Discover Compo Beach: Activities, Amenities & More
Compo Beach | Podcast
Compo Beach, located in Westport, Connecticut, is a picturesque waterfront destination that offers something for everyone. With its rich history, beautiful sandy beaches, and a variety of activities and amenities, Compo Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking to swim in the Long Island Sound, relax on the beach, play volleyball with friends, or enjoy a picnic with family, Compo Beach has it all. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Compo Beach, the top activities to do, location and accessibility, dining options, admission fees, water temperature, annual events and festivals, and more. So grab your sunscreen and beach towels, and let’s dive into everything that Compo Beach has to offer!
History of Compo Beach
Compo Beach has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s when it was first established as a popular bathing and picnic spot. The name “Compo” is derived from the Paugussett Native American word for “ground-nut,” which was a type of edible tuber that grew in the marshy areas near the beach.
During the late 1800s, the town of Westport began to purchase land around Compo Beach, creating a public park that became a popular destination for day-trippers from nearby cities. In 1915, the town constructed a large pavilion at the beach, which was used for dances, concerts, and other events.
In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built several structures at Compo Beach, including the iconic “Soundview Drive” seawall and bathhouse, which is now a designated historic landmark. The WPA also created the popular “Sasco Beach,” a smaller beach located just to the east of Compo Beach.
During World War II, Compo Beach was used as a training ground for troops, and a large anti-aircraft battery was installed at the beach. After the war, the beach returned to its recreational use, and the town continued to make improvements to the facilities, including adding a playground, tennis courts, and more.
Today, Compo Beach is a popular destination for residents and visitors, offering a variety of activities and amenities. The beach has undergone several renovations and upgrades over the years, including the addition of new concessions, lifeguard stations, and more. Despite these changes, Compo Beach has managed to maintain its historic charm, with many of the original structures and features still intact, making it a unique and beloved destination for generations.
- Compo Beach offers a range of activities that can cater to the interests of visitors of all ages. Here are the top activities that visitors can enjoy at Compo Beach: Swimming: Compo Beach offers a designated swimming area that is monitored by trained lifeguards during the summer months. The Long Island Sound waters are typically calm and clear, making it a great spot to cool off and take a dip. The swimming area is marked off with buoys and is shallow near the shore, gradually deepening as you venture out. Swimmers can enjoy the sound’s gentle waves and refreshing water temperatures.
- Boating: Compo Beach offers several rental options for visitors who want to explore the Long Island Sound waters. Kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats are available for rent, and visitors can also bring their own boats and use the beach’s boat launch to access the sound. The beach offers a variety of boating experiences, from leisurely paddling to more challenging sailing adventures.
- Fishing: Compo Beach is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts, with ample opportunities to catch a variety of fish species in the Sound. Visitors can fish from the shore or rent a boat to try their luck offshore. Common fish species caught in the area include striped bass, bluefish, and flounder. Fishing enthusiasts can also visit the bait and tackle shop located near the beach to purchase equipment and supplies.
- Picnicking: With several picnic tables and grilling areas available, Compo Beach is a great spot for a family picnic or a cookout with friends. The beach offers a variety of scenic locations for picnicking, including grassy areas with shaded trees and picnic tables near the water’s edge. Visitors can bring their own food or purchase snacks and refreshments from the beach concessions.
- Playing Volleyball: Compo Beach has several volleyball courts available for visitors to enjoy a game with friends or family. Volleyballs can be rented from the beach concessions. The courts are well-maintained and offer a great opportunity for visitors to stay active and socialize while enjoying the beach’s scenic views.
In addition to these top activities, visitors can also enjoy other amenities at Compo Beach, such as the playground and tennis courts. The playground is located near the picnic areas and offers a variety of play equipment suitable for children of all ages. The tennis courts are located near the entrance of the beach and are available for use year-round. Visitors can bring their own equipment or rent it from the beach concessions. And for those who just want to relax and soak up the sun, the sandy beach and stunning views of the Long Island Sound provide a serene setting to do just that.
Compo Beach is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities. The beach has several accessibility features, including wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, and designated handicapped parking spaces. The beach’s boardwalk is also wheelchair accessible, providing easy access to the beach and other amenities. Additionally, the lifeguards and staff at Compo Beach are trained to provide assistance to visitors with disabilities, making it a welcoming and inclusive destination for all.
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Amenities at Compo Beach
Compo Beach offers a range of amenities to enhance visitors’ experiences at the beach. Here are some details about the amenities available:
- Playground: Compo Beach has a large playground area that is perfect for families with children. The playground is situated on the beach, providing an excellent spot for kids to play while enjoying the beautiful views of the Long Island Sound.
- Parking: Compo Beach has a large parking lot with plenty of spaces available for visitors. However, during peak season, parking can be challenging, and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot. There are also several designated handicapped parking spaces available.
- Lifeguards: Compo Beach has trained lifeguards stationed at designated areas of the beach to monitor swimmers and ensure their safety. Visitors are encouraged to swim only in designated areas and to follow the lifeguards’ instructions at all times.
Other amenities available at Compo Beach include restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. The beach also has several picnic tables, grills, and food concessions, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a meal or snack during their visit. The beach is also equipped with volleyball courts, tennis courts, and rental equipment for water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding. With its excellent facilities and stunning views, Compo Beach is an excellent destination for visitors of all ages.
Compo Beach has a large parking lot with plenty of spaces available for visitors. However, during peak season, parking can be challenging, and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot. There are also several designated handicapped parking spaces available.
Here are some tips for finding a parking spot at Compo Beach:
- Arrive early: As mentioned earlier, parking can be challenging during peak season. Arriving early in the morning, especially on weekends and holidays, can increase your chances of finding a spot.
- Carpool: If you are visiting the beach with a group of friends or family, consider carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles you need to park.
- Park in the overflow lot: During peak season, Compo Beach has an overflow parking lot available at nearby Longshore Park. Visitors can park in this lot and take a shuttle to the beach.
- Check the beach’s website: Before heading to Compo Beach, it’s a good idea to check the beach’s website for any updates on parking or potential closures.
- Consider alternative transportation: If you are staying at a nearby hotel or rental property, consider walking or biking to the beach. This can save you the hassle of finding a parking spot altogether.
By following these tips, visitors can maximize their chances of finding a parking spot and enjoy a stress-free day at Compo Beach.
Nearby Restaurants or Cafes
- The Whelk: This seafood-focused restaurant is located just a short walk from Compo Beach and offers a variety of dishes, including raw bar items, sushi, and grilled seafood. Prices are on the higher side, with entrees ranging from $28-$42.
- Jesup Hall: This upscale American restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Westport and offers a menu of creative dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Prices range from $22-$39 for entrees.
- The Cottage: This cozy restaurant is located in a historic house in downtown Westport and offers a menu of classic American dishes. Prices range from $22-$34 for entrees.
- The Spotted Horse Tavern: This lively gastropub offers a menu of American comfort food, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Prices range from $14-$26 for entrees.
- Kawa Ni: This Japanese-inspired restaurant offers a variety of small plates, including sushi, ramen, and grilled skewers. Prices range from $5-$22 for small plates.
- Rizzuto’s Oyster Bar and Restaurant: This Italian seafood restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including raw bar items, pasta, and grilled seafood. Prices range from $22-$38 for entrees.
- Arezzo Ristorante: This Italian restaurant offers a menu of classic dishes, including pasta, pizza, and seafood. Prices range from $17-$32 for entrees.
Overall, there are several restaurant options near Compo Beach, catering to a variety of tastes and budgets. Visitors are encouraged to check each restaurant’s website for up-to-date menus and pricing information.
Water Temperature at Compo Beach
The water temperature at Compo Beach varies throughout the year, with the warmest temperatures typically occurring in late August and early September. During the summer months, the water temperature ranges from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (16-22 Celsius), which is generally comfortable for swimming and other water activities.
The water temperature can be affected by several factors, including the weather, tide cycles, and water depth. During periods of hot weather, the water temperature may rise slightly, while colder weather can cause it to drop. Tides can also affect the water temperature, as incoming tides can bring cooler water from deeper offshore areas, while outgoing tides can bring warmer water from shallower areas near the shore.
It’s important to note that even during the warmest months, the water temperature at Compo Beach can still feel chilly to some visitors. Wearing a wetsuit or rash guard can help to keep you warm while swimming or engaging in other water activities. Additionally, visitors should be aware of the potential risks associated with swimming in open water and follow any safety guidelines provided by beach staff or lifeguards.
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Admission Fees for Compo Beach
The admission fee for Compo Beach varies depending on the time of year and the visitor’s age. During the peak season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), the admission fee is $50 for non-residents, $30 for non-resident seniors (65+), and $20 for residents. Children under the age of 5 are admitted free of charge.
Outside of peak season, the admission fee is reduced to $30 for non-residents, $20 for non-resident seniors, and $10 for residents. Visitors can also purchase season passes for Compo Beach, which offer unlimited admission for the entire season.
Discounts are available for Westport residents who meet certain eligibility criteria, such as active military personnel or disabled veterans. These visitors may be eligible for discounted or free admission to Compo Beach.
It’s worth noting that parking at Compo Beach is separate from the admission fee and requires a separate payment. Visitors can pay for parking by the hour or purchase a season parking pass.
Annual Events or Festivals Held at Compo Beach
Compo Beach is host to several annual events and festivals throughout the year, which draw visitors from near and far. Here are some of the most popular events held at Compo Beach:
- Westport Parks and Recreation Annual Sand Sculpture Contest: Held each summer, this event invites visitors of all ages to build their own sandcastle creations on the beach. Prizes are awarded in several categories, including Best Overall, Most Creative, and Best Team Effort.
- Blues, Views & BBQ Festival: This festival is a three-day celebration of blues music, barbecue, and craft beer. Held each September, it features live music performances from local and national acts, as well as a variety of food and drink vendors.
- Slice of Saugatuck Festival: Held each August, this festival takes place in the nearby town of Saugatuck and features food tastings from local restaurants, live music, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can take a shuttle bus from Compo Beach to the festival grounds.
- Longshore Sailing School Regatta: This annual sailing race is held each summer in the waters off Compo Beach. Participants range in age from youth sailors to seasoned adults, and the race is open to both single and double-handed boats.
- Westport Summer Concert Series: Held on the Compo Beach stage throughout the summer, this concert series features a variety of musical acts, from classical to rock and everything in between. Visitors can bring their own chairs or blankets and enjoy the music under the stars.
These events and festivals are subject to change, so visitors are encouraged to check the Westport Parks and Recreation website for the latest information on dates and times.
Is Compo Beach is a good option for families
Compo Beach is an excellent option for families, as it offers a variety of family-friendly amenities and activities. The beach has a large playground area, which is perfect for kids to run around and burn off some energy. Additionally, there are several picnic tables and grilling areas available, which are great for family cookouts or picnics. The beach also has several volleyball courts, which can be a fun activity for families to enjoy together.
One of the main draws for families at Compo Beach is the designated swimming area, which is monitored by trained lifeguards. The Long Island Sound waters are typically calm and clear, making it a safe place for kids to splash around and enjoy the water.
Another family-friendly feature of Compo Beach is the availability of watercraft rentals, including kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats. These can be a fun activity for families to try together, and there are rentals available for all skill levels.
Finally, Compo Beach offers a serene setting for families to relax and spend quality time together. The sandy beach and stunning views of the Long Island Sound provide a peaceful backdrop for a family day at the beach. Overall, Compo Beach is a great option for families looking for a fun and safe place to enjoy some time in the sun and water.
Compo Beach is a beautiful and historic beach located in Westport, Connecticut, with a variety of activities and amenities for visitors to enjoy. In this article, we explored the history of Compo Beach, the top activities available such as swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, and playing volleyball. We also discussed the amenities available, including the playground, parking, and lifeguards. Additionally, we provided information about nearby restaurants, the water temperature, admission fees, annual events, and family-friendly activities at the beach.
In summary, Compo Beach offers something for everyone, whether you are looking for an active day of water sports or a relaxing day in the sun. The beautiful beach and stunning views of the Long Island Sound provide a peaceful and serene atmosphere, while the numerous activities and amenities available make it a fun and exciting place to visit. So, we encourage readers to plan a visit to Compo Beach and experience all that it has to offer.
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Compo Beach Map Directions
Compo Beach FAQ
The best time to visit Compo Beach is during the summer months of June through August when the weather is warm and sunny.
Compo Beach is open from sunrise to sunset. The beach is open 24 hours a day.
There is a parking lot available at Compo Beach for visitors, and the cost is $50 for a seasonal pass or $30 for a daily pass.
Compo Beach can be accessed by car or public transportation. The address for Compo Beach is 60 Compo Beach Road, Westport, CT 06880.
Alcohol is not allowed on the beach or in the parking lot at Compo Beach.
Compo Beach is located in Westport, Connecticut, in the United States.
Yes, Westport, Connecticut has a dog-friendly beach called Winslow Park.
Bean Point Beach is not typically crowded, as it is a smaller and less well-known beach in the area.
Yes, you can swim at Bean Point Beach, but there are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.