Hammonasset Beach State Park in Connecticut is an ideal destination for summertime fun, but the adventures don't have to end as the days grow shorter. This park can be experienced all year long. Whether you're into taking a leisurely walk down the boardwalk, collecting seashells, going for a saltwater swim, or soaking up some rays, the two-mile stretch of beach has something for you. It's one of the top perks of coming to the park, after all.
The fun doesn't stop at the sand, though. Inland, the park also hosts several multi-use trails, and it is quite common to see hikers and bikers taking on the winding treks. While it may be hard to steer away from the cascade of crashing waves, the park does well with grabbing its visitors' attention in other ways. The Meigs Point Nature Center is another popular destination for park-goers to make a day of. The Nature Center is a fun experience the whole family can get into, and guests of all ages are welcome to participate in the hands-on experiences provided here.
It's a great place to stay, and with over 550 campsites to choose from, there's no reason you can't snag a spot for your rig. As Connecticut's largest beach, this place certainly stands out on its own, but it's the pleasant memories that can be made here that really make it a sure bet for your next RV camping trip.
Finding the park is easy since it is right at the southern tip of Connecticut at the Long Island Sound. The park is just under an hour from Bridgeport and Hartford, CT. There is really only one way in and out of the park and that is by taking Interstate 1 to Highway 450, which is also known as Hammonasset Con Road.
Driving through the park is about as straightforward as it gets. The road leads out to Hammonasset Point, creating a linear path to follow. Branching off of the main road are side roads that lead to ample parking for the area's environmental facility and for day-use beachgoers. With two miles of beach to enjoy, you can expect to share the sunshine with plenty of other guests who are taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings.
Ample parking can be found at Hammonasset Beach State Park. There are more than five large parking lots that are available for day-use beachgoers and Nature Center visitors to park. As with most state park locations, there is a fee associated with parking on the grounds. Overnight campers can expect this fee to be already factored into their stay - just make sure all appropriate signage is visible. Most overnighters opt to switch over to two wheels instead of four after parking their rig. Bike rentals are available during the summer season.
When you want to stay overnight at Hammonasset Beach State Park's campground, you'll have over 550 campsites to choose from. This campground is quite large, and sites are spacious, even with all the neighbors. There's even a camp store to stock up on small supplies during your stay. Depending on where you end up parking, sites will either loop around or spread out along straight lines. Most sites accommodate RVs and trailers, with only a few reserved for tent campers only. The grounds, while busy and large, are laid out nicely and everything is well organized.
Visitors can expect clean, roomy sites that all have access to bathhouses, dishwashing stations, potable water, and dumpsters. Each of these amenities is available within all of the camping loops, so visitors don't have to worry about a long trek to get to the bathroom. There are only 50 that provide hookups for electric, so, if this is a must for your stay, you'll want to get those reservations in quickly. This place fills up fast. On your way out, there are multiple dump stations. Even with so many provided, if it's beautiful, it's busy - and that means you can expect a bit of a wait.
The campground sits only minutes away from the two-mile stretch of beach. Even with so many sites, it can be quite tricky trying to get in for a weekend, even after the energy of summer begins to fade. The campground is only open for overnight guests from Memorial Day to the beginning of October. With such a small window of time to make sure you get to park here, it's a good thing reservations can be made online or by phone up to 11 months in advance. The hosts and staff of Hammonasset Beach State Park's campground work hard to keep this place going as a tradition for you and your family to return to year after year. The maximum RV and trailer length is 35 feet.
Because the grounds are so large, so popular, and in such busy surroundings, it's usually advised for prospective guests to get their reservations in as early as possible. However, during the camping season (Memorial Day through the beginning of October), same-day reservations for sites can be made on a walk-up basis at the Campground Office. As long as it's not the very middle of summer, you should be in luck. When campers stay at Hammonasset Beach State Park, they can expect exemplary surroundings and convenient amenities provided within each of the loops. The maximum RV and trailer length is 35 feet.
Besides a spacious gravel spot to park, guests can expect sites that easily access bathhouses with hot showers, dishwashing stations, potable water, and dumpsters. There's even a Camp Store to stock up on small supplies during your stay. There are only 50 sites that allow for an electrical hookup, but the grounds host over 550 sites in total. Self-contained vehicles have access to multiple dumping stations, but, be prepared - this campground is large and gets really busy. There may be a wait on your way out.
For those who have found themselves without a reservation and no place to park within the grounds, a few other options can be found locally. Hammonasset Beach State Park is located near other state recreation areas, such as Rocky Neck State Park, Chatfield Hollow State Park, and Sherwood Island State Park. Some of the amenities at these and other nearby campgrounds and resorts include playgrounds, restaurants, swimming pools, hot tubs, and full hookups.
When you need to have options, this area is a great choice. Because the Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of the few that does not allow pets in the campground, this may be a good reason to look elsewhere to stay because your canine kids like camping too. Most of the other campgrounds and resorts outside the beach allow pets as long as they are restrained and attended at all times during your stay.
While staying at Hammonasset Beach State Park, guests can expect quite a few options for accommodation. Over 550 sites are open to RVs and trailers, but also tent campers. In fact, some of these sites are even reserved for tents only. If you're not looking to rough it quite so much, this state park also offers eight rustic cabins. They are a perfect alternative to bringing your home on four wheels.
It's quite common to see visitors utilizing the multi-use trails; whether that's on two wheels or two feet. There are several walking paths that surround the campground, follow the beach, and stretch all the way over to Hammonasset Point. The 3.4-mile Hammonasset Beach State Park Walk is a popular trail for all skill levels. It's quite easy for guests to get around here. There are several parking opportunities, which means it's easy to pick a spot to start and just get to it. You'll be amazed what your feet can help you find here.
While the scenery is worth capturing any time of year, snapping some shots during the off-season allows for a much clearer subject, especially if your eye is toward the shore. Instead of a smiling crowd embracing the beach and sunshine, guests will have a much clearer (and open) view of the ocean. The crashing waves and constant energy from the water makes for a fun, dynamic photo opportunity. If views of the water seem a little washed up, there's plenty more to fill up those memory cards.
The off-season means fewer crowds at Hammonasset Beach State Park, and that also means more opportunity to spot some of the area's wildlife. There are quite a few residents that call this piece of Connecticut home for most of the year, but, with changing seasons comes some new faces. Park visitors often spend the day behind a pair of binoculars, singling out species after species of sea birds and other avian delights. On occasion, guests are even able to spot seals and other marine animals.
Off-season means the campgrounds are closed for overnight parking, but that doesn't stop many of Hammonasset's visitors from taking advantage of the area's multi-use trails. There are several that weave through the area, including many that are perfect for biking. In fact, many suggest getting around on two wheels instead of two feet--especially during the off-season, as less crowded paths make for an easier time zipping around. The Hammonasset trailhead of the 25-mile Shoreline Greenway Trail starts here and cycling is a favorite way to enjoy this trek.
Forget the freshwater catches for a while and get lured into Hammonasset Beach State Park's saltwater fishing potential. Fishing is allowed at the southern end of Meigs Point Jetty and along the West Beach Jetty from 8 AM until sunset. The entire two-mile line of beach is also open to night fishing, but only during peak season. No matter what time of year you're looking to throw in a line, you're likely to pull up some bluefish, winter flounder, blackfish, striped bass, and much more.
If you have not heard of this new popular activity, geocaching is just a huge outdoor treasure hunt you do using your phone as a GPS. Many different geocaches can be found along the two miles of shore at Hammonasset Beach State Park. Check online for the coordinates before heading out. Be sure to bring a pencil or pen to sign your name in the logbook and a toy or trinket to leave as a treasure. And make sure you put it back exactly where you found it so someone else can find it too.
Before heading to the park, make sure you hook up the boats to the RV because there is plenty of water to explore and enjoy. The park's two miles of beach sets the scene for a picture-perfect paddle boat outing. A small boat launch at the one end of the beach allows for all sorts of smaller paddling craft to set afloat down the shore. It's a scenic approach to Hammonasset's Beach where you can spend the day on the water before heading to your campsite for the night. Visitors are welcome to enjoy Connecticut's shore waters by canoe, kayak, or any other car-top boat.
The Meigs Point Nature Center provides a crucial center for environmental learning and connection. The nature center is open to guests of all ages, but most activities are centered around children and families. Overnight guests parked in Hammonasset Beach State Park's campground can easily walk or ride to the other end of the park to get to the center. It's a fun, interactive way to spend an afternoon. Some of the programs and activities include birthday parties, turtle and snake presentations, nature walks, the touch tank, the Hammonasset Safari, canoe trips, and Simply Science programs. There are even some Ranger Russ and Nature Ninja programs for the kids to enjoy.
Whether spending the day sprawled out in the sun, building a sandcastle, or going for a saltwater dip are on your to-do list, Hammonasset Beach's two-mile-long stretch of beach makes it easy to get these vacation "musts" crossed off. Plenty of parking and hundreds, upon hundreds of overnight guest sites for camping means this beach tends to get crowded, especially if it's a beautiful day. Clean, well-groomed, and readily visited, this beach is surely a Connecticut favorite.
The park's campground is host to over 500 guest sites during open season, from May to October, meaning - even with so much to do, there's always room for more. The park has accounted for this with special facilities and amenities open to its overnight guests. The campground features an updated Camper's Playground, volleyball equipment, horseshoe pits, and an Outdoor Fitness Circuit. You can join in on softball games, shared cookouts, and movie nights. There's plenty to keep the whole family entertained - even if you don't get to step out of the grounds much.
During warm, beautiful, sun-filled days, as spring transforms into summer, the flowers bloom around Hammonasset Beach State Park and increase the chances for guests to encounter a great variety of butterflies. Swallowtails frequent the native plants, keen to place their larvae here. As peak season starts to wind down and September rolls in, guests are greeted with the familiar beauty of the Monarch. Many of these beauties fly over the garden daily and roost overnight in local trees. The Meigs Point Butterfly Garden is the perfect location to inspire guests from all walks.
Make sure you don’t forget to pack the swimsuits, beach toys, and floaties in the motorhome before heading out so you can enjoy the water along the two miles of Hammonasset Beach here at the park. However, there is no lifeguard, so you will have to swim at your own risk. Be sure to put life jackets on the little ones and those who are not expert swimmers because the surf here can be rough at times.