Milford, the “Small City with a Big Heart,” and the westernmost outpost of New Haven County is one of Connecticut's oldest communities. Founded in 1639 through a purchase of land from the Paugussett Indians, the city has managed to retain a stretch of residential waterfront laced with about 1,000 houses. Milford’s 17-mile frontage on Long Island Sound -- the longest stretch of coastline in the state—is edged with 13 beaches interrupted only by a few marinas and a yacht club.
Designed by the famous architect Stanford White, Laurel Beach, a private association, was expertly planned in such a way to offer water views from every street. Each of the nine perfectly positioned avenues are centered around the 5th Avenue Park. While most residents live in Laurel Beach throughout the year, the seaside community serves as a destination for vacationers during the summer months. The Laurel Beach Association Clubhouse—known by locals as "The Casino"—becomes the hub of social life during summer months. With its sprawling wraparound porch and nearby tennis and basketball courts, the casino is reminiscent of a scene from Dirty Dancing. Residents also enjoy a private bricked, ocean-side boardwalk running the length of the nine streets.
Nestled on the West side of town alongside Silver Sands State Park, Walnut Beach has long served as a haven for summer visitors. By the turn of the 20th century, families vacationing to Walnut Beach came to expect a whiz-bang medley of games, shows, and rides at the Walnut Beach Amusement Park.While the sounds of the merry-go-round, skating rink, calliope, and motorboats are a distant memory, Walnut Beach has returned to its roots as a vibrant beach community. It features plenty of sand, a fishing pier, a cherished sand castle competition, a highly attended summer concert series, and a tranquil boardwalk connecting Walnut Beach to Silver Sands State Park. Stroll the sand and pocket a treasured jingle shell, or perhaps one of the many kindness rocks left along the dunes to be discovered. Walk the picturesque boardwalk and grab a double scoop from Walnut Beach Creamery. In fact, make it a triple.
A seaside haven alongside Milford Harbor, Fort Trumbull is perched high on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. The area offers the best of all worlds because of its proximity to downtown, the Milford Yacht Club , Port Milford and the entrance to Milford Harbor. Savor the sailing races on Thursday evenings from Trumbull Ave. and a spectacular fireworks display on Fourth of July. And with street names like Shell or Surf Ave, the neighborhood is a treasure. Here you'll find folks walking along water's edge, popping into Food Fare for an ice cream sandwich and spending their days on the sandbars at low tide.
Sunsets here—they never get old. The crescent-shaped sandy beach on Gulf Street, fishing pier and views of Charles Island are some of the best-kept secrets of the city. In the summer, while everyone is heading West to Walnut, Gulf Beach offers the best of both worlds with onsite parking, bathrooms and the only beach front snack stand serving up burgers, dogs and 25 flavors of soft serve. Opposite the beach, Gulf Pond is a haven for shorebirds with viewing platforms on both Gulf St. and Buckingham Ave. Just a walk to downtown; this treasured neighborhood features blocks so beautiful, they look fake. And, those majestic seaside villas on Point Lookout and Eveningside, well, let's just say they can easily hand with those waterfront estates in Darien any day.
Come Fourth of July, there’s no better place to be than Bayview where there is a highly-anticipated neighborhood parade. Tucked in between Welch’s Point and Calf Pen Meadow Creek, Bayview is home to about 300 families—many of who have lived in the beach community for generations. In Bayview, you’ll come to love the Chinese Auctions, Land Races, Swimming Races, Diving Competition, Bug Juice, sand castles, sailing, and, most of all, the sense of community.
A perfect blend of old and new, Morningside is perched high on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Industrialist Henry G. Thompson named his sprawling summer estate "Morningside" due to its enviable location facing the rising sun. This year-round community is home to about 200 families who gather for neighborhood picnics, monthly gatherings at the seawall and a Fourth of July block party.
Truly a slice of waterfront heaven, Woodmont Beach unravels like a spool of ribbon for more than a mile around jetties, points and coves. Once popular summer vacation spot sporting many large, fashionable hotels and inns, Woodmont Beach began as a summer colony, ribboned with shoreline walkways and mansions. Today, the lovely seaside neighborhood is a town unto itself with its own borough hall, beautification committee and volunteer fire department. Woodmont is dotted with well-planned landscapes of tiger lilies and hydrangeas, enlivening gray-shingled homes. Scattered in between are Arts and Crafts, Sticks and Dutch colonials and a handful of condos. Officially incorporated as a borough of Milford in 1903, Woodmont is roughly one square mile with about 760 households, its own library and an annual Woodmont Day with all-day music, a parade and pie eating contest that locals live for.
Three of the beaches offer public parking (Walnut Beach, Gulf Beach and Silver Sands). Residents can pick up their beach parking stickers at the Milford Police Department, 430 Boston Post Road, 878-6551 (Hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday). Visitors pay per diem at the city beaches.
Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
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1201 Boston Post Road, Unit 1100
Milford CT, 06460
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Whether you are a business or family looking to vacation, re-locate, or shop, Milford offers unlimited opportunities of all types. So, come visit us and you will understand why we are known as “the small city with a big heart.” (12/14/21)