Explore Connecticut’s Shoreline in an Electric Vehicle Last Updated: August 2023
Planning an eco-friendly road trip in your electric vehicle? Connecticut’s got you covered. The state has widespread charging availability with over 360 public EV charging stations. And to make eco-conscious travelers feel right at home, there are also a number of great lodging properties and tourism attractions that promote driving electric and environmental sustainability.
Connecticut’s shoreline is particularly a great destination for those with electric vehicles — not to mention it’s lined with iconic landmarks, quaint coastal towns, beautiful beaches, family-friendly attractions and lots more to explore. Here are some recommendations of EV-friendly cities and towns along the shoreline with businesses that are Destination Electric partners. Check it out and start planning your trip!
As with any travel, we recommend checking each destination’s official website for their operating hours, special events and general safety guidelines.
Home to Yale University and arguably the best pizza in the country, New Haven is oozing with New England charm in a city environment that boasts a buzzing dining and shopping scene. With five centrally located charging stations in parking garages on Crown Street, Grove Street, Temple Street, Chapel Square, and York Street, you’ll be able to charge while you explore all that this prominent city has to offer.
Foodies looking for something other than pizza will want to grab a bite to-go at Elm City Social. Try their unique take on chicken and waffles, which comes with blueberry jam, fresh basil, whipped whiskey butter and peppercorn maple syrup. After dinner, make your way over to Cask Republic, 116 Crown or Anchor Spa for a craft cocktail. We recommend a house made infusion such as the Basil Kiwi Gin & Tonic at Cask Republic, 116 Crown’s “Margarita Noir,” an Instagrammable blue cocktail made with tequila and lined with bamboo charcoal, and Anchor Spa’s “Yale Beets Harvard,” a botanical-inspired cocktail made with buttered rum, beet syrup, orange acid and molasses bitters. Arriving in New Haven earlier in the day? Begin your adventure with a jolt of caffeine from Koffee, and spend your day exploring New Haven by bike with a rental from College Street Cycles. Drop in for a yoga class at the Breathing Room or admire the exhibitions in the three galleries at Creative Arts Workshop. End the day with a cannoli from Olives and Oil or a cone from Ashley’s Ice Cream.
Take a drive-up Connecticut’s coast and visit Old Saybrook, one of the state’s hidden gems. Settled in 1635, this quant, picturesque beach town is steeped in Colonial history and offers many fun, outdoor sightseeing adventures and convenient charging stations.
Hungry for delicious food and a “can’t-beat” view? Soak up marina views at one of the town’s many seafront restaurants, like Fresh Salt (part of Saybrook Point Resort & Marina offering onsite EV charging) and Shayna B’s By the Sea. Seafood fans can get fresh catch dayboat fish and shellfish at Fresh Salt, while Shayna B’s By the Sea offers a variety of delicious vegan and gluten free eats. The family-owned Parthenon Diner serves up homey, comfort dishes, and has a Tesla charger onsite. Or pop into Penny Lane Pub for scrumptious pub fare, a friendly atmosphere and easy access to EV charging. After you eat, walk it off on the links with a family-friendly game of Mini-Golf at Saybrook Point, which is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making for a fun after-dinner activity. And be sure to reward the victor with a tasty frozen treat from Sweet Luna’s. There's also historic Main Street with Colonial-style homes adorned with American flags, manicured gardens and inviting stores that are calling for you to shop until you drop. Some great stores include Saybrook Home, the Knit and Essex Golf and Sportswear where you’ll be able to pick up some nice home décor or a new sportswear outfit.
Known for its sandy shorelines, vibrant downtown area, and award-winning independent bookstore—Madison is a friendly, laid-back, old school beach town. At Hammonasset Beach State Park - Connecticut's largest shoreline park - you’ll discover more than 550 grassy campsites, a beautiful beach and a pristine nature center. And with charging stations located on-site at the state park, you can top off while you explore, build sandcastles or simply relax on the beach.
Afterwards, you’ll want to take a drive-up historic Route 1 where you’ll find dozens of locally owned shops and restaurants. Visit downtown Madison, which has many independent boutiques, like J. Horton and Creations, and family-owned restaurants, such as Cohen’s Bagels and Sea House. Book lovers will not want to miss a chance to explore R.J. Julia Booksellers, a 6,000 sq. ft. independent bookstore that hosts hundreds of author events every year. There are several charging stations nearby this great downtown area. Looking to make it an overnight trip? Dine and unwind at one of Madison’s numerous beachfront hotels like the scenic Madison Beach Hotel, offering onsite charging or the Tidewater Inn, a local bed and breakfast with eight guest rooms and a cozy hideaway cottage located minutes from the beach and downtown Madison.