Beaches & Shoreline

West Haven prides itself on being home to the longest stretch of publicly accessible shoreline in Connecticut. The city’s nearly 4-mile tract of beach on Long Island Sound comprises 25 percent of the state’s public beaches, a valuable asset that is ripe for discovery.

West Haven is also home to one of the best beaches to visit in New England, according to Globe Magazine, published by The Boston Globe and Boston Globe Media. In the magazine’s 2018 Summer Travel edition, West Haven, specifically the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, was ranked 11th out of “The 20 best beaches to visit in New England.” According to the magazine, Sandy Point was best for “birding, fishing, trails.” When highlighting the area, the magazine said: “A 1.7-mile recreation path ties together West Haven’s sandy beaches on Long Island Sound. On the eastern end, the sand spit known as Sandy Point is one of the prize locations on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail. Save the swimming for nearby Bradley Point and Morse parks and take the binoculars to Sandy Point to watch the shorebirds. A colony of sharp-tailed sparrows nests in the adjacent tidal marsh. The entire sanctuary is also a major stopover for spring and fall migrants. Surfcasters like the point at night during striper season.” Read the full article at Globe Magazine.

West Haven Sandy Point and Shoreline Geoffrey Steadman (Small)

The West Haven shore is one of the state’s foremost locations to observe rare shorebirds, serving as a migratory route for some of the most endangered bird species. The Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, one of the sites featured on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail, has been designated an “Important Bird Area” by Audubon Connecticut. The estuary is also where Sammy the harp seal has been spotted.

Harbor Seal Catches Some Rays on Dawson Ave. Beach 015 (Small)

Learn more about Sandy Point at Audubon Connecticut's website and CT Waterbirds Blogspot.

Bradley Point Park Memorials 016 (Small)

Historic Bradley Point Park, boasting scenic panoramas of Long Island Sound, marks the area where invading British troops landed on July 5, 1779, and now serves as a haven for picnickers and passive recreation. The shoreline is just minutes from the downtown business and entertainment district.

Interstate 95 North (From Bridgeport)


Route 1

  1. Take Exit 42.
  2. Turn right onto Route 162, Sawmill Road.
  3. Follow beach signs about 2 miles to Captain Thomas Boulevard. Public parking lots are in both directions.

Route 2

  1. Take Exit 43.
  2. Turn right onto Campbell Avenue.
  3. Follow beach signs about 1 ½ miles to Captain Thomas Boulevard.
  4. Turn left at the traffic light, then turn right at the stop sign.
  5. Follow the water along Beach Street. The Sandy Point public parking lot is about a ½ mile on the right, across from the former site of Captain’s Galley.
Arial Photo of the Beach

Interstate 95 South (From New Haven)


Route 1


  1. Take Exit 42.
  2. Turn right onto Route 162, Sawmill Road.
  3. Follow beach signs about 2 miles to Captain Thomas Boulevard. Public parking lots are in both directions.

Route 2


  1. Turn right onto Captain Thomas Boulevard.
  2. Travel about a ¼ mile to the Bradley Point Park public parking lot, the first lot on the left.

Route 3


  1. Turn left onto Captain Thomas Boulevard.
  2. Travel about 1 mile through two traffic lights, then turn right at the stop sign.
  3. Follow the water along Beach Street. The Morse Park public parking lot is about a ¼ mile on the left, after the former Chick’s Drive-in.

Route 4


  1. Turn left onto Captain Thomas Boulevard.
  2. Travel about 1 mile through two traffic lights, then turn right at the stop sign.
  3. Follow the water along Beach Street. The Sandy Point public parking lot is about a ½ mile on the right, across from the former site of Captain’s Galley.

Route 5


  1. Take Exit 43.
  2. Turn left onto Route 122, First Avenue.
  3. Follow beach signs about 1 ½ miles to the water. The Morse Park public parking lot is on the right, 100 yards past the former site of Captain’s Galley on Beach Street.