Explore a pretty foreshore park under the watch of a historic lighthouse and go swimming, ride a heritage carousel and wander along scenic nature trails.
Look out across Long Island Sound from Lighthouse Point Park, the spacious waterfront parkland that fronts the New Haven landmark lighthouse. A lighthouse has stood on the eastern edge of New Haven Harbor since the early 19th century, protecting sailors from the rocky shoreline and guiding them home. Explore the park’s pretty grounds and wander along the foreshore trails. Take a ride on the park’s magnificent antique carousel and enjoy the nostalgia of its original 1920s ornaments.
Wander around the leafy foreshore of Lighthouse Point Park and take in the beauty of Long Island Sound. Gaze up at the octagonal sandstone lighthouse and imagine how its beacon would have appeared during the 73 years it beamed out from the point. Walk down to the sandy beach and make your way along the shoreline. If it’s a sunny day, lay out a towel and go for a swim in summer when the waters are supervised by lifeguards. Younger kids will love the fountains at the park’s splashpad.
Be awed by the gilt splendor of the restored 1920s carousel and take a ride on one of 72 figures as the glittering platform slowly spins. Check out the boardwalk and chat with local anglers to see what’s biting. Drop a fishing line and spend an afternoon relaxing on the pier. You can also launch a leisure boat from the public boat ramp.
The park’s leafy grounds have several picnic tables, as well as pleasant spots to relax under the shade of pavilions and trees. There is a playground and a swing set for children to enjoy. If you visit in the fall or spring, be sure to make the most of this bird-watching hot spot. Look for songbirds and birds of prey as they rest and feed at their migratory stopover along Morris Creek. Find out about wildlife education programs and the Annual Migration Festival with local bird-watching groups and park rangers, which is held in fall.
Lighthouse Point Park is under 20 minutes’ drive from downtown New Haven. There is an entrance fee for the park and for carousel rides. The carousel operates on weekend and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The park is open between April and November.