The scent of sea air, fireflies twinkling in the night, trips to ice cream stands, seemingly endless days, and a bit of sand in your car that you just can’t remove are what make a Connecticut summer. Sleepy towns come alive with locals strolling the sidewalks. Teenagers remove the hard tops from their white Jeeps and blast the latest song of the summer while cruising the town.
Even in this buttoned-up New England state, we collectively take a breather and enjoy the magical months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The local uniform of button-up suits and brogues are traded in for bathing suits and boat shoes. While seafood is a year-round delight for us, there are a number of summer only shacks that dot the coastline and sell fried or roasted clams and oysters, or my favorite, Connecticut-style lobster rolls that are hot and buttery instead of the chilled, mayo-laden Maine version.
Surprisingly, there are few hotels that have the coveted beachside real estate. Several factors contribute to this, but mainly, the land is either owned by private residents, or the beaches belong to each individual town or city, so everyone can enjoy the sand and sea (for a fee). This means you likely won’t be able to step from your hotel room into the sound, but with low building ordinances, views abound from just about anywhere along the coast.
No matter which area you choose to visit, you’ll have no problem relaxing at one these eight Connecticut beach hotels.