Overlooking Long Island Sound, Connecticut may be small, but it is home to numerous beaches where you can swim, suntan and relax the day away. Whether you’re looking for the natural beauty and calm of state-park beaches or a more lively experience with games and food courts, there is something to satisfy every craving in this New England state.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Ocean Beach Park, New London
This beach hasn’t been voted one of the best beaches by National Geographic for nothing. White-sand beaches, perfect for lounging, stretch for half a mile, along with a wooden boardwalk on which to stroll. The Olympic-sized freshwater swimming pool is ideal for those not looking to get salty. When exhausted from all the swimming, families can get a thrill out of the 18-hole miniature golf course, a retro video game arcade, fairground rides and a carousel. Admission is per car (or walk-in) for the beach, and there are additional fees for the other activities. Facilities include bathrooms and changing rooms.
Hammonasset Beach Park, Madison
Running along Long Island Sound for two miles, Hammonasset is the largest beach in the state, with plenty of room to spread out. Beach-goers can swim, picnic or amble along the boardwalk, admiring the beach’s rugged beauty. When tired of lounging, visitors can rent bikes or hike the trail around the beach. Facilities include a concession stand, bathrooms and showers. Non-residents pay a daily parking fee. The Meigs Point Nature Center inside the park offers daily programs and activities, such as nature walks, and is home to rescued animals including turtles, snakes and fish.
Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk
Calf Pasture gets its name from early settlers using it as grazing pasture for their livestock in the 17th century. The park has a large beach area with lifeguards on duty during the summer. Along with the beach there are a variety of games to play: beach volleyball, a skate park, bocce, basketball and a playground. When hunger strikes, there are concessions available in season, picnic spots or Ripka’s Beach Cafe. Norwalk Sailing School rents out kayaks and sailboats for those wanting to get out on the water. For non-residents, a day parking pass is required and can be purchased online; it’s cheaper after 5pm.
Sherwood Island State Park, Westport
Set on 238 acres (96 hectares), Sherwood encompasses a beach, wetlands, woodlands, and protected sand dunes and is Connecticut’s first state park. The beach is known for its three-colored sand – a mix of tan, black and red due to certain minerals being present. The beach has a designated swimming area with lifeguards, as well as hiking trails through forest and wetlands with a viewing platform for birdwatching. The park is also home to a nature center, which is open seasonally, and Connecticut’s 9/11 living memorial. The beach has bathrooms, showers, concessions, and a picnic area, and a daily parking fee is applicable for non-residents.
Silver Sands State Park, Milford
Bird lovers will appreciate Silver Sands, as during low tide a sandbar connects it to Charles Island, a nature preserve where watchers can see egrets, herons and ospreys. From May 1 to August 31, the island is closed for nesting season but may be viewed from the shore. The island is also home to the ruins of a 19th-century resort and a 1930s chapel. The beach has over half a mile of shoreline and nearly a mile of an all-weather boardwalk. The 297 acres (120 hectares) of the park also have woods, salt marshes, trails and many dunes. The facilities are basic with portable toilets – but there is no fee for parking.
Clinton Town Beach, Clinton
Popular with locals, this gold-sand beach with views of Long Island Sound offers two different experiences: during high tide, beach-goers can enjoy swimming, and at low tide, they can walk out to explore the extensive sand bars. Among the beach’s hiking trails, there is a special one just for our canine companions to utilize. The recreational facilities at Clinton Beach include basketball, volleyball, bocce, a splash pad, a covered pavilion and playgrounds. Non-residents have to pay a parking fee, which can be paid to a gatekeeper.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.