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.
In the 2018 Summer Travel edition of Globe Magazine, 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, published by The Boston Globe and Globe Media, 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.
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.
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.