When planning to hit the beach in Norwalk Connecticut, beachcombers have two
options: Calf Pasture Beach and Shady Beach Park. The two adjacent parks fronting
Long Island Sound offer 44 acres of scenic beauty, complete with a long shoreline,
fishing pier, a boat launch, and plenty of places to have fun.
For these two southwest Connecticut
beaches, the bulk of the visitor amenities are found at Calf Pasture Beach
in Norwalk, including a year-round restaurant, concession stands, picnic facilities,
and changing areas. Beachgoers also can join in a game of sand volleyball, spend
time at the shaded playground, or head to the skate park. Lifeguards are on
duty when the weather's warm.
Shady Park Beach is unmonitored, but swimming is still allowed. Its visitor amenties include shaded picnic tables, barbecue grills, and restrooms.
Like the other beaches along Long Island Sound, including Silver Sands State Park and Penfield Beach, visitors will find a scenic setting to enjoy swimming, angling, volleyball, and strolling the beach. Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk is known as one of the least crowded beaches in coastal Fairfield County. Beachcombers will have plenty of room to stretch out a blanket at both Calf Pasture Beach and Shady Beach.
Whether they want to stay on the sand or head into the surf, beach visitors will have their choice of things to do. Along with swimming, people head to this beach in Norwalk Connecticut for boating, fishing, and shellfishing.
Local outfitters provide equipment for some of the cool water activities like sail boating, wind surfing, and kayaking. The beach is the entry point for the Norwalk Islands Canoe/Kayak Trail. Some of the islands off the coast are open to the public. Camping permits can be obtained for Shea Island and Grassy Island, which also can be reached by boat. Sheffield Island is an interesting place to explore, complete with beaches, a nature preserve, and its own Connecticut beaches. The Norwalk Seaport Association leads a variety of summertime programs, such as nature walks, lighthouse tours, clambakes, and bird-watching cruises. Every September, the organization hosts an oyster festival back on shore at Norwalk's Veteran's Park.
In the summer, outdoor movies are shown at Shady Beach on select Saturday nights. The movies are specially chosen to appeal to younger audiences and their families; before dark and the movie begins, a variety of kids games kick off the event. The calendar of events also includes concerts at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, which bring in a diverse range of talent and music genres.
Parking at Calf Pasture Beach and next-door Shady Park is available for a fee at the onsite lot. Free parking is available in the summer at the elementary school, which is a short walk away. Regardless of where they park, nonresidents need to pay admission to the beaches. Locals can obtain passes from the city before the summer season begins.
A visit to the nearby aquarium is a perfect complement to time at the beach in Norwalk Connecticut. Focusing on the marine life of the Long Island Sound, the Maritime Aquarium is home to a rainbow of live animals, an IMAX theater, cool special exhibits, and ongoing research to preserve and conserve natural resources.