Why Connecticut Beaches Are Better Than Rhode Island Beaches

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Whenever someone asks, “What’s the best beach in Connecticut,” the predictable beach snob response is, “Go to Rhode Island.”

After all, Connecticut’s water isn’t even technically the ocean. It’s an estuary. It connects to both rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike Rhode Island, which gets pure ocean, despite not being an Island at all.

Long Island Sound highlighted in pink
Hmmmmmm

Before you pack your bags for Misquamicut, let me make a counter-argument, though:

Connecticut beaches are better, sort of!

Here’s why.

1. Warmer Water

This is 90% of my argument right here. At the end of the day, going to the beach isn’t just about sitting in the sun and looking at cool-ass waves.

Giant Wave with Sunglasses
Why would I do this

It’s about getting relief from the heat by swimming in the ocean estuary.

The water temperature in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, as of this writing on July 18th, 2022, is 68F.  It’s 68. It’s not terrible. But it’s not that good, either.

It’s mid-July. Three weeks ago it was 63! What is this, some kind of Polar Ice Challenge?

The water temperature in New Haven, Connecticut right now? 72 degrees.

Lighthouse Point Park with Sunglasses On It
Presented without comment (Photo courtesy Daphne Swiateck, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Beautiful. Perfect, even. Cold enough to be refreshing, warm enough to not feel like you’re slowly dying as you enter the water.

2. No Sea Monsters

You know what lives in the Atlantic Ocean? Great White Sharks. Killer Whales. Porcupine Crabs. Octopus… es.

Who knows. You can’t see! But we’ve all seen Jaws. You know where Jaws is set? On an island. In the very same Atlantic Ocean.

C'thulu
No sunglasses cause there is nothing cool about this typical Atlantic Ocean Sea Creature

If the movie Jaws was set in Long Island Sound it would just be some kid getting stung by a jellyfish.

3. Beach Traffic

You know what my favorite part of the beach is? The two-and-a-half hour drive home on I-95. So fun. So good for the Earth.

Traffic with Sunglasses

Good thing you just spent all day in the sun, I’m sure you’ll be at your most alert for this monotonous ride home!

It takes me 20 minutes to get home from Lighthouse Point in New Haven. Twenty minutes.

That extra two hours and ten minutes I get? I can do anything with it.

Build a bench. Scale a skyscraper. Eat ice cream until my tummy hurts.

Strawberry Ice Cream
Good luck eating this in your Honda CR-V

The possibilities are endless and every single one of them involves me eating ice cream and you sitting in traffic.

4. No Waves = Relaxation Mode

You ever wanna just lie in the sea, staring up at the sky, wondering how it’s possible that throughout all the billions of stars and galaxies and endless satellite planets you are consciously aware of yourself right here right now in this moment alone in the universe —

Oh never mind you got hit by a wave. You were about to achieve nirvana. I guess you’ll never have enlightenment now.

Will Ferrell spilling wine on himself while crying

Waves? You gotta pay attention to waves. I don’t want my beach to slap me or knock me over. I respect myself enough to know what I want out of an ocean estuary.

Long Island Sound is chill. it’s so chill you can literally just sit your butt right down in the water and enjoy a fun little sit-down hang-out with your pals.

5. We Didn’t Invent Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Seriously, Rhode Island. What’s your problem? Why would you do this?

Rhode Island Clam Chowder
angry face emoji

New England Clam Chowder is perfect. Why would you ruin it with a clean broth? “Oh people really want to see the clams” nobody asked for this.

OK, that’s my argument. And, I admit, it’s not very good.

But I am lazy and my beach is right here and the beach you like is in another state???? Cool have fun see you on 95 I’ll be waving from the Ice Cream Shoppe.

But Isn’t Long Island Sound Polluted?

I’m so glad you asked! Actually, it’s not bad! Obviously, west of Bridgeport isn’t great, but honestly, isn’t that all rich people anyway? Am I supposed to feel bad for them??

Long Island Sound Grades
Look at those appealing shades of safe green water

The little part with the red is where New Yorkers pay $4,000/month to live on purpose!

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OK, I’m Convinced! Where Should I Go?

  1. Hammonasset (Madison): Nice sand, loooonnggg beach, rotaries everywhere
  2. West Haven: The boardwalk area is cool, and parking is surprisingly cheap. Low tide is rough though.
  3. Rocky Neck (East Lyme): Fills up pretty fast though
  4. Silver Sands (Milford): It’s free and it’s definitely there, it’s not the best and it’s not the worst! I’ve had much worse things said about myself
  5. Lighthouse Point Park (New Haven): It’s $25 for ppl who don’t live in New Haven but who cares about those ppl

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