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By Anne Frewen

One of the pleasures of living on the gorgeous Gold Coast is having the freedom to pop down to the shore for a quick walk in the sea air.  Most towns along the coast are less than a 15 minute drive to one of Connecticut’s beautiful beaches and, because the majority of beaches are permit only during the season, they are far less crowded than others in the NY Metro area.  With such accessibility, it’s no wonder that us Nutmeggers find ourselves at the beach throughout the year. Whether it’s a quick picnic of sweet lobster rolls on a summer Friday, a walk with the dog during the winter, a trip to one of the many playgrounds within beach grounds, or a full summer’s day of soaking in the rays, there always seems to be a reason to go.  

Below are some of my favorite spots along the coast and a few reasons why.  This list is just an inkling of what you’ll find along our shores….Please visit for more information and updated fees and parking pass information.


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Calf Pasture Beach:  views of the lighthouse, playground with splash pad, some cute food options, and even miniature golf!

Visit Sheffield Island Lighthouse via the Seaport ferry in the heart of SoNo.  Bring your own picnic and enjoy the lighthouse tour.

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Compo Beach:  the main Westport beach.  This beach has food options, a well-equipped playground with a separate toddler section, two shaded areas of picnic tables, and a nice long sidewalk that borders the shore.  

Burying Hill Beach:  quieter than Compo but still has restrooms and picnic tables

Did you know that Westport also has a town pool, golf course and tennis courts?  Longshore is next to Compo and is a major perk of being a Westport town resident.  Don’t miss Pearl at Longshore for a relaxing outdoor cocktail overlooking the sound.  What better way to unwind after that hard day at the beach?

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Sherwood Island

This state park lies within the town limits of Westport.  It’s large with lots of parking but can get crowded on summer weekends as it’s the only beach in the area that doesn’t require a permit.  Going on a weekday or on the off season means you have almost the whole place to yourself.


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With 5 town beaches and a lake Fairfield does not lack for options.

Penfield Beach:  This beach has a nice pavilion area with a café that has everything from smoothies and sandwiches to wraps and salads.  It also has a newer playground and shaded picnic tables.

Southport Beach:  Conveniently located on Pequot Avenue, this is a great beach for a quick trip.  Put your feet in the water or eat at one of their tables and in ten minutes you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day!


With the mild winter we’ve had the next beach day is only around the corner.  Get out there and keep exploring. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!


Photo Credits:

Sheffield Light House—

Compo Beach—

Sherwood Island—

Penfield Beach—

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