August 15, 2023

The Most Desirable Places to Live on the Water in Connecticut

The Most Desirable Places to Live on the Water in Connecticut

Table Of Contents


Living on the water is a dream for many homebuyers in Connecticut. With miles of scenic coastline and charming towns dotted along the Long Island Sound, there are plenty of options to consider. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most desirable waterfront communities in the state and what makes them stand out.


Known for its affluence, Greenwich offers easy access to New York City while maintaining a peaceful, coastal New England charm. For waterfront living, it has several enticing neighborhoods.

Waterfront Neighborhoods

Greenwich Cove, Old Greenwich, and Byram are prized for their waterfront homes with private docks and boats. Riverside has historic homes along the shore of the Mianus River. Milbank Avenue and Mead Point have marina access and views of the Sound.

Things to Do

Spend a day boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding off Greenwich Point Park’s beach. Take a ferry to idyllic Island Beach for more water fun. Peruse high-end shops and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants in downtown Greenwich.


The Greenwich Public School district is highly acclaimed, with U.S. News & World Report recognizing Greenwich High School among America’s best STEM and college prep high schools. Private options include Brunswick School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, and more.

Downtown Greenwich, CT


Known for its seafaring history, Mystic delivers quintessential coastal New England vibes coupled with a lively downtown.

Waterfront Neighborhoods

Homes along Shore Road and Morgan Point Road offer views of Fishers Island Sound with beach and dock access. Quieter pockets like Grove Street and Library Street sit just steps from downtown.

Things to Do

Learn about Mystic’s maritime past at Mystic Seaport Museum. See beluga whales and sea lions at Mystic Aquarium. Dine or shop in historic downtown Mystic. Take a boat tour or kayak out on the water.


Well-regarded schools like C.E. Floyd Middle School and Mystic Middle School feed into Stonington High School nearby. Private schools include the lower school campus of Pomfret School in Mystic.

Old Saybrook

At the mouth of the scenic Connecticut River, Old Saybrook epitomizes small town coastal life in Connecticut.

Waterfront Neighborhoods

Saybrook Point and Fenwick boast historic, luxurious mansions overlooking the water. Nearby neighborhoods like Saye Beach and Pleasant Cove offer more affordable bungalow-style homes.

Things to Do

Relax at Saybrook Point Marina and Park with waterfront dining and activities. Visit quirky Kate’s Kream for ice cream on Main Street. Take the ferry over to Long Island Sound beaches. Enjoy eclectic shops and entertainment at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.


Old Saybrook School District garners top ratings, especially Old Saybrook High School praised for its academics, arts, and athletics. Nearby elite private schools include The Williams School and Hammonasset School.

Old Saybrook lighthouse


With its picturesque downtown and white sand beaches, Madison exudes that classic New England coastal town charm.

Waterfront Neighborhoods

Surfton Beach provides beachy, laidback living. The Stowe neighborhood overlooks Long Island Sound with water access and private docks. Downtown offers historic homes just steps from the beach.

Things to Do

Relax at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut’s longest public beach. Browse boutique shops and dine at restaurants on Main Street. Take the family to Madison’s famous Lobster Festival each summer.


Madison Public Schools offer a quality education including Daniel Hand High School which receives accolades from Niche and U.S. News for its stellar academics and community. Nearby private schools include Country Day of Madison and St. Lawrence School.


Located on the eastern border of Connecticut and along Long Island Sound, historic Stonington offers charm and scenery with a classic coastal New England vibe.

Waterfront Neighborhoods

Lord’s Point overlooks scenic salt marshes and has private community beaches. Pequot Point and Harbor View are quiet neighborhoods with boat access and water views. Along Route 1A, you can find beach cottages near Dodson’s Boatyard.

Things to Do

Meander through the Borough’s quaint downtown full of shops and restaurants. Hike through Barn Island Wildlife Management Area. Visit Mystic Aquarium or Mystic Seaport Museum just minutes away.


Stonington schools consistently rank among the best in Connecticut. Stonington High School provides rigorous academics along with championship athletics. Nearby elite private schools include Pomfret School and Williams School.

For prime waterfront living in Connecticut, top picks include Greenwich for luxury and amenities, Stonington for history and charm, Madison for beaches and small town feel, Old Saybrook for scenery and culture, and Mystic for maritime vibes. Each offers enticing neighborhoods along the water for boating, swimming, and enjoying the coastal lifestyle.

Tips for Finding a Waterfront Home

The most desirable waterfront homes sell quickly in these competitive markets. Consult local real estate agents to get insider advice and listings. Be ready to act decisively on the right home for your needs. Consider visiting open houses to get familiar with neighborhoods and inventory. Expand your search to off-season months when selection may be wider. Above all, know your must-have wishlist features so your agent can tailor the search.

Are there any environmental regulations to consider when living on a lake?2023-10-20T19:00:40+00:00

Lakeside communities often have environmental regulations in place to protect the natural beauty of the area. These regulations may pertain to water quality, shoreline preservation, and wildlife conservation.

How do I find available lakeside properties in Connecticut?2023-10-20T18:59:38+00:00

You can search for lakeside properties in Connecticut through local real estate agencies, online listings, and by connecting with experienced real estate agents.

What are the advantages of living in a lakeside community in Connecticut?2023-10-20T18:59:23+00:00

Lakeside living in Connecticut offers breathtaking natural beauty, water-based recreation, a close-knit community, and a serene lifestyle.

How do I find land with water access in Connecticut?2023-09-01T13:24:24+00:00

Lakefront and oceanfront parcels are rare and pricey but possible. Listings on coastal outskirts of Bridgeport, New Haven, Groton, and Stonington may offer water access. Inland listings near Candlewood Lake, Highland Lake, and Lake Waramaug also provide water recreation.

Can you own a beach in Connecticut?2023-08-17T14:36:06+00:00

No. You cannot own a beach in the sense of having exclusive rights, but portions of beachfront can be privately owned property in Connecticut. Above the mean high tide line, private property rights apply to dry sand beach areas. However, below the mean high tide line, Connecticut beaches are subject to public ownership and access as part of the public trust doctrine. Private owners must accommodate public use rights to some extent, such as allowing access to the water. But the public does not have unlimited access across private dry sand beaches in Connecticut.

Do I own the beach area exposed at low tide on my coastal property?2023-08-17T14:35:09+00:00

No, in Connecticut intertidal areas between the mean high and low tide lines are still considered public trust lands, even when exposed.

Can the public walk across my coastal property to access the shoreline?2023-08-17T14:34:13+00:00

The public does not have an unlimited right to cross private uplands. However, the state may allow reasonable access across private dry sand areas.

Should I get flood insurance for a waterfront home?2023-08-15T18:30:45+00:00

Flood insurance is highly recommended, and may even be required by your mortgage lender for a home in a high-risk flood zone. Be sure to discuss insurance needs with your real estate agent.

How much more expensive is waterfront property?2023-08-15T18:30:26+00:00

Waterfront homes generally command premiums of 50-100% more compared to similar non-waterfront homes in the same market. Prime locations can demand over 200% higher prices.

Are taxes higher for waterfront property?2023-08-15T18:30:01+00:00

Yes, waterfront homes are assessed at higher values, which leads to higher property tax bills. Factor this into your homebuying budget if buying a waterfront home.

What are the most affordable Connecticut towns with waterfront homes?2023-08-10T18:18:52+00:00

Some of the most reasonably priced waterfront communities in CT include Norwalk, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, and Old Saybrook. Luxury homes in Greenwich and Westport are significantly higher.

Are waterfront homes a good investment in Connecticut?2023-08-10T18:18:27+00:00

Yes, waterfront homes appreciate faster than inland homes in CT due to high demand. Greenwich waterfront in particular has seen dramatic home value increases, appreciating faster than the S&P 500.

How much is flood insurance for a waterfront home in CT?2023-08-10T18:15:36+00:00

Flood insurance costs vary based on the FEMA flood zone rating and home elevation and range from $500 per year up to $5000+ for high risk zones. Higher value homes also have higher premiums.

Meet Sarah Perrotti


Based in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Sarah is a distinguished full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties and concierge services tailored to discerning buyers and sellers.

With a Masters degree in Social Work, Sarah brings a unique perspective to real estate, ensuring confidentiality and seamless transactions.


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Meet Sarah Perrotti


Based in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Sarah is a distinguished full-time realtor specializing in luxury properties and concierge services tailored to discerning buyers and sellers.

With a Masters degree in Social Work, Sarah brings a unique perspective to real estate, ensuring confidentiality and seamless transactions.

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