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7 Amazing Dog-Friendly Beaches in Connecticut

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Dog on beach with sunglasses

Connecticut may be one of the smallest states in the U.S., but its love for dogs is huge! It should come as no surprise, then, that Connecticut has some top-notch dog beaches. Here we’ll break down the top seven spots for a little fun in the sun with your furry best friend.

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The 7 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Connecticut

1.  Hammonasset Beach State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443
🕐 Open Times:  8:00 AM to Sunset
💲 Cost: Paid parking, State Park entry fees may apply, especially on Holidays
🐕 Off-Leash: Dog Season only: October 1 – March 31
  • 2 miles of beach with a wooden boardwalk
  • Multiple entrances with their own parking
  • Beach trails are in full sun so plan accordingly
  • Dogs are also welcome on all park trails, campsites, and picnic areas as long as they’re on a leash of 7 feet or less.
  • From April 1 to October 31 dogs are not permitted on the beaches. This is strictly enforced by park officers and staff.
  • Clean, well-maintained facilities with multiple pet waste disposal areas

2. Jennings Dog Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 880 S Benson Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824
🕐 Open Times: 10 am to 8 pm
💲 Cost: Free, State Park entry fees may apply, especially on Holidays
🐕 Off-Leash: Dog Season only: October 1 – March 31
  • Great stop-off between NYC and Boston if you’re traveling with a pent-up pet.
  • Impressive views of the Long Island Sound
  • Dogs banned from the beaches in the summer months
  • Horses are also allowed on the beaches during dog season
  • One of the largest beaches in the area
  • Additional activities such as canoe and kayak rentals, swim lessons, community events, and an annual beach bonfire party

3. Compo Beach Off-Leash Dog Area

🗺️ Address: 📍 60 Compo Beach Rd, Westport, CT 06880
🕐 Open Times: 10 am to 8 pm
💲 Cost: Free, but parking passes are as much as $65 depending on the day and time of year
🐕 Off-Leash: Dog Season only: October 1 – March 31
  • Unique walkway strips make the beach accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, or even coolers on wheels
  • Well-stocked snack bar
  • Plenty of benches, making walking the beach easy for all fitness levels
  • Park is well maintained, both by parks services and the local community
  • Dog owners are required to clean up after their pets
  • Can be busy and full of pups so make sure your dog is ready for lots of friends

4. Esker Point Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 900 Groton Long Point Rd, Groton, CT 06340
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: Free to enter, events and attractions, such as golf, may have a fee
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, if under voice control. No pets are permitted on the beach during events.
  • Pets are prohibited on the sporting fields/volleyball areas
  • Pets can be off-leash as long as you can voice-control them
  • Tons of amenities like beach volleyball, swimming, outdoor showers, and even a watercraft launching ramp
  • Plenty of seating and shaded areas
  • Usually plenty of other dogs around if it’s socialization your dog craves

5. Lake Mohegan Dog Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 960 Morehouse Hwy, Fairfield, CT 06825
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: Lake access is free. Entry fees to the sprinkler park range from $4 to $18
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, as long as your dog is well-controlled
  • The beach has no shade, so be prepared for hot sun and sand
  • Private lake used for swimming, fishing, and boating
  • Kids’ splash and swim park available for a fee
  • Dogs can roam off-leash as long as they are well-controlled and not within 100 feet of picnic and playground areas
  • Three dog limit per person

6. Bayley Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 11 Pine Point Rd, Norwalk, CT 06853
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: $10 per person or $25 per family
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, dogs only permitted November 1 to March 31.
  • Free for residents but non-residents must purchase a day pass
  • Changing areas, restrooms, and showers
  • Concession stands and snack bar
  • Dogs are only allowed on the beach during dog season, which is November 1 through March 31
  • Pavilions and charcoal BBQ grills are available for all
  • No pets are allowed anywhere in the park in the summer months

7. Penfield Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 800 Beach Rd, Fairfield, CT, US, 06824
🕐 Open Times: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
💲 Cost: Free admission with parking fee, vehicles without a beach sticker may pay a daily fee of $20 on weekdays and $50 on weekends and holidays
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, dogs only permitted November 1 to March 31.
  • Dogs are only allowed in the park from October 1st to March 31st
  • Built to honor the life of Sandy Hook victim Jessica Rekos as part of The Sandy Ground: Where Angels Play’ Project which consists of 26 playgrounds, one for each of the victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
  • This beach is on-leash only and dogs are only allowed during dog season
  • Beautiful views, in fact, it’s so stunning it’s a popular venue for weddings
  • Handicapped accessible restrooms and concession stands
  • Dog owners who do not pick up their pet’s waste will be asked to leave

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No matter what kind of dog you have, there’s a beach for you in Connecticut. With fresh and saltwater, picturesque views, accessible beaches, and a dog friendly community, it’s no wonder Connecticut beaches are a hotspot for dog owners!


Featured Image Credit: swaddytalk, Pixabay

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