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Connecticut has salt-water beaches on the coast; lakes and ponds inland

 CTBEACHES Connecticut's shoreline, along Long Island Sound, offers a good selection of salt water beaches for all tastes. Among the best of these is Ocean Beach in New London, with white sugar sand and lots of entertainment like a swimming pool, miniature golf, and game rooms. Beach communities stand ready to serve other needs beside swimming, tanning, and strolling along the sand. Beach and ocean resorts provide a wide range of delightful lodgings for adults, couples, and families with kids, and waterfront restaurants will serve you some of the freshest and best-prepared foods in all of New England.

Click Here for Connecticut Tide Charts and Tide Tables

Scenic, simple, salt-kissed and satisfying

Step onto DuBois Beach for a quiet resite after experiencing the cafes, shops and historic homes of this beautiful borough. Located at the tip of the peninsula, this quaint sandy sliver delivers cooling breezes and salt satisfying air on one of New England's most picturesque and secluded spots. Families with small children will love the warm shallow waters. You can enjoy access to the beach in season for a small daily fee or purchase a summer-long beach pass. Lifeguards are on hand all summer. When leaving, pick up the path at the waterfront gazebo in front of Stonington Commons on Water Street and walk along beautiful Stonington Harbor. Be sure to stay for the sunset.

1225 Ocean Avenue New London, CT, 06320 Phone: 860-447-3031 Toll-Free: 800-510-7263

Rated one of the best beaches by National Geographic

There’s family fun and more at Ocean Beach Park. New this year is our Splash Park for kids under 8. For more water fun we have the ocean, of course, an Olympic-size swimming pool and triple waterslide. Our award-winning lifeguard staff is on duty for your safety. For more fun we have rides, mini-golf, and a Family Fun Center with a video arcade. Kids can enjoy our playground and adults can work out in the health club. The nature walk and observation deck let you enjoy our natural beauty.

When all the activity makes you hungry you have dining choices; our full-service restaurant, a food court, or ice cream stands. Ocean Beach Park can also accommodate picnics and corporate events. Our nightly entertainment schedule includes Classic Car Cruises on Mondays; kids movies on the beach Tuesday; live magic on Wednesday; Sock Hop on Thursday; and live bands on Friday.

Parking fee includes park admission for everyone riding in the car. Weekends, $22; weekdays, $17; week nights, $6; movie and magic show, $6; holidays, $30; Monday cruise night, free; fireworks nights, $6; pre- and post-season weekends, $10. Season parking decals: New London resident, $75 year-round; New London senior, $25; non-resident, $110.

Penfield Beach

Fairfield Beach road, off I-95 at Exit 22 Fairfield, CT Phone: 203-256-3010

Open: Memorial Day - Labor Day

Beach amenities include a playground, picnic area with public grills, food concession and restrooms.
Daily parking fee: week days, $20; weekends and holidays, $50. Learn more about seasonal stickers.

Lighthouse Point Park

Lighthouse Road New Haven, CT Phone: 203-946-8019

Lighthouse tours, water sports, marine biology programs, paddling tours

This multi-faceted park on Long Island Sound has beaches for swimming, boating, and other water sports along with a lighthouse (open for tours) and lots of opportunities for kids and adults to learn about marine ecology.
Parking fees: New Haven registered vehicles, free; non-resident vehicles, $20 a day and $100 for the season; out-of-state vehicles, $30 a day, no seasonal parking. Learn about other fees.
See full description of Lighthouse Point Park.

Beach Street West Haven, CT Phone: 203-937-3651

Part of a stretch of beach front form Bradley Point Park to the Sandy Point Bird Sanctuary
Hours: Beaches are open from 9 a.m.–dusk daily. Lifeguards are on duty weekends only through June 22, daily from June 23–August 17 and weekends only from August 23–September 1. Daily supervision is from 10:15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fees: Daily parking fees for non-residents is Memorial Day to Labor Day, $10 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and $5 after 4.

Captain Thomas Blvd. West Haven, CT Phone: 203-937-3651

Park of a system of beaches from Bradley Point Park out to the Sandy Point Beach and Bird Sanctuary.
Hours: Beaches are open from 9 a.m.–dusk daily. Lifeguards are on duty weekends only through June 22, daily from June 23–August 17 and weekends only from August 23–September 1. Daily supervision is from 10:15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fees: Daily parking fees for non-residents is Memorial Day to Labor Day, $10 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and $5 after 4.

Captain Thomas Blvd. -- Exit 42 off I-95 West Haven, CT Phone: 203-937-3651

Small sandy beach and paved walkway; parking fee in summer

This park has a small sandy beach and a walkway parallel to Long Island Sound. Facilities include volleyball court and portable toilets. On-site parking is available. A 1.7-mile walkway for pedestrians, bicyclists and roller-bladers connects beaches from Bradley Point Park to Sandy Point, with views of the Sound most of the way.
Hours: Beaches are open from 9 a.m.–dusk daily. Lifeguards are on duty weekends only through June 22, daily from June 23–August 17 and weekends only from August 23–September 1. Daily supervision is from 10:15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fees: : Daily parking fees for non-residents is Memorial Day to Labor Day, $10 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and $5 after 4.

Route 154 Old Saybrook, CT Phone: 860-395-3152

Open Memorial Day - Labor Day; parking fee

Beachfront is 100 yards long and includes a concession stand, playground, changing rooms, bathrooms, shower tower. Lifeguards are on duty during operating hours. Open to Connecticut residents and non-residents. Managed by the town of Old Saybrook.
Parking fee: for non-residents, weekdays, $20 per car; weekends and holidays, $30 per car.

257 Atlantic Avenue Westerly, RI Phone: 401-596-9097

Ocean beach operated by the State of Rhode Island, but close to SE Connecticut; parking fees charged

Seven miles of sandy, white beach, clean, clear, water with moderate surf little undertow. Parking for 3,000 cars. Picnic area, restroom, telephone, complete wheelchair access, warning signals for blind people, fire alarm signals for deaf people.
Season & Hours: May through Memorial Day, open weekends only, weather permitting; Memorial Day through Labor Day, open daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fees: Weekday resident, $10 (senior, $5); non-resident, $20 (senior, $10). Weekend resident, $14 (senior, $7); non-resident, $28 (senior, $14). Season rate resident, $60 (senior, $30); non-resident, $120 (senior, $60).

Park Avenue and East Broadway Milford, CT Phone: 203-783-3280

The beach community puts on a summer art festival and outdoor concert series.
Fees: Fee is $5 on weekends until July 1; after July 1, the fee is charged every day, 9p a.m.-4 p.m.

Nearwater Lane, off I-95 at Exit 27 Darien, CT Phone: 203-656-7325

Beach amenities include public grills, picnic areas, tennis courts, restrooms. Reservations are required for the tennis courts.
Fees: Parking permits are required Memorial through Labor Day. Fees are resident vehicle, $40; senior residents, one free per family; non-resident taxpayer, $70; summer residents, $100; beach day pass, $40; boat launch, $45; daily boat launch, $65

1288 Boston Post Road Madison, CT Phone: 203-245-2785

Very large park on Long Island Sound offers swimming, salt water fishing, boardwalk, lots of camping sites; lifeguards on duty Wednesdays through Sundays

Two miles of beach welcome swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen at this large shoreline park on Long Island Sound.
Beach parking fees: Memorial Day-Labor Day: weekdays, $9 for Connecticut vehicles and $15 for out-of-state vehicles; weekends and holidays, $13 for CT vehicles and $22 for out-of-state; fees after 4 p.m. on all days are half the day rate. Mid-April to Memorial Day and Labor Day-October: parking is free on weekdays and in-state fees apply on weekends. Parking is free off-season.
See full description of Hammonasset Beach State Park.

880 South Benson Road, off I-95 at Exit 22 Fairfield, CT Phone:

Sandy beach on Long Island Sound; parking fee Memorial Day to Labor Day

Large sandy beach with great views of Long Island Sound. Great for families. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season and swimming lessons are offered . The property is near the South Benson Boat Marina, and the Henry Rowland Memorial Playground, which has a Sand Castle Playground and a Skate Park. Beach is wheelchair accessible. It has concession stand, bathrooms, volleyball poles and sailboat racks. Special events at the beach include watching July 4 fireworks, attending the foru-per-summer Bonfire on the Beach. Dogs allowed on the beach October 1 - March 31.
Fees: Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, a beach sticker is required to park in the lot. Vehicles without a sticker must pay to park from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fee is weekdays, $20; weekends and holidays, $50. Fees collected at the gate.

244 West Main Street (Route 156) East Lyme, CT Phone: 860-739-5471

Sandy beach in CT state park; parking fees charged; lifeguards on duty Wednesdays through Sundays

A white, sandy ocean beach is waiting at this popular park on Long Island Sound. Lots of other water sports and walks and bird watching are features of summer fun at this park.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to sunset.
Fees:Memorial Day-Labor Day: weekdays, $9 for Connecticut vehicles and $15 for out-of-state vehicles; weekends and holidays, $13 for CT vehicles and $22 for out-of-state; fees after 4 p.m. on all days are half the day rate. Mid-April to Memorial Day and Labor Day-October: parking is free on weekdays and in-state fees apply on weekends. Parking is free off-season.
See full description of Rocky Neck State Park

Silver Sands Park Road (Exit 35 off I-95) Milford, CT Phone: 203-735-4311

Saltwater swimming and fishing; free admission; lifeguards on duty Wednesdays through Saturdays

Swimming and fishing (saltwater) are allowed at this park, which features Charles Island, legendary location of Captain Kidd's buried treasure. Admission is free.
Season & Hours: All year, daily, 8 a.m.-sunset Park map.

Clinton Town Beach

Waterside Lane Clinton, CT Phone: 860-669-6901

Open: Memorial Day - Labor Day, 9 am - 5 pm daily

This is a sandy beach facing the entrance to Clinton Harbor with views of Long Island Sound. Enjoy the beach at high tide, and walk out to the sand bars in Clinton Harbor at low tide. There is a car-top boat access area for sea-kayaks and car-top boats, and a walkway for fishing off an old stone bridge that crosses the Hammock River at the entrance. In season, sanitary facilities and a food concession are open to the public. A pavilion is available for picnic lunches as well as a viewing platform with interpretive signs to enjoy wildlife in adjacent tidal marshes. Lifeguards on duty during daytime hours.
Cost: Residents may purchase a seasonal beach pass for $20. Non-residents must pay a $25 per day parking fee.

Off I-95 at Exit 18 Westport, CT Phone: 203-226-6983

Swimming and fishing beach a short drive from New York; rocky beach has sharp stones; footwear needed; lifeguards on duty Wednesdays through Sundays

State park features a sandy beach, fishing areas, food concession, bathhouse, and swimming areas. Have a leisurely lunch in the picnic grove, swim in Long Island sound, or view marsh life from the observation platform. Because of the sharp rocks and shells at West Beach, visitors are urged to wear beach shoes. East Beach, which has lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Surf and shore fishing are allowed outside of swimming areas.
Park fees: Weekends, $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents. Weekday fees are $14 and $20. Fee is $10 after 4 p.m.

Dorne Drive Stratford, CT Phone:

Short Beach is located adjacent to the mouth of the Housatonic River, and it provides recreation for citizens of all ages. The northernmost section provides handicapped access to the beach as well as least tern and piping plover nesting areas. Fisherman also use the marine basin to fish for snapper bluefish during the summer months. Farther south on the beach are picnic areas, a calisthenics course, a playground, and a sandbox. A concession stand/shower is located on the beach.

Seaside Park Beach

Barnum Dyke, Off I-95 at Exit 27 Bridgeport, CT Phone: 203-576-7233

Open: Memorial Day - Labor Day

Beach with a picnic area, food concession, bathhouse and restrooms.
Fees: Day passes are $20 for vehicles with Connecticut registration and $40 for cars with out-of-state registration. Annual passes are $10 for CT registered vehicle and $100 for non-resident vehicles. Learn more.

Calf Pasture Beach

Calf Pasture Beach Road, off I-95 at Exit 16 Norwalk, CT Phone: 203-854-7806

Open May to October, daily. Parking fee charged

Part of Norwalk Harbor, this beach and recreation area is open for swimming, boating, fishing from a pier, and clam digging. Playing fields for volleyball, bocce, basketball, softball. There is a skate board park. Many tree-shaded picnic tables; the picnic areas at Shady Beach -- which is just a bit east from Calf Pasture Beach -- have grills. Food concessions are open in the summer.
Season & Hours: May to October, daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Parking fee: Free for Norwalk residents who have obtained a pass. Non-residents: $25 a day on weekdays; $30 a day on weekends; $10 after 5 p.m.

Beach Street West Haven, CT Phone: 203-937-3651

The tip of a stretch of beach front from Bradley Point Park. Near the Sandy Point estuary, one of the sites featured on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail.
Hours: Beaches are open from 9 a.m.–dusk daily. Lifeguards are on duty weekends only through June 22, daily from June 23–August 17 and weekends only from August 23–September 1. Daily supervision is from 10:15 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fees: Daily parking fees for non-residents is Memorial Day to Labor Day, $10 from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and $5 after 4 p.m.