When it comes to soaking in those glorious golden rays of sun, Connecticut residents and visitors don’t have far to travel to find some of the best places to spread out a blanket for a good tan. With summer sun at high noon, the privacy of a backyard might be a great place to sunbathe. However, there are many other places in this state where people flock to take advantage of sun reflecting on water and drawing the best possible conditions for sunbathing. The Connecticut coastline is rich with seaside beaches, but its many lakes, riversides, ponds, and town pools also offer sunny opportunities. Enjoy the sun, be smart about it and use sunscreen to be safe from the sun’s powerful rays.

Silver Sands State Park
Silver Sands Park Way
Milford, CT 06460
(860) 424-3200

Sunbathers can soak up more than rays when they visit Silver Sands State Park in Milford. Here is a beach with sand and surf, where sunbathers spread out their blankets and let the sunshine penetrate throughout body and mind. Find a quiet spot and drift away on the history of this beach that connects to Charles Island where Captain Kidd is said to have buried his treasure in 1699. While the island holds its fair share of secrets, sunbathers will be glad to know that there are 297 acres of beach, a boardwalk, picnic area and portable toilets. Fees apply and season passes are available.

Related: Top Tourist Attractions In Connecticut Worth The Hype

Fairfield Beaches
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 256-3191

Fairfield beaches are some of Connecticut’s most popular places for sunbathing. With miles of sandy beaches, it’s easy to find a private spot to spread out a blanket and soak in the sun. High noon is the best possible time for sun tanning and with the water just a few steps away, it’s easy to cool off in the waves. A word to the wise is to note that the water reflects the sun and it’s just as easy to burn as it is to cool off. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen.

Lake Lillinonah
199 Main St. S.
Bridgewater, CT 06752
(203) 364-4002

Don’t be surprised to find sunbathers stretched out on the bow of their boats on Lake Lillinonah. This is the second largest lake in Connecticut and it has as many sunny spots. Being out on a boat is a great way to tan because the only interference between the sun and its reflection on the water is you. There’s always a breeze on the lake, so it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that the tan isn’t happening. But oh, what a mistake that can be. There is also a public boat launch.

Sherwood Island State Park
Route 1 – Sherwood Island Connector
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 226-6983

Reportedly the first state park in Connecticut, Sherwood Island does have a sandy beach perfect for sunbathing, but wear flip flops or shoes to avoid stepping on the sharp shells and many stones that are in the sand and along the beach. There are plenty of little hide-away areas that are more stone than sand here. This spot is also a little more private, but still positioned for sun and surf. There are parking fees from Memorial Day to Labor Day as well as weekend parking fees at various other times of the year. Not only are there showers and refreshments available to make sunbathing experiences even more pleasant, but sunbathers can visit an important monument here as well.
According to the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), “the twin towers of the World Trade Center were visible from Sherwood Island. On September 11, 2001 and for several days following, smoke from the former World Trade Center was visible from this location.” Therefore, Sherwood Island was the perfect place for a monument reminding one and all who visit the park of those people who will never be forgotten

Squantz Pond State Park
178 Shortwoods Road
New Fairfield, CT 06812
(203) 312-5013

Adjacent to Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in Connecticut and man-made at that, Squantz Pond State Park also has plenty of opportunities for sunbathers. Those who like to sunbathe while kayaking or canoeing will definitely leave the towel and blanket on shore until they have taken in the natural beauty of this state park. Pack a hat and take advantage of the facilities before or after a swim in the clean waters, which are checked regularly by DEEP. Lifeguards, restrooms and other facilities are available as well as picnic tables. However, swimmers must be aware of the rules of the park. Parking fees apply.

Related: Top Spots For Stargazing In Connecticut

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.