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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Waylands Wharf - Stonington, CT

I have lived in Stonington for nearly 9 months and have yet to tell you all about this beautiful little town.  I have shared a few snipped from Stonington Vineyards and Salt Water Farms Vineyard, but not a whole lot about the town.  I promise I am working on a post all about this little town.  But for now, let's focus on another little aspect of what makes Stonington the best place in Connecticut. 

Although I grew up on the New England coast, and spent a lot of time scuba diving in Stonington, there was so much I didn't know about this town.  There were so many little shops to discover, restaurants to try, and swimming spots to find.  I am learning a valuable lesson -- adventure awaits just about anywhere, even in the smallest of boroughs.  

Walking down Water Street, the main street in the borough, I decided to follow the public access way through an overpass of a brick building.  It was cute and confusing at the same time, a walkway through an alley of a residential building in the borough.  At the end of the walkway, the area opens up to a large parking area, a public parking lot for the borough. 

At the end of the lot, I found one of the many gems of Stonington: a large grassy lawn, benches, a beautiful gazebo with plenty seating, a dock with a ladder, and views for days.  This little hidden gem of Stonington is some of the best views from a beautiful gazebo on the water with a dock and ladder.  This is all a public access area and dogs are allowed.  While small boats use the little dock to pick up and drop off people it is often used as a swimming dock (somehow these two actually worth together).

After a few visits, I soon discovered this is a popular spot you'll find some older locals finishing a beer and hanging around in the afternoon, kids jumping in during the day, and the older crowd reading a book in the gazebo.  The Perks:  This is where you can swim away from the crowds at the Town Beach (Dubois at the end of the point), do not need a pass or to pay a fee and where dogs are allowed.  It is the perfect spot to bring a picnic lunch, including your favorite bottle of wine.  While "no alcohol" rules are enforced down at Dubois, no one will bother you at wonderful Waylands Wharf.  Free access, dogs and boats (the beer as well as the actual animals and vessels).  

The views are amazing and I am proud to announce I proudly joined all three groups of Stonington Locals, swimming, drinking, and reading away many an afternoon.  In the late summer, the water is thick with moon jellies and it starts to feel like swimming through jello.  As weird as that may sound, there is something idyllic about swimming with the harmless jellies on a September day.  

One day, while floating around the harbor on my giant swan, enjoying a cold beer (floating and contained in my baby swan, a trio of three cignets) and watching the sunset, I passed by a gentleman on his boat partaking in the same past time (drinking a beer, not floating on a swan).  The best moment of my Waylands Wharf voyages happened when we cheersed (word?) from our perspective vessels.  No judgment for floating around on a giant inflatable and at that moment, I knew Stonington was the place for me.

If you do bring you dog and they like to swim, there is a small set of stairs at the edge of the parking lot where your dog can get in and out of the water, without trying to get up and off the dock.  There is an... unfriendly neighbor who tries to block the 3' access point but I am happy to report the Stonington Tribe of Friendly Locals still uses these stairs. 

Sweet Stonington, thank you for being full of surprises from secret beaches, jetty walks and wharfs.  Stay tuned for summer updates and beautiful places around the borough. 


  1. Katie, thanks for posting about this. I didn't know it existed. I'll probably check it out some time and spend a little time there when it warms up. I'll bet the sunsets are just as good as those I've seen from Dubois Beach.

    I wondered where the comb jellies went to when I was diving last summer. Apparently they were swimming with you at Wayland's.

    If the jellies turn up en masse there again next summer, you might try having someone make a video of you doing a night swim through them. They'd need a good low-light camera, of course.

    1. Such a great spot. The views are phenomenal! Great idea about the jelly video, that would be fun! Thanks for reading!


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