Recently, we discovered where to have your own private beach near NYC! I almost hesitate to publish this because it was so remote and wonderful. But... it's your lucky day, if you are willing to embark on a rigorous kayak journey to get there.
The Norwalk Islands are a little chain of over 25 islands just off the coast of Norwalk Connecticut... right off of Calf Pasture Beach. Hop on a train from Grand Central to East Norwalk, and you'll be there in about an hour. The walk to CPB is about 20 minutes. We rented kayaks at Norwalk Sailing School (cash only!) and set off on a 3 hour journey around the islands. Paddling out was relatively easy. We travelled to a few of the nearby islands... most had rocky shores but were easy to land on. (I recommend wearing water shoes like Keens - it was hard to walk on the rocks barefooted)
We discovered one little uninhabited spot and set up our umbrella and chilled out. The water was pretty cold, and smelled a bit lake-ish, but was still nice to take a dip in on a hot summer day.
The ride back was a bit challenging, since we caught high tide and a bit of wind. I'd suggest checking tide times online prior to renting, so you aren't trying to paddle against the tide.
Calf Pasture Beach looked pretty nice and not too crowded - and you can rent chairs for $5! There was a nice burger joint and clean restrooms. We didn't really spend much time here, but plan to return.
|Calf Pasture Beach|
After our big kayak adventure, we hitched a ride to a little area by the water where there were seafood shops, a pizza joint (Partners Cafe) and ice cream stands. This is also walkable from Calf Pasture Beach - probably about 20 minutes, and about a 10 minute walk from the train station. We enjoyed pizza followed by shakes from Mr. Frosty's ice cream stand:
(photo credit: Videler photography)