Doris Knows – Life’s a Beach
Life’s a beach! At least for part of the time here in CT. I was asked once whether I liked the mountains or the water more. Back then, I wasn’t exactly sure, but as I’ve gotten older, water won out. I should have guessed that! My parents and siblings were born on an island . . . Cuba and I was born and raised on an island, Manhattan.
My parents loved the beach. When they were dating, they would go to a little beach called Guanabo which is in a suburb of Havana. They shared many happy memories there and it was a special spot for them. When my mom saw Compo she beamed, “This reminds me of the beach  Papi and I used to go to”. Growing up in Manhattan, I remember driving to South Beach; back then it was just known as Miami. We would spend a week or two playing in the sand, swimming and walking the main drag. Closer to home we would go to our summer house on Long Beach Island, NJ and when we no longer had it, to Sandy Hook, NJ .
My love affair with the beach continues as an adult. Before moving to CT, Gil and I would come up from New York City on weekends to go to Compo Beach. Now that we live in CT, I’ve gotten to know many of the beaches in the areas. I love seeing how people take advantage of them. Playing beach volley ball, making sand castles, frolicking in the water, swimming long distances, walking the length of the beach, reading, eating a dripping ice cream or sharing some fries, sunbathing or having dinner and drinks in the evening–some quite elaborate and some intimate.

Here are some of the surrounding beaches in the area! Make the most of the warm August water and enjoy our beaches.

 

Unroll your towel and get ready to lounge.

 

 

Darien

Daily parking permits may be purchased for $40. Parking lots are available to all beach-goers, regardless of residency.

 

Weed Beach Park 

This 22 acre park’s activities include sailing lessons, swimming, sunbathing, picnic areas, 6 tennis courts, 5 paddle tennis courts, children’s play area, bathhouse, concession stand, and fishing.

155 Nearwater Lane in Darien, CT 06820.

 

Pear Tree Point Beach

Amenities include bathing area, handicap accessible picnic area with picnic tables and grills, a beautiful gazebo overlooking the sound, a bathhouse, concession stand, a boat launch ramp, and two beautiful beaches in this 8 acre park.

90 Pear Tree Point Road in Darien, CT 06820.

 

 

Fairfield

Daily Parking is only available at these two of Fairfield’s 6 town beaches: $20 weekdays and $50 weekends and holidays. (Residents may purchase a beach sticker for the season for access to all 6 beaches.) Lifeguards are on duty 10AM – 6PM during the summer. Open 6AM – 11PM.

 

Jennings Beach

The biggest beach in Fairfield is 27 acres located right next to the South Benson Boat Marina. The sloping sandy beach has a rock jetty perfect for kids hunting crabs and carry-in boat access at one end. There’s a large concession stand, bathroom facilities, volleyball poles and sailboat/kayak racks. On the inland side of the parking lot is the much loved “Sand Castle Playground”. The skate park on the marina side will inspire your inner Tony Hawk.

880 South Benson Road in Fairfield, CT 06824 (203) 256-3144.

 

Penfield Beach

Much smaller at 3.5 acres this beach is at it’s best at low tide when tidal pools abound. You can also launch your sailboat, canoe or kayak at the far end of the beach. Unfortunately the Penfield Pavilion, which houses a snack bar, bathrooms and expansive party space, is still under construction and repair after Super Storm Sandy and subsequent hurricanes.

323 Fairfield Beach Road in Fairfield, CT 06824 (203) 256-3010.

 

 

Greenwich

 

Greenwich

Non-residents pay to park May 1 – October 31.

Find out if the beaches are open or closed to swimming.

Lifeguards are on duty during the summer from 10AM -  6PM.

 

Greenwich Point Park

Activities include jogging, walking, cycling, nature study, boating, fishing, sail boarding, sun bathing, swimming, and picnicking. It also boasts 2 seasonal shell-fishing areas with permit.

Open from 6AM – Sunset.

Tods Driftway near Shore Road in Greenwich, CT 06830.

 

Byram Beach/Pool

The Byram Beach has the only public pool in town, situated at the water’s edge. Unfortunately the pool is closed for the 2016 season. Bathhouses are accessible from both the beach and pool. The Park also has lighted tennis courts and the only lighted ball field in Greenwich.

Open 8AM – 8PM.

281 Byram Shore Road in Greenwich, CT 06830.

 

Great Captain’s Island & Island Beach

1.5 miles from the mainland. In the summer there is Ferry Service (schedule varies according to the tides) from the landing at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park off Arch Street in central Greenwich. Parking is available across Arch Street. On the island there are 2 areas to visit: a conservation area for the island habitat, and an active recreation area that includes a beach area, boat mooring, shelter and restrooms and changing rooms. Public bathing and camping are permitted through the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Dept. (requires permit)

Open Friday thru Monday from mid-June to Labor Day.

Ferry is at 100 Arch Street in Greenwich, CT 06830.

 

 

Norwalk

The nonresident parking fee is $25/car on weekdays before 5 PM, $30/car on weekends before 5PM, and $10 after 5PM. Residents may download a season pass from the Parks & Rec website. Non-residents of “land-locked” towns may buy a $175/year Season Pass at the Parks & Rec office.

 

Calf Pasture Beach 

Activities include boat launch ramps, boat rentals, concession stand, lifeguards, picnic areas, skate park, and volleyball courts. To avoid the parking fee you can park free a 1/2 mile up the road at Marvin Elementary School and walk in.

99 Calf Pasture Beach Road in Norwalk, CT.

 

 

Stamford

From May 30th – September 5th there are non-resident daily parking fees– pay at the gate.

 

Cove Island

Activities & Amenities include a 1 mile jogging, walking and cycling loop, children’s play area, kite flying, snack bar and bathrooms. You can picnic or BBQ on the grassy lawn near the beach or grab a spot on the beach by the (small wave) surf. It’s a little rocky so surf shoes for the kids would be a good idea. Restrooms.

Open 9AM – 7PM.

Directions

 

Cummings Park

This 79 acre park has a large soccer field, 4 baseball fields, basketball, handball and tennis courts, a public marina/boat launch, boardwalk and fishing pier. Plus Restrooms and a Snack Bar.

Open 10AM – 5PM.

Directions

 

 

Westport

Burying Hill Beach

Activities at this quiet beach include picnicking, grilling, fishing, crabbing, tidal pool exploring, swimming, plus bathrooms and changing facilities. Lifeguards are on duty 10AM – 6PM during the summer.

CT non-resident Daily Parking Fee is $20 weekdays and $25 weekends and holidays.

Open 5AM – 10PM.

Burying Hill Road and Beachside Avenue in Westport, CT 06880.

 

Compo Beach and Marina

This large 29 acre park and marina has concession stand, pavilion, bathhouses with lockers, and picnic areas including grills plus a huge wooden playground, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, open skate areas, and a softball field. Permits are required for the marina and boat launch area. Lifeguards are on duty 10AM – 6PM during the summer.

CT non-resident Daily Parking Fee is $30 weekdays and $50 weekends and holidays.

Open 4AM – 10PM.

60 Compo Beach Road in Westport, CT 06880.

 

Sherwood Island State Park

Activities & Amenities include fishing, swimming, nature trails, food concession, picnic shelter, picnic tables, showers, and bathrooms. Surf shoes are a very good idea because of the sharp shells on this rocky beach.

Season passes or daily parking fees apply.

Exit 18 off Rt 95 to the Sherwood Island Connector in Westport, CT 06880.

 

 

A little farther down the road is one of my favorites. . .

 

Hammonasset Beach State Park

With over 2 miles of smooth white sand this is the biggest beach in Connecticut. If you have active children they will love this beach and all it’s activities, like beach volleyball, rollerblading or biking on the paved trails or take it off road on their mountain biking trails.

Activities & Amenities include swimming, bicycling, picnicking (tables and shelters- that you can rent in advance), camping, carry-in boating, fishing, nature center programs, concessions, boardwalk, bathrooms, and showers.

Entrance Fee on weekends only in April, May and September $13 and all days from Memorial Day – Labor Day, Weekends $13 or $6 after 4PM (CT resident) and Weekdays $9 or $6 after 4PM (CT resident) and Camping $20/night + fees on 550 grassy campsites or $70/night rustic cabin + fees (CT resident).

Open 8AM – 8PM.

1288 Boston Post Road in Madison, CT (203) 245-2785.

 

 

 

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47 Riverside Avenue Westport, CT

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