11 Best Beaches near Mystic, CT

Written by Shandley McMurray
Oct 9, 2020

Mystic is a small Connecticut town oozing New England charm. Once a booming seaport, this maritime gem boasts an impressive Seaport Museum, incredible aquarium, and fabulous shops and restaurants. Featuring beautiful vistas, its lovely area beaches are also worthy of a visit, especially during the summer.

A popular spot for a Connecticut weekend getaway, Mystic's pretty local beaches attract visitors craving that vacay feeling of sand between their toes while also offering up the fun amenities found in this adorable seaside town.

While technically only one beach lies within Mystic, visitors enjoy other sandy strands located only a few miles away. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly strand boasting amusement park rides or a secluded spot to fish, you'll find a beach to love on our list of the best beaches in Mystic.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Williams Beach Park, Mystic

Williams Beach Park
Williams Beach Park

The only public beach in Mystic, you'll find this sandy shore, featuring a soft tan base, at the Ocean Community YMCA. Kids will love chasing each other into the waves at Williams Beach Park. Being quite small (the strand is only 120 feet long), there's no risk of them getting lost.

Beside the sand lies another kid fave: a colorful playground welcoming them to swing, climb, and jump their way through the day. The area also boasts spacious fields and a picnic area to add a little variety to your beach day. Another bonus: parking is free!

The surf at Williams Beach Park is most often calm, making it a fun spot for families to visit. That said, there are no lifeguards on duty, so you should be extra vigilant around the water, especially if you're traveling with kids.

Insider's tip: Ensure an uber fun day by packing a picnic, paddleboard, kayak, sand toys, and a beach ball.

Address: 1 Harry Austin Drive, Mystic, Connecticut

2. duBois Beach, Stonington

duBois Beach at sunset
duBois Beach at sunset | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Don't miss the sunset at duBois Beach. Located at the tip of Stonington Point, across from the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse, this small sandy strand boasts an impressive watery vista of Fisher's Island Sound, Stonington Harbor, and Little Narragansett Bay. Technically, this beach lies in Stonington, a quintessential suburb of Mystic.

Enjoy shade from the wooden gazebo, build a sandcastle, or watch the kids splash in the calm water. During the summer, lifeguards are on duty but a small fee ($10) is requested to help maintain the beach, which is owned by the Stonington Village Improvement Association. Parking is free.

duBois Beach's close proximity to the shops and restaurants of Water Street make it easy to grab take out for a tasty picnic.

Insider's tip: Use the restroom before heading back to the beach, as you won't find amenities here. Also, be sure to take your garbage when you leave.

Address: 5 Water Street, Stonington, Connecticut

3. Napatree Point Conservation Area, Westerly

Napatree Point Conservation Area
Napatree Point Conservation Area

If you time it right, you may catch sight of vibrant butterflies flittering about the goldenrod lining the path to this pretty beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. It's a mere 14 miles from Mystic, but you'll want to set out early to get the most out of your day at this utopia.

A quiet wonderland of natural beauty, the vibrant blue waves and soft, sandy shore aren't the only attractions in Napatree Point Conservation Area. Birds, crabs, and other wildlife are known to roam the 86 acres. In fact, this spot has been designated as a "Globally Important Bird Area." Pack a camera.

The area was originally named "Nap of Trees" to pay tribute to the dense forest covering the ground. Storms (especially those in 1815) have destroyed most of the trees in the area, leaving sand dunes and an unobscured view of Little Narragansett Bay.

You won't find amenities or even trash cans in this protected area, so bring what you'd like to eat and drink, and remember to take it with you when you leave.

Insider's tip: Street parking is set at a two-hour maximum, so look for a lot if you're planning to spend longer. Their fees can be anywhere from $20 to $35 for the day.

Address: 99 Fort Road, Westerly, Rhode Island

4. Esker Point Beach, Groton

Esker Point Beach
Esker Point Beach

A quick, seven-minute drive will get you to the public Esker Point Beach in Groton. Although this beach also lies outside the Mystic lines, it's close enough (just over three miles) to visit easily. It boasts a boat launch, grassy picnic area, concession stand, and grills. Parking is free.

In addition to the sand (which is quite rocky in parts), visitors can enjoy six volleyball courts (bring your own ball) and amenities, including outdoor showers and restrooms.

Be careful near the water, as there are no lifeguards on duty. This shouldn't be a problem since the surf is basically nonexistent in quiet Esker Bay. Don't miss the Summer Soundwaves Beach Concert Series on Thursday nights from 6 to 8pm. They start mid-June, are family-friendly, and are free to attend!

Another bonus: Esker Point Beach allows dogs.

Address: 900 Groton Long Point Road, Groton, Connecticut

5. Bluff Point State Park, Groton

Bluff Point State Park
Bluff Point State Park | kenneth casper / photo modified

Pretty Bluff Point State Park stretches into the Long Island Sound. An undeveloped natural wonderland, this forested peninsula (measuring 1.5 miles long by one mile in width) offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with some of the area's most incredible plant and animal species.

An easy trip from Mystic, the drive will only take about 10 minutes. A long dirt trail takes visitors to the beach, which is rocky enough to require shoes. It's also filled with shells, a treat for collectors everywhere.

It's a bit of a trek to get here, so you'll want to pack water and snacks. As with most beaches in the area, there aren't trash cans, so take the garbage with you.

The main reason people visit this park can be found at the top of the bluff. The view from here is spectacular, especially if you time it for sunset. Insider's tip: Bring a flashlight for your hike back to the car.

Address: 55 Depot Road, Groton, Connecticut

6. Ocean Beach Park, New London

New London Lighthouse near Ocean Beach Park
New London Lighthouse near Ocean Beach Park

Ocean Beach Park is one of the best beaches in Connecticut. Kids will beg to stay here thanks to its slew of entertainment options (we're talking a waterslide, carousel, playground, water park, mini golf course, and Olympic-sized pool). The soft white sand and calm water make it easy for parents to agree.

The park covers 50 acres and includes a lovely half-mile boardwalk, winding nature trail, and enough fun to keep the whole family happy. Another great part about this Atlantic Ocean strand? It's located in New London, a quick 13-mile drive southwest of Mystic.

This is a popular beach to spend the day. You'll find plenty of amenities, including restrooms, locker rooms, a picnic area, and gift shop. Grab lunch at the Sandbar Café or one of the on-site concession stands.

Daily passes (which include parking) cost $18 for weekdays and $25 on weekends. You'll have to pay an additional fee to use the pool and play mini golf.

Address: 98 Neptune Avenue, New London, Connecticut

7. Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly

Misquamicut State Beach
Misquamicut State Beach | Amy Gaitan / photo modified

Just over the border in Rhode Island lie seven miles of sugary soft sand and super clear water. A 28-minute drive gets Mystic visitors to the most popular strand in Westerly and one of the best beaches in Rhode Island.

A perfect spot for families, Misquamicut State Beach boasts a mild surf and more than half a mile of shore to explore. Amenities at this lovely spot include a pavilion, outside showers, restrooms, a gift shop, concessions, and gazebos for shade.

More shops, restaurants, and water sports equipment rentals can be found a short walk from the beach. Another bonus: if you're visiting between September 30th and April 1st, you can bring your dog along.

Non-residents pay $20 to visit on a weekday or $28 on a weekend. You'll want to spend the entire day here, so the fee is more than worthwhile.

Insider's tip: The beach often reaches capacity during the summer, so arrive early.

Address: 257 Atlantic Avenue, Westerly, Rhode Island

8. Eastern Point Beach, Groton

Eastern Point Beach
Eastern Point Beach

Eastern Point Beach lies just under 10 miles southeast of Mystic in Groton. Housed at the mouth of the Thames River, right where it joins the Long Island Sound, the water here is calm and cool. It's also guarded by lifeguards.

As for amenities, you'll find the usual suspects: restrooms, a snack bar, showers, and picnic tables. This is a fun place to spend a day - you'll also find basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a playground on-site. Trust us, your kids won't want to leave.

Non-residents will have to fork out $30 to park for the day during high season (Memorial Day to Labor Day). To make it worthwhile, head out early and plan to spend the whole day. With so much to do, that should be easy!

Address: 1 Beach Pond Road, Groton, Connecticut

9. Watch Hill Beach, Westerly

Watch Hill Beach
Watch Hill Beach

Another popular beach in Westerly, this sparkling gem graces the shores of the upscale neighborhood of the same name. While sunset is perhaps the most picturesque time to visit, this beach is pristine at all times of the day. And it's a short, 27-minute drive southeast of Mystic.

An antique carousel ups the charm factor of this sandy spot, which is dubbed Carousel Beach by locals. It's conveniently located near the town's shops and restaurants, and a short walk will get you to the Watch Hill Lighthouse.

Watch Hill Beach boasts restrooms, showers, changing rooms, and lifeguards. Rentals of beach umbrellas, chairs, and boogie boards, as well as lockers, are also available. And if you visit during the summer, you might just catch sight of its famous neighbor, Taylor Swift.

Insider's tip: Parking can be a nightmare, so arrive early if you're hoping to snag a good spot.

Address: 151-153 Bay Street, Westerly, Rhode Island

10. Soundview Beach, Old Lyme

Soundview Beach
Soundview Beach

A 25-minute, almost 22-mile drive southwest from Mystic will lead you to a small community beach in Old Lyme. You'll find concessions, portable toilets, and a picnic area (in the parking lot) at this 100-foot sandy strand. Shops and restaurants are only a short walk from the shore.

Open-air concerts are held at various points throughout the summer, which attract a larger crowd of young adults, so arrive early to ensure you have a good spot.

While swimming is a popular activity in the quiet surf of the Long Island Sound, there are no lifeguards on duty, so splashing about is at your own risk. As a result of this, and the fact that balls aren't allowed, this isn't the best beach for kids.

Address: 88 Hartford Avenue, Old Lyme, Connecticut

11. Harkness Memorial Park, Waterford

Harkness Memorial Park at sunset
Harkness Memorial Park at sunset

The former estate of philanthropists Edward and Mary Harkness lies within the sprawling 200 acres of Harkness Memorial Park. There, too, you'll find impeccably kept gardens bursting into bloom throughout the spring and summer, as well as a small sandy beach.

Pack a picnic and settle in to enjoy a lovely view of the Long Island Sound from this pristine shore. Don't expect water sports or volleyball games, though. This isn't that type of beach. In fact, swimming is not permitted here either. That said, anglers will be more than happy to fish.

Those who visit come to enjoy the peace and quiet offered in this Nature Preserve, as well as a chance to see some of the area's most impressive wildlife.

Address: 275 Great Neck Road, Waterford, Connecticut

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