You’ve sunscreened the kids, packed the cooler, rolled up the towels—it’s time to plant your umbrella in the sand. Fairfield has five beautiful beaches along a five-mile stretch of Long Island Sound coastline (and Lake Mohegan for freshwater fans)
880 South Benson Rd.,
The 27-acre beach is Fairfield’s biggest and its rock jetty is perfect for kids to hunt crabs. There’s a large concession stand, bathroom facilities, volleyball poles and sailboat/kayak racks (and, yes, boat access). On the inland side of the parking lot is the much-loved Sand Castle Playground and the new skate park. Try swimming lessons or the Fairfield Sailing School, and definitely check out Sand Jam Family Fun Dance & Family Movie Night (July 13 and 27 and August 9). The night starts with a DJ at 6:30 p.m., and the movie begins at dark, around 8:45 p.m. It’s the only town beach where you may have a bonfire (get a permit). It’s also handicapped accessible. It’s high season, so no dogs or horses yet.
323 Fairfield Beach Rd.,
203-255-7328 (July and August)
The beach appears much larger than its 3.5 acres, as Penfield blends into Jennings. At low tide, tidal pools abound, which means hours of fun for the kids. You can also launch a sailboat, canoe, or kayak at the far end of the beach. Amenities like sailboat racks, daily and seasonal locker rentals, a large covered deck, handicapped accessibility, new bathroom facilities, and outdoor showers. Picnic tables placed under cover or on the beach by the BBQ grills. There’s a swingset for kids next to the concession stand, which offers, among other options, wrap sandwiches and salads. The Penfield Pavilion just underwent a dazzling renovation. It and the Jacky Durrell Pavilion are available for rental.
1401 Sasco Hill Rd.,
The 9.9 acres here is remarkably secluded in its Sasco Hill neighborhood. This is a resident- only beach. Pack a cooler—there are no concession stands at this peaceful oasis, but there are lifeguards on duty, BBQ grills and recently renovated bathrooms.
South Pine Creek Beach
1424 South Pine Creek Rd.,
The smallest beach in Fairfield is only for town residents. When its tiny parking lot fills up, you can park (with a beach pass) at the Scandinavian Club a little further up the street. They have bathroom facilities and lifeguards, too.
1505 Pequot Ave.
This 2.5 acres is only for town residents. This family-friendly beach is especially terrific at low tide when your kids splash around in the squishy sand collecting scads of crabs. It has a small concession stand, picnic tables, BBQ grills, bathroom facilities, and lifeguards.
960 Morehouse Hwy.
Lake Mohegan is the perfect spot for young families—no rogue waves to worry about, plus an awesome sprinkler park and playground just steps off the lake’s edge. The swimming areas are roped off by depth, and lifeguards are on duty. The lake is part of an open-space property made up of 170.4 acres with hiking trails. There is no parking fee for the lake, but you do need a Lake Season Pass (town residents and nonresidents) or pay a daily rate gate fee from Memorial Day Saturday through Labor Day. There’s also a picnic shelter and a newly renovated, handicapped-accessible concession stand and bathrooms. There’s even a lending library of paperbacks near the concession stand. Residents may also sign up for swim lessons at the lake.
For more information about the town beaches, contact Fairfield Parks and Recreation, 75 Mill Plain Rd.; 203-256-3191; fairfieldrecreation.com.