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11 Best Beaches with Public Access near Stamford, CT

Stamford has a myriad of picturesque beaches most of which are open to public. Check out the options and learn about local access rules!
Greenwich Point Beach aka Tods Point in Greenwich Connecticut

Located on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, Stamford boasts proximity to a myriad of picturesque beaches. 

While sun-seekers have an abundance of options to choose from, it’s essential to note the entry nuances. 

A majority of these coastal gems welcome non-residents but come with a daily fee, ensuring the upkeep of the amenities they provide. 

However, for those on a budget or seeking an unfettered experience, Sherwood Beach and Southport Beach stand out, offering FREE access to their sandy expanses. 

For locals and visitors alike, these beaches offer a serene escape, as well as activity-packed days, all with proximity to Stamford.

Dive deeper and discover the best beaches in the area!

1. West Beach

Orange Sunset over a Sandy Beach in Connecticut, USA
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Stamford: 2 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, walking, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, seasonal lifeguards, sports courts, playground, food truck, picnic tables, volleyball net

A stone’s throw from Stamford, West Beach may not boast the title of the region’s top beach, but it stands as the nearest sand and sun escape for locals. 

Spanning a serene 26 acres, this beach escape comes to life with a plethora of amenities. 

From playing at the beach volleyball courts and enjoying the playground to indulging in snacks from the food truck, there’s something for every beachgoer. 

However, for seamless entry, ensure you have a beach sticker, especially since out-of-town visitors often feel the pinch of the steep entrance fee, which is charged from May 1st through September 30th.

Though West Beach might not be everyone’s first choice for an idyllic coastal retreat, it’s the nearest spot to cool off and soak in the sun, making it a notable spot for Stamford denizens.

2. Cummings Park Beach

  • Distance from Stamford: 2 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, walking, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, sports courts, playground, picnic tables, fishing pier

Nestled beside the mentioned West Beach, Stamford’s Cummings Park, a sprawling 79-acre expanse, shines as a gem on Long Island Sound’s coastline. 

From May through September, visitors should anticipate beach fees, with out-of-town visitors facing steep charges

However, the allure of this local spot is undeniable. 

With its sun-dappled beach, comprehensive sports amenities, and an inviting boardwalk, it’s the ideal setting for both recreation and relaxation. 

Whether you’re drawn to the rhythmic clash of tennis, a casual game on the basketball court, or the simple joy of sunbathing with the Sound’s waves as your soundtrack, Cummings offers it all. 

For visitors and locals alike, it represents the perfect blend of leisure and activity, making every entrance fee worth the myriad experiences awaiting within.

3. Cove Island Beach

Cove Island Park in Connecticut
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Stamford: 2 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, hiking
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, picnic tables, sports courts, trails, playground

Cove Island Park, an 83-acre recreational haven a stone throw’s from Stamford, is a popular local spot on Long Island Sound. 

It boasts two sandy beaches, a rollerblade/cycling path, a playground, and a one-mile walk/run trail, making it a sought-after destination for locals and tourists alike. 

This park also offers a unique chance for bird enthusiasts with its wildlife sanctuary, recognized by the National Audubon Society for its rich biodiversity. 

The park’s accessibility comes with fees, even for Stamford residents. 

Despite the parking costs, the park and the beach enjoy top reviews and a large footfall in summer.

From barbecuing in the grass area to observing the diverse species of birds and butterflies, Cove Island Park is a haven of nature and recreation.

4. Weed Beach

spend a beautiful sunny summer vacation day walking the shore line at a beach in Connecticut
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Stamford: 4 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, picnic tables, pavilions, sports courts, trails

Situated just 4 miles from Stamford, Weed Beach spans across 22 acres and serves as a perfect getaway to the coast. 

This public beach offers a unique blend of activities, from the tranquility of Saturday morning beach yoga to the energy of paddle and tennis courts. 

An intriguing sea-inspired playground adds charm for families. 

The beach is not just about sand and water; it houses a fully operational concession stand, a bathhouse, and even a fitness trail with equipment. 

With a $53 daily pass (2023), non-residents can access these facilities and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and surf. 

Whether you’re up for a lazy day in the sand, a swim, or a kayak adventure, Weed Beach is an excellent option near Stamford.

5. Pear Tree Point Beach

  • Distance from Stamford: 5 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, boating
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, picnic tables, pavilion

Pear Tree Point Beach, a crown jewel of Fairfield County, spans approximately 8 acres at the mouth of the Goodwives River. 

The beach provides an array of amenities, including a bathing area, a handicap-accessible picnic section, a gazebo with stunning sound views, a bathhouse, a boat launch ramp, and two distinct sand stretches. 

The beach also houses the Darien Boat Club, adding to its charm with beautiful sailing boats bobbing on moorings.

To access the beach, Darien’s residents must acquire seasonal passes, while foreign parties can purchase a daily pass for $53 (2023) at the gate.

While the beach enjoys a reputation for its stunning sunset views and calm, pristine waters, it also promises seclusion and tranquility for those seeking a serene getaway.

6. Greenwich Point Beach

Greenwich Point Park, commonly called Tod's Point, is a town-owned park and beach in Greenwich, CT
Source: wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Distance from Stamford: 6 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, beachcombing
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, picnic tables, rentals, concessions

A 6-mile drive from Stamford lies the much-acclaimed Greenwich Point Beach, often referred to as Tod’s Point by the locals. 

Spanning a generous 147 acres, this isn’t merely a strip of sand – it’s a comprehensive coastal experience. 

Visitors can dive into a plethora of activities, from invigorating trails to water sports, ensuring there’s something for everyone. 

Families can set up at picnic spots, and for those who want a hassle-free beach day, amenities abound, including diverse beach concessions and convenient public showers. 

Those with an adventurous spirit and a keen eye can explore the coastline collecting shells and sea glass.

Whether marking footprints on its pristine sand or soaking in the cool embrace of the Long Island Sound, Greenwich Point Beach is probably the best beach in the area.

7. Rye Town Beach

rye town new york
Source: wikimedia/public domain
  • Distance from Stamford: 13 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics
  • Amenities: restrooms, seasonal lifeguards, picnic spots

Nestled along the scenic shores of the Long Island Sound, Rye Town Park’s Beach is an emblem of historical elegance and contemporary charm. 

Designed in 1909 by renowned architects Upjohn & Conable, the park spans 28.1 acres of undulating land, seamlessly adjoining the 34.5-acre publicly accessible beach. 

This coastal haven boasts iconic Spanish Mission-style structures, light fixtures, and pathways framed by exquisite stone walls. 

Beyond the allure of the built environment, beachgoers enjoy a pristine shoreline, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and coastal contemplation. 

For those planning a visit, it’s prudent to check current access rules, as seasonal variations may apply. 

Rich in amenities and steeped in history, Rye Town Beach is an idyllic retreat for those seeking both leisure and luxury.

8. Calf Pasture Beach & Shady Beach

Calf Pasture Beach and Shady Beach in Connecticut
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Distance from Stamford: 11 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, sailing, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, lifeguards, sports courts, playground, splash pad, cafes, picnic tables with grills, pier

Situated 11 miles from Stamford, Calf Pasture Beach, and the adjacent Shady Beach, emerge as a hub of outdoor activity. 

Offering a range of facilities from volleyball courts to a skateboard park, this beach-front property lures visitors with its calm Long Island Sound waters and scenic coastline. 

Beachgoers can engage in activities such as kayaking via the Island Kayak trail or relishing seafood at Ripka’s. 

The beach also provides rentable sailboats, kayaks, and paddleboards, courtesy of the Norwalk Sailing School

Adjacent to the main beach, the park boasts picnic tables and grill facilities. 

However, out-of-town guests should anticipate steep parking costs, reaching up to $72 on weekends

Overall, these two beaaches present an enticing blend of beach relaxation and active pursuits, though access comes at a premium for non-residents.

9. Compo Beach

Sundown on Compo Beach Connecticut
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Stamford: 13 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, sports courts, playground, picnic tables with grills, pier

Stretching along the Long Island Sound and Saugatuck River, Compo Beach stands out as a year-round, 29-acre park brimming with diverse facilities. 

Apart from an expansive sand beach, it hosts two volleyball courts, a large playground, bathroom facilities, and lockers. 

Adjacent to the Ned Dimes Marina, Compo Beach boasts additional recreational sites, including a softball field, a multi-purpose field, lighted basketball courts, and a skate park. 

Although the beach presents daily parking fees, ranging from $45 on weekdays to $70 on weekends and holidays, visitors are rewarded with amenities like a boardwalk, pavilion, and concession stand. 

With an impressive array of offerings, from recreational activities to practical amenities, Compo Beach solidifies its spot as a premier waterfront location, albeit at a cost for vehicle parking.

10. Sherwood Beach

The Long Island Sound creates the shoreline for Sherwood Island State Park
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Stamford: 13 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics, fishing, kayaking, hiking
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards, sports courts, picnic tables with grills, trails

Renowned as Connecticut’s first state park, Sherwood Island State Park showcases 238 acres of coastal splendor on the Long Island Sound. 

This public recreation hub provides an eclectic blend of activities including saltwater swimming, fishing, paddling, and bird watching. 

Visitors can also partake in field sports or fly model airplanes. 

An added bonus for beachgoers is the free parking available for Connecticut-registered vehicles. 

The park is equipped with amenities to enhance visitors’ experience: a pavilion, bathhouses, concessions, a first aid station, and drinking fountains. 

Whether engaging in a beach-side barbecue or exploring walking trails, Sherwood Island State Park offers a rewarding escape, delivering an all-in-one beach and park experience at no parking cost for local residents.

11. Southport Beach

southport beach in connecticut
Source: wikimedia/public domain
  • Distance from Stamford: 17 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnics
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, seasonal lifeguards

Southport Beach, a tranquil sanctuary on Long Island Sound, stretches over a small area of approximately 2.5 acres. 

Known for soft sand, this expansive coastline offers a plethora of amenities, including showers, restrooms, and lifeguard supervision during the summer season. 

While the beach is free and open to the public, there’s a twist to its accessibility. 

From Memorial Day Saturday through Labor Day, parking within the lot is exclusively for residents bearing a beach sticker. 

Yet, this hasn’t deterred non-residents, who find ingenious solutions such as parking a block away and enjoying a brief walk to the beach. 

This spot strikes the right balance between peacefulness and convenience, making it a beloved destination for those looking for a relaxing day by the sea.

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