Memorial Day Weekend marks the opening of many public beaches in Connecticut. Here’s a few of Connecticut’s best public sandy venues where you can get some sun and a cool dip in the water.

Rocky Neck State Beach

Route 156
East Lyme, CT 06333
(860) 739-5471 ‎

Less than an hour from Hartford, Rocky Neck’s is one of Conencticut’s most popular and larger state park’s with something for everyone. There’s a wide sand beach and large stone pavilion, along with a diverse trail system that provides interesting walks for viewing wildlife. If you want to spend a weekend, there’s family camping at Rocky Neck, available at 160 wooded and open campsites. Saltwater fishing for mackerel, striped bass, blackfish and flounder from the beach and a stone jetty. Moreover, there’s a newly-constructed crabbing and wheel-chair accessible fishing pier located just off the main access road where it crosses Bride Brook and provides additional water access. It has full bath and shower facilities. Camping reservations are required during the summer. Lifeguards not at all stations. There is a fee to get in.

Hammonasset Beach State Park

Boston Post Road (Route 1)
Madison, CT 06443
(203) 245-2785

Not too far south of Hartford, Hammonasset Beach State Park is not you average day at the beach. It’s Connecticut’s largest shoreline park, offering over two miles of beach on Long Island Sound to enjoy swimming, strolling along almost a mile-long boardwalk, or just relaxing in the sun and surf. Like Rocky Neck, there’s a camping and fishing areas. A nice pavilion rests right on the shore, so if you need a break from the sun and want to grab a quick lunch or a snack, head on up there.

Sherwood Island State Park

1 Sherwood Island Road
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 226-6983

This Southwestern Connecticut state park features a sandy beach, as well as fishing areas, food concession, bathhouse and swimming areas. Have a leisurely lunch in the picnic grove, swim in Long Island sound, or view marsh life from the observation platform. Because of the sharp rocks and shells at West Beach, swimmers are urged to use East Beach, which has lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. There’s also a newer Nature Center open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Surf and shore fishing are allowed outside of swimming areas. Fees vary.

Calf Pasture Beach

Calf Pasture Beach Road
Norwalk, CT 06851
(203) 854-7806

A 33 acre beach provides one of Connecticut’s largest areas. Beyond the sea and the surf, other features include a miniature golf course, fishing area, softball fields, volleyball courts, sailboat/windsurf/kayak rentals, picnic areas, facilities as well as nature viewing areas. An added benefit to visitors is that they may either park at the Beach parking lot for a fee or park a half mile up Calf Pasture Beach Road at the Marvin Elementary School during the summer season for free and walk to Calf Pasture Beach.