckius
Perfect ways to frolic in the surf or kick back on the sand.

Ocean Beach Park

Call this half-mile of sugary sand in New London the anti-boredom beach. Little kids love the spray park and retro amusement rides. Tweens and teens gravitate to the Olympic-size pool, arcade and waterslides. Miniature golf’s fun for the whole family. And just when you think you’ve done it all, there’s entertainment almost every night on the boardwalk.

 

Hammonasset Beach State Park

Toes in the sand at a yoga class. Fingertips in the nature center’s touch tank, tickling a crab. Muscles warmed from a hike or bike ride. Eyes alert for rare birds and butterflies. At Connecticut’s largest beach, you can swim, sunbathe, camp under starry skies and truly commune with the coast in Madison.

 

Rocky Neck State Park

Swimsuit styles have changed. But otherwise, this half-mile, soft-sand beach and its fortress-like fieldstone pavilion look remarkably as they did in 1950s vintage postcards. Families pitch tents. Kids cheer when trains rumble through. Couples claim rocky love seats and gaze at the horizon in East Lyme. And the gentle water’s a silvery shade of blue.

 

Sherwood Island State Park

Fairfield County’s only state-owned beach is located in Westport, yet remarkably scenic and wild. More than a century after visionary state leaders deemed this mile and a half of shoreline worthy of preservation, it remains a popular place to cool off, walk, fly kites, observe nature and fish from shore.

 

Harvey's Beach

Old Saybrook’s open-to-the-public town beach is a small patch of sheltered shore. Low tide leaves behind tidal pools swirling with curious life forms and saturated sand for little builders to scoop and mold. Then, it’s off to the playground or the food truck with its menu of summertime favorites.

 

Jacob's Beach

This stunning beach is hidden on a narrow, dead-end street in the town of Guilford. A jetty pens in sun-warmed water so clear that clouds look submerged. A quick dip, a good book, a picnic: Any cares you brought along will disappear. With Connecticut’s second-oldest lighthouse in view out on Faulkner’s Island, the scene is the epitome of tranquility.

 

Silver Sands State Park

Free parking is priceless enough, but it’s sure nice to dream some of Captain Kidd’s loot might be in the vicinity. Charles Island—where the 17th-century pirate allegedly buried treasure—dominates the view from this seashell-strewn beach located in Milford. Stake out your own quiet spot, and watch as the outbound tide re-sculpts the coastline.