New England has its share of boisterous beaches like New Hampshire's Hampton Beach and Maine's Old Orchard Beach, but those in the know head to quieter coastal outposts when they want to savor the simple pleasures of warm sand, salty breezes, and gentle ocean waves. One of New England's most scenic and secluded little beaches is located in the historic village of Stonington Borough on Connecticut's southeastern shore. Although it offers just 265 feet of frontage on Long Island Sound, duBois Beach is the perfect choice for those in search of a low-key and picturesque patch of sand.
Because duBois Beach is rather petite, it's a good idea to arrive early in the day in order to find a parking spot and to stake out a place for your beach towel or blanket. The beach is privately owned by the Stonington Village Improvement Association, which offers public access to the beach for a daily fee in season. As of 2019, the fee for beach access is $10 per adult, and admission is free for those under the age of 21.
Facilities at the beach are limited to a portable toilet, a wooden pavilion, benches and a water fountain. Lifeguards are on hand to protect swimmers during the summer season, and warm, shallow waters make this an ideal beach for families with small children.
You may never tire of swimming, sunning and watching sailboats drift along the Sound, but if you do, walk north along Water Street to explore Stonington Borough's cafes, shops, and historic homes, many of which were built by sea captains during the village's whaling days. Stonington remains home to Connecticut's only surviving commercial fishing fleet. You may also want to visit the Old Lighthouse Museum, located just diagonally across the street from duBois Beach. Although it is no longer an active navigational aid, the 1840 Stonington Harbor Light is an enduring landmark that now houses historical exhibits. Admission also entitles visitors to climb to the top of the stone beacon for sweeping views of Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is open May through October every day except Wednesday.
What You Need to Know About duBois Beach in Stonington, CT
Location: You'll find duBois Beach on your right at the Stonington Point end of Water Street, the main road through Stonington Borough.
Directions: Leave I-95 in Connecticut at exit 91, then follow the Pequot Trail/Route 234 to a left on North Main Street. Proceed 2.2 miles to a left on Trumbull Avenue/Route 1A. Turn right onto Alpha Avenue, then left on Water Street.
Parking: Free parking is available at Stonington Point, located at the end of Water Street just steps from the beach.
Access Fees: As of 2019, the daily fee for non-resident use of duBois Beach is $10 per person over the age of 20.
Operating Schedule: DuBois Beach is open weekends only starting Memorial Day weekend, then daily from mid-June through Labor Day.
For More Information: Call the Stonington Community Center at 860-535-2476.
Staying Over? Compare Rates and Reviews for Stonington Hotels and Inns with TripAdvisor.
More Hidden Connecticut Beaches
Two other secret beaches in Connecticut worth the daily admission price are:
Jacobs Beach: Tucked away from pubic drive-bys on Seaside Avenue—a dead end street in Guilford, Connecticut—this beach is petite but picturesque. The water is clear and reflective, there's a lighthouse on Faulkner's Island in the distance, and sailboats put on a show. Kids love the playground here, and there are just enough facilities—a bath house, outdoor showers, a little boardwalk—to make this 430-foot crescent of sand feel like all you need on a summery day. When you've had your fill of water play, fill your belly with fresh-caught lobster at a table on the deck of the equally hidden Guilford Lobster Pound, just around the corner from the beach.
Harvey's Beach: Unlike Old Saybrook, Connecticut's Town Beach, Harvey's Beach on Great Hammock Road (Route 154) is open to non-residents for a fee. And it's a small price to pay for access to this pretty strip of sand, where a concession truck will feed your appetite and the views of rippled sand and wavy marsh grasses will feed your soul.