The shoreline of Connecticut is along the Long Island Sound, sheltered by New York’s Long Island. Here you’ll find calmer waters and smaller waves, making for ideal beaches for families to visit. Some of the best beaches in the state include Ocean Beach Park, Sound View Beach, and Silver Sands State Park.
In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best beaches in Connecticut for families, whether you are looking for one with all of the amenities or a more remote location.
Ocean Beach Park
This beach in New London has just about everything you could want in a beach. The shoreline stretches for half a mile and features soft sand that is perfect for making castles. There are change rooms and lockers available as well as picnic spots to enjoy your lunch. If you don’t want to swim at the beach, you can try the pool or the splash pad.
A restaurant, snack bar, and ice cream shop are available for all of your food needs. You’ll find amusement park rides, an arcade, waterslides, and mini golf. There is often entertainment happening as well including magicians, dances, and car shows. Hikers will enjoy checking out the trails around the park.
Calf Pasture Beach
Located in Norwalk, this beach stretches for almost a mile. Explore the waters by renting a kayak or sailboat or just enjoy swimming here. Children will love the playground and splash pad, while teens can ride at the skate park or try out beach volleyball. There are trails if you want to go for a stroll as well.
When the sun gets too hot, find a shady picnic area and use one of the grills available to cook your lunch. Looking for something already made? Check out the snack bar or restaurant and be sure to grab some ice cream! Many summer evenings feature music or car shows at the beach.
This beach in Old Saybrook features shallow, calm water, making it ideal for young children and beginner swimmers. The soft, white sand is perfect for a stroll while you take in the beautiful views. If you’re visiting in the evening, you may catch one of the beach’s movie nights in the summer.
Lifeguards are present at the beach and there are restrooms as well as foot showers available. Kids can play at the playground and the whole family will enjoy grabbing some food from the snack bar and enjoying it at one of the picnic areas.
Silver Sands State Park
Families looking for adventure will want to make a trip to Silver Sands State Park. Here you can walk along the sandbars to cross over to Charles Island. Legend has it that there is buried treasure there! Since the island is a protected area for seabirds, it is only open to visitors from mid-September until the end of April.
The beach, however, is open all year. Enjoy strolling along the half-mile stretch of coastline as you search for seashells in the sand and water. There is also a wooden boardwalk that you can follow through the park. Stick around in the evenings to see a gorgeous sunset here.
Clinton Town Beach
This family-friendly beach is a great choice for residents of Connecticut–those from out of state pay a hefty fee to visit. Locals can enjoy this well-maintained, clean beach that has plenty of picnic spots and hiking trails to explore.
When the tide is high, this beach in Clinton is great for swimming and during low tide, you can walk along the sandbars. Children will enjoy the splash pad and playground while teens can play volleyball or basketball here.
This beach in Madison is a nature lover’s paradise. The coastline stretches for two miles, offering lots of space to relax in the sand or swim in the water. It’s a great spot for hiking, fishing, and even scuba diving!
Bikes are available for rent here if you wish to explore the area and there is a snack bar for when you get hungry. Take the kids to the Meigs Point Nature Center when they’ve had enough sun. They will enjoy learning about some of the local creatures like turtles, frogs, birds, and butterflies.
Rocky Neck State Park Beach
This clean and spacious beach is a nice spot for families to visit. The water is warm and calm, with little to no waves here. The beach features soft, white sand as well as a boardwalk to stroll along.
Lifeguards are present at the beach and there are restrooms and showers available. Grab a bite to eat from the snack bar and enjoy your lunch at one of the picnic tables, while taking in the stunning views of the water.
Sound View Beach
This lovely beach in Old Lyme is a must-see for families. Enjoy swimming and playing in the sand at the beach while keeping an eye out for the many birds that fly and nest in this area. There are no pets allowed on the beach but you will often find evening entertainment like music and movies.
Visit The Carousel Shop for a trip back in time. Here you will find an antique carousel that the family can enjoy a ride on, as well as all sorts of treats like ice cream and candies. For something more substantial, visit one of the nearby restaurants for lunch.
Located in Fairfield, this beach is ideal for Connecticut residents. Out-of-state visitors will want to check out this beach before Memorial Day to avoid the high parking fees. It is a great spot near the harbor to watch the sailboats go by. The water is clean and clear and there are plenty of seashells to be found.
Lifeguards are present at this beach and you can even arrange swimming lessons for your children here. Kids will enjoy the volleyball courts, playground, and skate park. Restrooms are available and there is a snack bar for refreshments.