Beach Camping in NJ/NY/CT
September 19, 2022 4:46 AM   Subscribe

Where can we camp on the beach in the NJ/NY/CT area?

A friend posted a photo of camping with her kids in a tent on a beach in Long Island, which looked fun. Alas, her location is private for residents only. Where else could we go that’s only a few hours drive from northern NJ? Somewhere with bathrooms nearby would be nice.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hammonnasset State Park (CT) has camping and a beach, but, I think, not camping on the beach. There are fees, of course, and in the friendliest Connecticut fashion, higher fees for out-of-staters.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:00 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]

I can confirm, as a Hammonnasset camper, that the beach is nearby (walk/bike distance) but the camping is on grass and not even near enough to the water to hear the waves. I have seen some tent sites with beach views in photos of Hither Hill State Park in Montauk.
posted by xo at 5:47 AM on September 19

Continuing the thread, the Connecticut beaches are on Long Island Sound, not the open Atlantic. The waves are often, but not always, about the size you would expect at a large pond.

I looked farther and Rocky Neck State Park seems to have similar facilities.

Also the season at the State Parks ends Oct 10.

Fire Island looks more promising, at least in this one picture.
posted by SemiSalt at 6:28 AM on September 19

This is stretching the definition of "few hours drive" (or stretching the definition of Northern NJ), but if your family enjoys this tristate area trip, you might want to consider a future one to Assateague State Park, where you can find beach camping, bathrooms, and wild ponies.
posted by nobody at 9:43 AM on September 19

Earlier answers mention the 2 or 3 state parks on Long Island you can definitely beach camp at. Also look into Rhode Island - I know there are a couple of state parks there on and near the beach.

For Sandy Hook (which is the best of all in the area): If you are in Northern NJ, it will be faster for you to come into the city, take the Seastreak ferry to Sandy Hook. Driving to Sandy Hook, NJ from Northern New Jersey will take you forever, b/c traffic.

Avoid Connecticut "beach camping" at all costs, the Sound is not the ocean. More like dirty mud pond camping (which is fine, but its not beach camping.).
posted by RajahKing at 1:33 PM on September 19

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