Before summer slips away for good, it’s time to take advantage of our extensive shoreline and hit the beach. Whether you want a family-friendly locale or a nature lover’s paradise, there is something for everyone in Connecticut. One of these nine beach day trips is sure to fit the bill when you need a late summer day-cation.
1. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk
This seaside spot in Norwalk is buckets of fun for the whole family. Not only can you lounge on the sand and swim in the waves but a beachside splash pad gives you a fun break from the Sound. There is also a playground, volleyball courts, skate park, and plenty of open space. Stay until after the sun goes down for movie nights, classic car shows, and other seasonal events. Visit Calf Pasture Beach on Calf Pasture Beach Rd., Norwalk, CT 06851.
2. Eastern Point Beach, Groton
This small family-friendly beach at the mouth of the Thames River is great for younger kids. Shallow water provides plenty of entertainment. Picnic tables and a playground are other bonuses that make this spot a gem of a find. Spend the day with a picnic lunch or grab a bite at the concession stand to make your trip complete. Visit Eastern Point Beach at 1 Beach Pond Rd., Groton, CT 06340.
3. Cove Island Beach, Stamford
Visit Cove Island Beach for its sandy shores on the Long Island Sound. This 83-acre park has plenty of open space with paved paths for walking and rollerblading. A fitness park and playground will keep you entertained when you tire of the beach. Nature lovers can sight local birds hanging around the small tidal salt marsh while some rocky shore offers anglers a spot to try to catch the big one. Visit Cove Island Park at 363 Weed Ave., Stamford, CT 06902.
4. Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
Hammonasset is Connecticut's largest beach with two miles of shoreline to use for the day. Wander down to Meig's Point to visit the nature center, hunt for seashells, or walk the fishing jetty. There is also plenty of rocky coastline to explore where you may just spot a seal in the distance if the timing is right. You can camp overnight in the campground, but book early, spots fill up quickly at this popular shoreline spot. Enjoy Hammonasset Beach State Park at 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT 06443.
5. Hole In The Wall Beach, Niantic
Hole In The Wall Beach is reached by walking through a tunnel to experience one of the best beach day trips. The small sandy beach is in a cove making it popular among families with smaller children. The entrance to the Niantic Bay Boardwalk is right next to the beach where you can enjoy a nice stroll with panoramic views. Find the beach at 4 Baptist Ln., Niantic, CT 06357.
6. Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
Plenty of amenities and the beautiful scenery make it easy to spend the day at Connecticut's oldest state park. Enjoy splashing in the water and relaxing in the sand, but stop by the nature center for an added bonus. Don't forget your camera, there are many stunning photos waiting to be taken. Take in a day on the beach at Sherwood Island State Park on the Sherwood Island Connector, Westport, CT 06880.
7. Ocean Beach Park, New London
If your goal is to find an action-packed location that will keep the family busy for hours, Ocean Beach Park has it all. Sugar white sand and rolling waves are draws to the beach, but the Olympic-sized pool with ocean views is pretty amazing too. On top of it, the park has a boardwalk, arcade, splash pad, water slides, amusement rides, and much more. Find this amazing beachfront park at 98 Neptune Ave., New London, CT 06320.
8. Silver Sands State Park, Milford
Silver Sands Beach is a welcome oasis on the shoreline. Frolic in the surf or enjoy relaxing with a good book. Take a stroll on the wooden boardwalk to enjoy the scenery. Time your visit right and you can walk the sandbar out to Charles Island where you might stumble upon a pirate's buried treasure. Explore this coastal beach at 1 Silver Sands Pkwy., Milford, CT 06460.
9. Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme
Rocky Neck State Park combines a sandy beachfront with plenty of nature. Explore the plentiful hiking trails and then take a refreshing swim. Pack a picnic and take advantage of the green expanse of lawn for a lunchtime break. This state park also offers overnight camping so you can make a mini-vacation out of it. Find the beach at 244 West Main St., East Lyme, CT 06357.
Which of these beach day trips appeal to your sense of adventure? If you want to get off the shore and onto the water, check out this
self-driven boat experience.