6 Top-Rated Beaches in Connecticut (2023)
Connecticut, also known as The Nutmeg State, is a tiny state in the northeastern part of the United States, in the New England region. Connecticut is typically considered to be a part of the ‘Tristate area’ with New York and New Jersey because it is so close to both. This beautiful state is known for its fantastic landscape, rich history, rustic beauty, and the famous Yale University.
Stretching for over 330 miles along the beautiful Long Island Sound, the coast of Connecticut is full of stunning white sandy beaches. Even though the laid-back beaches of Connecticut are not as famous as other New England beach destinations, but these beaches are known for their pristine settings, family-friendly amenities, and beautiful scenery that have made them a popular choice for a beach vacation.
6 Top-Rated Beaches in Connecticut
Here are some of the top-rated beaches in Connecticut that one must visit when visiting this beautiful state.
1. Calf Pasture Beach
Located in Norwalk, the Calf Pasture Beach gets its name from the rich history of the city going back to the 17th century when the surrounding land near the beach was used as a grazing land for cows. Calf Pasture is one of the famous beaches in Connecticut. It also has a park, and it can be conveniently reached by road. You can also reach it by the metro and bus.
The area of the beach includes a shaded playground, a fishing pier, a small boat ramp, a restaurant, and many sports facilities, including a skateboarding park, a baseball ground, and sand volleyball courts with night lighting. You can also rent kayaks and sailboats from the in-house Norwalk Sailing School located near the beach. The Calf Pasture Beach is especially famous for the 4th of July Norwalk celebrations that are held here every year.
2. Clinton Town Beach
Another very popular beach destination in Connecticut is the Clinton Town Beach. Clinton Town Beach is the best beach for sunbathing and swimming, especially during high tide. During low tide, beachgoers can enjoy walk-outs to the sandbars to have a unique experience. The beach is also home to a designated dog-walking trail, as the rest of the beach is prohibited from canines.
This beach is also referred to as the Town Beach, and you can access this beach with a Beach Pass only in the summertime. These passes can be purchased at the gatekeeping counter. For non-residential beachgoers, there is a parking fee that has to be paid to access the beach.
There are many amenities here, including a separate picnic area with picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, numerous snack bars, a walking trail, and sports corners like a bocce court, basketball court, volleyball court, and a splash pad.
3. Ocean Beach Park
Ocean Beach Park has been voted as one of the best beaches in Connecticut by National Geographic. This beach is an all-in-one recreational destination for visitors from all over the country. The Ocean Beach Park is an all-white beach with a 50-meter-long freshwater swimming pool, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a video game arcade, a fully functional food court, a separate section for joy rides, and carousels, all rolled in one 50 acre entertainment park.
The beach also hosts special events such as movie screenings for children, live magic shows, Class Car Cruises, and many others. The Nature Walk that is located in the Ocean Beach Park is one of the best bird-watching pavilions in the state. The Ocean Beach Park remains open every year from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
4. Hammonasset Beach State Park
Located in Madison, the Hammonasset Beach State Park is not your average day in the park kind of beach experience. Having over a two-mile-long shoreline, Hammonasset is the biggest coastline iN Connecticut, and it attracts over one million visitors every year.
There are many recreational activities to take part in here at this beautiful beach, including sunbathing, swimming, or just enjoying a walk on the boardwalk. There is a hiking trail that takes you around the beach area, and you can even enjoy fishing here.
The Hammonasset Beach State Park is a popular spot for campers, and there are over 500 electric and primitive camping sites.
5. Harvey’s Beach
Harvey’s Beach is one of the most amazing beaches in Connecticut. Nestled in Old Saybrook, Harvey’s Beach has a 100 yeard long shoreline, and it is very popular for its beautiful white sand and magnificent sunsets. It has a stunning coastline, public restrooms, a kid’s playground, a concession stand, shower facilities, and also offers activities like kite lessons and beach yoga, but only during the summer season.
Harvey’s Beach is popular for swimming, building sandcastles, beachcombing, and paddling.
You will find lifeguards on due on-site here during the summer season, and there are the conventional conveniences available on the beach, including a restroom and bathhouse with an outdoor foot rinsing station. There are picnic tables and a concession booth, along with a beach playground.
There are also summer movie nights that are organized here by the local recreation department.
Near to this beautiful beach are some local attractions, including the General William Hart House and Museum, the Fort Saybrook Monument Park, and the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. You can also take boat tours and charters off the coast.
6. Compo Beach
Compo Beach is part of a 29-acre park that borders the Saugatuck River and faces Long Island Sound. Lifeguards are on duty here from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 10 am to 6 pm, during which time there is a parking fee that you have to pay. This also serves as the entrance fee. Lockers and bathrooms are available to use, and there is a well-stocked concession stand at the beach.
The beach is home to both a pavilion and a boardwalk, along with many recreational facilities, which include two lighted basketball courts, two beach volleyball courts, and a softball field. Families with young children will definitely like this beach as older kids can also spend time at the skate park and use the open skate areas.
While there are no beachfront hotels on the Compo Beach, the Delamar Southport is just a short drive away, and it is located close to the Southport Train Station.