Hammonasset Beach State Park

Beachgoers Get to Hammonasset Early Friday to Avoid Crowded Lots

Memorial Day Weekend is the "unofficial start of summer," but it will look different this year during a pandemic.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

They say the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, they at least the first pick of real estate at Hammonasset Beach State Park.

“Actually we left the house at 6 a.m,” said Nancy Rivera, of Bristol. “We were dying to get out of the home, the house.”

Rivera and her daughter, Melanie Lugo of Bristol, were soaking up the sun by 7:45 a.m. Friday morning.

 “It’s important to stay social distant because you don’t know. You don’t know,” said Lugo, referring to the invisibility of the spreading of the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s like well, it’s going to be 80 degrees today, so let’s go to the beach, you know, social distancing and all,” said Rivera.

They, like others NBC Connecticut spoke to on the sand, were itching to get out of the house.

Some doubled down to get work done ahead of time to extend the long weekend.

“I’ve been cooped up inside for really long and I knew it was going to be a nice day today, so I got all my school work done yesterday and I heard that the beaches were opening up so I wanted to come down,” said Taylor Bauer, a Windsor Locks High School junior.

Folks came prepared with snacks, masks, hand sanitizer, and the understanding they’d have to use portable toilets since the concessions and restrooms are closed.

“We have our masks, we have Clorox wipes, my parents brought us towels so we can keep those out to keep people 6 feet from us to stay safe,” said Bauer.

Those who were early to rise may be the wisest since parking spots at Connecticut state beaches have been limited to keep people socially distant.

Both Hammonasset Beach State Park and Rocky Neck State Park closed because they reached capacity just past noon on Friday.

“If it gets crowded, we’ll run for the hills,” said Rivera laughing.

Before you and your family travel anywhere this weekend make sure to check out the CT State Parks Twitter page. They’ll be posting when lots at state beaches and parks are too full and can’t take more visitors. 

Contact Us