Connecticut is a beautiful state in the US surrounded by lush green hills, historical architecture, charming old houses, and of course awesome beaches.
It’s located in the northeastern corner of the US and is one of the six states in New England. The word Connecticut itself originates from the native Mohican word of Quinnetuket, which means a long-tidal river.
It’s a busy state, big on industry and services, and the paychecks are solid. However, the weather in Connecticut can turn out to be unpredictable sometimes, with heavy flooding and dangerous tornadoes.
The State is bordered by Rhode Island in the East, New York in the West, and Massachusetts in the North, where you can find pro surfers ripping some fast, challenging waves.
The stunning coastline of Connecticut is roughly 154 km from west to east, featuring 15 gorgeous beaches with calm water.
During the summer months, these places are typically bustling with crowds, but when storms and winds are playing their part, surfers can catch some awesome waves.
Even though you might not find the most epic surfing spots in Connecticut, there are some pretty decent swells that won’t disappoint you.
5 Surfing Spots at the Connecticut Coastline
The best time to surf in Connecticut would be from August to December. For the rest of the year, the water remains calm and creates an ideal setting for activities like swimming, boating, or simply soaking up the sun.
You can find tons of beaches to try out your new surfboard, but there are few places that actually offer quality waves where you can test your skills. Check out the list of best surfing spots in Connecticut that you must visit on your next trip.
1. Silver Sands State Park
The place is popular for its sandy shores and reliable surf. Even strolling along the ocean is truly a delightful experience. The surf spot is located 16 miles from downtown Milford – a short 21-minute car ride away.
The waves are consistent on the east side of the beach, with 5-7 ft waves in the fall, making it a perfect spot for surfers of all levels.
2. Hammonasset Beach
If you’re looking for a more spacious area to surf in Connecticut, then Hammonasset Beach is an ideal spot for you. The Hammonasset Beach is just a quick 10-minute car ride from the center of Madison (covering 2.5 miles)
With its extensive stretch of almost 3 km from north to south, this white sandy beach is one of the largest beaches you’ll find in the entire State. If you’re a beginner looking to ride a mellow swell, then you’ll definitely have a good time here.
However, during fall, it becomes a great spot for seasoned surfers ready to take on the challenging 7 ft waves. In short, the Hammonasset is considered one of the best surfing spots in Connecticut.
3. Rocky Neck Park
If you’re looking to enjoy some awesome activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and, of course, surfing, then The Rocky Neck State Park is an all-in-one option for you. It’s got this soft, sandy slope that gently leads you to the water.
Getting to the beach is super easy. It’s a short 15-minute drive (covering 5.5 miles) from the East Lyme town center. The waves are a bit on the mellower side compared to the other spots, ranging from 2 to 4 feet with these long, consistent breaks. It’s a cool spot for beginners and intermediates looking to enjoy a nice surf.
4. Connecticut Street Jetty
Another beginner-friendly spot is the Connecticut Street Jetty, located in Long Island, NY. It's an exposed breakwater break. You won't find high tides or dangerous currents. As the spot has a jetty, the waves generated are pretty small.
The best surf conditions occur when there is a combo of southern swells and eastern winds.
The best time to surf here is during summer, especially in the month of August. For the rest of the year, the waves generated are not so challenging.
5. Mystic River
It is not the most awesome surfing spot in the US, but it may generate monstrous waves during storms and hurricane swells. You gotta be there to experience the real fun at the right time.
Where Else Can You Surf Near Connecticut
If you weren't lucky enough to catch a good surf in Connecticut, you can always head out to the coolest surfing spots nearby. The two places where you can find tons of high swells include New York and Rhode Island.
When you talk about New York, you can easily picture the hustle and bustle of the crowded city, even though New York might not be the first place that comes to your mind when you think of surfing.
During the winter season, surfers can find some high swells, both left and right-hand breaks, and enjoy riding glassy barrels. Most spots are easily accessible by subway, therefore you may find a crowded line-up in peak season.
Some of the best surf spots in NYC are The Rockaways, Montauk, The Hamptons, Fire Island, and Jones Beach State Park.
Home to 100 awesome beaches, RI is known as the "Ocean State." With a coastline stretching to 400 miles, you can find diverse surfing spots that work for beginner as well as experienced surfers.
From rocky point breaks to beach breaks and slabs, RI offers consistent swells and quality waves during the winter season, however, summers are usually about mellow waves.
Some of the rad surfing spots in Rhode Island are Goosewing Beach, Sachuest Point, Easton's Beach, Ruggles, and Bailey's Beach.
How to Get There?
If you want to visit all of those cool surf spots, start your journey in New York City. If you're flying from overseas, spend at least one night in a hotel in NYC. The hotel cost is around $100 to $300 per night, and that usually includes breakfast.
From there, you can rent a car in NYC. It'll cost you about $100 to $250 per day for a budget car like SUV, minivan, or double cabin.
The drive from NYC to Milford takes 2.5 to 3 hours. If you want to hit Madison first, it's 3.5 to 4 hours (99 miles). Going to East Lyme first takes about 4 to 4.5 hours.
A good recommendation is to stay 3 to 4 nights in Madison -- it's between Milford and East Lyme. From Madison, it's a 1 hour drive to Milford (30 miles) and 30 minutes to East Lyme (21 miles). Another option is 2 nights in Madison and 1 to 2 nights in Milford before heading back to NYC.
In Milford, there are 9 hotels. Prices range from $250 to $500 per night, breakfast included. Madison has 21 hotels with rates ranging from $150 to $500. These prices are inclusive of taxes and may vary with inflation.
Places to Visit
When you're planning to take a break from surfing, there are some beautiful places nearby that you can check out.
Gillette Castle has one of the most impressive and unique architecture you'll find here. It was once the home of actor Gillette but later became a great tourist attraction
If you want to visit shops, restaurants and some nice bars, Norwalk River is a great place to go to. The lively waterfront, museums, art center, and beautiful aquarium are among the most popular places here.
Other places you can visit are Stamford, Mystic, Stonington, and New Haven. The local food won't cost you that much, but if you're planning to try out their special cuisines, you gotta keep some extra cash for that.
Surfing Gear Needed
Since the best time to surf in Connecticut is during the fall, you must be better prepared. The water temperature is between 37°F and 47°F, so make sure to wear a proper wetsuit, like a 6/5 or a 5/4 full suit. Remember to carry your boots, gloves, and your favorite hoodies.
Due to the limited no of surf spots, you won't find the prevalence of surf culture as in other parts of the US. Surf gear is hard to find as there are few rental shops available. So make sure you have complete preparation before heading to Connecticut.
Since Connecticut mostly offers mellow swells, taking along a longboard or mid-size foamies would work here.
Connecticut has some cool spots for all kinds of surfers. From the reliable waves at Silver Sands to the chill vibes at Hammonasset Beach, there's something for everyone.
If you're in the mood for a more adventurous trip, nearby locations like New York and Rhode Island have an amazing surfing scene going on. Beyond surfing, you can also find lots of tourist attractions that will make your journey worthwhile.