Hot weather sends crowds to the beach but some turn away out-of-towners


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Lighthouse Point Park on a hot day like today is a popular spot with locals, out-of-towners, and even out-of-staters, but it turns out, not everyone is welcome during a pandemic.

The cool breezes off the water bring Wallingford residents James and Tonya Streater to Lighthouse Point on days like this.

“The view, the water, the atmosphere. It’s just nice scenery,” said James.

On a hot day just last week, News 8 met the Mahavik family at Lighthouse Point. They drove two hours all the way from Poughkeepsie, New York.

“We just googled beaches in Connecticut and the first one that popped up was Lighthouse, and we had never been to an actual lighthouse, so we thought it would be cool to come here,” said Kenny Mahavik.

What did he think of the beach?

“Love it. We will definitely be coming back again.”

Well, not any time soon, they won’t. New Haven just put up signs at the park entrance making it clear that only Connecticut vehicles are allowed inside. City Health Director explained why.

“Seeing that every other state is in a surge currently, we just conducted different assessments across different places that have large gatherings and wanted to just tighten up our rules for the health and safety of our residents.”

While we were there, we saw workers deny entry to a car with Massachusetts plates. They had to leave. New Haven residents like Denise Redd are fine with that.

“The residents should really be able to enjoy,” Redd said. “Because, if you have too many people, it gets filled up and then you can’t enjoy where you’re at.”

Many towns go even further. At Walnut beach in Milford, it is town residents only. Same thing for the all the parking lots along four miles of West Haven Beaches. East Haven does it too, beach parking is for town residents only.

The Streaters are from Wallingford, so they’re glad they get to come to a less crowded Lighthouse Point.

“I love the fact that people understand the social distancing during all this, everyone keeps their space,” Tonya Streater said.

Pretty much any shoreline beach you go to is going to be operating at a reduced capacity right now, so they are going to fill up and close down even faster. The trick is to get to the beach as early as possible.

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