Attractions, Parks, and Beaches

Connecticut’s shoreline offers many activities and attractions for visitors and residents alike. Whether relaxing on the beach, exploring historical sites, or indulging in delicious seafood, there’s something for everyone. Here’s a list of things to do on the Connecticut Shoreline:


Tour Mystic Seaport Museum: An interactive maritime museum with historic ships, exhibits, and demonstrations, showcasing the area’s maritime heritage.   See upcoming events.  

Explore Mystic Aquarium: Home to a diverse range of marine life, including seals, penguins, and sharks. It’s an excellent place for family fun and education. See upcoming events.  

Explore The Norwalk Aquarium, also known as the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, is a captivating destination that promises an extraordinary aquatic experience. Located on the scenic shores of Long Island Sound in Norwalk, Connecticut, this world-class aquarium offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the wonders of the ocean and its diverse marine life. With its mission to inspire curiosity and foster a greater understanding of the marine environment, the Norwalk Aquarium boasts a stunning array of exhibits and interactive displays. See upcoming events.

Connecticut’s Beardsley ZooConnecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, nestled in the heart of Bridgeport, is a captivating oasis that brings the wonders of the animal kingdom to life. As the state’s only zoo, it’s home to over 300 animals representing both exotic and native species, the zoo provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with creatures from across the globe. From playful meerkats and majestic Amur tigers to colorful South American birds and majestic African elephants, every corner of Beardsley Zoo is an invitation to embark on a wild adventure.  See upcoming events.

Take a Lighthouse Tour: Connecticut has several picturesque lighthouses along the shoreline, and some offer tours and historical insights.  

    1. Down East Lighthouse Cruises, Groton
    2. Old Lighthouse Museum, Stonington
    3. Sheffield Island Lighthouse and Harbor Tour, Norwalk

Visit Essex Steam Train & Riverboat: Experience a nostalgic train ride followed by a riverboat cruise on the Connecticut River. Get your tickets to Taco & Tequila Cruise for tonight at 6:00 pm. See upcoming events and schedules. Continue the party at Scotch Plains Tavern with Live Music, tavern bites, and games in their Tavern.  

State Parks / Museums

Visit Hammonasset Beach State Park: Connecticut’s largest public beach, offering swimming, picnicking, hiking trails, and nature walks. The park is open from 8 am to sunset. Check water quality before heading out. 

Relax at Rocky Neck State Park:  Another beautiful state park with a sandy beach, hiking trails, and a salt marsh to explore. Check swimming water quality for all beaches along the Connecticut shoreline.  

Explore New London’s Historic Waterfront District: Walk along the historic streets, visit art galleries, and enjoy the waterfront views. Or, spend a day at Ocean Beach Park, a popular family-friendly destination.  Enjoy the sandy beach, swim in the ocean, and relax under the sun. The park also features a boardwalk with games, food stands, and a carousel, making it a fun spot for all ages. Additionally, there’s a beautiful, large saltwater pool with a water slide, perfect for those who prefer swimming in a controlled environment. 

Tour Gillette Castle State Park:  Discover the whimsical castle built by actor William Gillette, known for portraying Sherlock Holmes. There are no fees for parking or visiting the park grounds at Gillette Castle State Park. Park opens at 8 am to sunset.  

Visit the Florence Griswold Museum:  Explore American Impressionism and art in an idyllic setting, including the historic home and gardens.  See upcoming events.  


Kayak / Bike / Bird Watching / Fishing

Kayak the Thimble Islands: Rent a kayak and explore the picturesque Thimble Islands off the coast of Branford. See Thimble Island Kayak Rental for rental prices and times.  

Birdwatching at Milford Point: A popular spot for birdwatchers, especially during migratory seasons. With its diverse ecosystem and breathtaking vistas, Milford Point has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the state’s most-visited bird viewing areas. Step into a realm where nature’s beauty unfolds before you, and prepare to be mesmerized by the aerial ballet of magnificent avian creatures.

Bike along the Shoreline Greenway Trail: Shoreline Greenway Trails stretches for approximately 4.8 miles and takes 1.39 minutes to complete. This enchanting trail meanders through a captivating tapestry of natural wonders, offering a delightful escape for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts alike. Prepare to be captivated as you embark on an unforgettable journey through lush landscapes and serene vistas, where tranquility and adventure converge in perfect harmony.

Go Fishing: Connecticut’s shoreline offers numerous excellent saltwater fishing spots for anglers of all levels, from Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison to Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford and Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The types of fish you can catch will vary depending on the season, location, and the specific fishing spot.  

Remember to check for any updates or changes to attractions’ hours and availability and any local guidelines and restrictions to make the most of your visit to the Connecticut Shoreline.