No matter where you are in Connecticut, you’re most likely within an hour’s drive of the beach! From white sugar sand beaches to ones with entertainment and welcoming beach communities, Connecticut has a great selection of beaches for all tastes. Choose a beach resort or book a cozy vacation rental in Connecticut because summer is here and we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best beaches in Connecticut!

1. Ocean Beach Park

ocean beach park
Source: Flickr/Jordan Meeter

Ocean Beach has it all! The large, smooth beach grants direct access to Long Island Sound and if sand, the sun, and ocean waves aren’t enough for your family, Ocean Beach Park also offers a ton of amenities. With an Olympic-size pool, mini-golf, food court, snack stands, game room, gift shop, splash pad, playground, waterslide and more, you won’t know where to start! There are also special events like Classic Car Cruises on Mondays, kids movies on the beach on Tuesdays, live magic on Wednesdays, a Sock Hop on Thursdays and live music on Fridays.

Find vacation rentals near Ocean Beach Park

2. Rocky Neck State Beach

beach brambles
Source: Flickr/Jay McAnally

This popular beach is just an hour from Hartford and offers something for everyone. Not only is there a wide sandy beach, but there are also trails for hiking, a stone jetty for fishing blackfish or flounder and more. In addition to vacation rentals, there are also 160 wooded and open campsites available. Keep in mind that this beach fills up quickly during the summer months, so get here early!

Find vacation rentals near Rocky Neck State Beach

3. Harvey’s Beach

sunset harveys beach
Source: Flickr/Jim Sugrue

The sand seems to go on and on at Harvey’s Beach. Tucked away in Old Saybrook, this beach is perfect for combing for seashells, building sand castles, and wading in the cool waters of the Long Island Sound. The crowds tend to be smaller here so come here for a little peace and quiet, and try to schedule your visit during low tide for maximum beach frontage! Then, head into town for some lunch.

Find vacation rentals in Old Saybrook

4. Clinton Town Beach

east coast beach

This sandy beach facing the entrance to Clinton Harbor offers fantastic views of Long Island Sound. Enjoy the beach at high tide, or if you wait for low tide, you can walk out to the sand bars in Clinton Harbor. There’s also 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, so there are plenty of ways to enjoy the water at Clinton Town Beach.

Find vacation rentals near Clinton Town Beach

5. Silver Sands State Park

silver sands park
Source: Flickr/jpellgen

“Yankee Magazine” recently named Silver Sands State Park one of the Top 10 beaches in New England. Thanks to its somewhat remote location on the southern edge of Milford, you’ll get a much less crowded experience than other beaches in Connecticut. The calm waters make this beach perfect for families, but the most exciting feature is Charles Island. Local legend says that Captain Kidd buried treasure there in 1699, and treasure hunters come from around the world to test their luck.

Find vacation rentals near Silver Sands State Park

6. Esker Point Park Beach

groton long point
Source: Flickr/John.U

Right in the middle of Stonington and Mystic is Esker Point Park, which offers fantastic views of the Sound as well as Mouse Island. This man-made beach is about 600 feet long and is perfect for swimming or having a picnic under a grove of shade trees. Plan your trip around one of the legendary summer concerts or simply grab a bite to eat at the concession stand.

Find vacation rentals near Esker Point Park Beach

7. Hammonasset Beach State Park

beach

With two miles of beach, Hammonasset Beach State Park near Madison Center has the largest shoreline of any beach area in the state. That means more swimming, sunbathing and fishing for you! If that doesn’t sound interesting, how about the walking and bicycling trails or the Meigs Point Nature Center that offers tours and programs for all ages?

Find vacation rentals near Hammonasset Beach State Park

8. Sherwood Island State Park

sherwood island
Source: Flickr/Mark Crawley

A little further east on the coast near Westport is Sherwood Island State Park. This is Connecticut’s first state park and still one of its finest. It’s perfect for having a leisurely lunch in the picnic grove, swimming in Long Island Sound, or viewing marsh life from the observation platform. The Nature Center offers a wide variety of displays and exhibits for any young naturalists curious about plant and animal life. There are also swimming and fishing areas, food concessions and showers.

Find vacation rentals near Sherwood Island State Park

9. McCook Point Beach

mccook point beach
Source: Flickr/Jay McAnally

Just a bit down the road from Rocky Neck and overlooking Niantic Bay, McCook Point Beach is small but a local among East Lyme locals. Keep an eye out because this beach is known for seal sightings in the distance. The park also consists of a beautiful bluff between two, white sandy beaches, a green lawn shaded by copper beeches, a large playground and events all summer long.

Find vacation rentals near McCook Point Beach