6 Family Beaches in Connecticut


Jennings Beach credit: Katherine Hooper Photography

If you are in the northeast and plan to visit Connecticut’s beaches this summer, I’ve got a handy little guide below of where to build your next sandcastle. Fairfield County is filled with seaside towns with hotels of various price points and public beaches. I am not originally from Connecticut, so I always get overwhelmed when I try to map out what my family’s options are. This list includes six beaches that are great for families and are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. If you need some hotel suggestions, go here.

Stratford Beaches:

Short Beach Park
Dorne Drive
Stratford, CT
Parking: $20 per car

  •  Playground right on the sand
  •  Food concession and restrooms
  • Free skate park
  • Sports: tennis courts, basketball courts, mini-golf
    The daily parking fee is only $20 per car

Long Beach
Oak Bluff, off I-95 at Exit 30N/31S
Stratford, CT Parking
$20 per car

  • Quiet, a nice basic beach without a lot of people
  • No restrooms or food concessions, so bring your own picnic and coolers
  • Nice for teens who want to feel like they own their own slice of the sea
    The daily parking fee is $20 per car


Bridgeport Beaches:
Pleasure Beach
Bridgeport, CT
Phone: 203-576-7233
Parking: Free

  • No direct car access
  • Take a free water taxi from the pier at the end of Central Avenue

Seaside Park Beach
Barnum Dyke, Off I-95 at Exit 27
Bridgeport, CT
Phone: 203-576-7233
Parking: $20

  • Picnic area
  • Concession stand and restrooms
  • Ball fields and playground


Fairfield Beaches:
Jennings Beach
South Benson Road, off I-95 at Exit 22
Fairfield, CT
Parking: $20 weekdays, $50 weekends

  • Largest of Fairfield’s six beaches
  • Playground
  • Food concession and restrooms and food concession
  • Shares a parking lot with the Henry Rowland Memorial Playground, home of the “Sand Castle Playground” and the newly built Skate Park
  •  Watch sailboats drift by from the nearby marina


Sherwood Island State Park
Sherwood Island Connector
Westport, CT
Phone: 203-226-6983
Parking: Call to confirm fee

  • Sherwood Island offers miles of beaches for swimming
  • Terrain is rocky, so water shoes will make you more comfortable in the ocean
  • Picnic areas, restroom/shower facilities, too
  • Nearby Nature Center It’s a popular spot in the summer with tourists from all over, so get there early


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