Candlewood Lake Vacation: Beach, Boat and Hotels

candlewood lake vacation

Are you planning a summer vacation at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut? Or perhaps a weekend getaway at Candlewood Lake? Candlewood lake is the largest lake in Connecticut. It is a large manmade lake measuring 8.4 square miles with 65 miles of shoreline. There are approximately 1600 waterfront homes around Candlewood Lake. Candlewood Lake straddles two Connecticut counties, located in Fairfield County and Litchfield County bordered by the towns of Danbury, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman. Candlewood Lake is convenient to NYC and Westchester County. Candlewood Lake is approximately 1.5 hours from New York City’s midtown Manhattan, so it’s an easy weekend getaway. There are lots of things to do at Candlewood Lake, from spending the day on a pontoon cruising the lake, to swimming in the lake to spending the day at the beach on Candlewood Lake. Below you will find everything you need to know for a Candlewood Lake vacation, where to rent boats on Candlewood Lake, hotels to stay near Candlewood Lake and what to do in Candlewood Lake.

Things to Do: Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake is a popular vacation destination in Connecticut. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular vacation spot because aside from the stunning Lake views, there are also a lot of things to do in Candlewood Lake. You can rent a boat in Candlewood Lake and spend the day on the lake. You can go fishing at Candlewood Lake. You can do watersports activities on Candlewood Lake such as jetskiing, paddleboarding, kayaking and tubing. There are also beaches in Candlewood Lake for your low-key vacation days.

Boating on Candlewood Lake

Boating is a favorite activity on Candlewood Lake. You can spend your vacation on the boat, swimming and cruising around the lake. If you have a boat, you can bring your boat and use the public boat launches on Candlewood Lake. You can also rent a boat on Candlewood Lake.

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Boat Rentals in Candlewood Lake

Echo Bay Marina Boat Rentals in Candlewood Lake

Echo Bay Marina is a boat rental company in Candlewood Lake. You can rent pontoons and powerboats at Echo Bay Marina for a day on the water in Candlewood Lake. You can rent pontoons and powerboats by the day or half day (3 or 5 hour rentals). If you are staying in one of the waterfront vacation rentals with private docks, you can do multi-day powerboat or pontoon rental. Daily pontoon rentals start at $650 per day and half day pontoon rentals start at $175 per half day. There are also water sports activities add-ons to make your day in Candlewood Lake more fun. I highly recommend renting Tubes so your guests can go tubing. One thing to note, you will need a Connecticut boating license with the CT Safe Water Skiing Endorsement if you want to do any water sports activities (tubing, skiing or kneeboarding) on Candlewood Lake. If you are renting a boat on Candlewood Lake, you do not need a CT boating license. Echo Bay Marina is located at 227 Candlewood Lake Rd, Brookfield, CT 06804. Phone: 203-775-7077

Gerard’s Waters Edge Marina Boat Rentals in Candlewood Lake

Gerard’s Waters Edge Marina is also another boat rental company in Candlewood Lake. If you are looking to spend the day on the water at Candlewood Lake, you can rent pontoons and powerboats at Gerard’s Waters Edge Marina. They offer short term boat rental leasing. You can rent boats by the week, month or the entire season. They do have a minimum rental period of 1 week. Some people rent their boat for the summer season in Candlewood Lake. There are a lot of waterfront homes with private docks in Candlewood Lake that you can rent for the summer season as vacation rentals. Candlewood Lake is a popular summer destination for New Yorkers looking to get away from the city, definitely a great place to spend your summer! Gerard’s Waters Edge Marina 120 Old Town Park Rd, New Milford, CT 06776. Phone: (860) 350-2628

Public Boat Launches in Candlewood Lake

You access the lake through the Candlewood Lake Public Boat Launch at Lattins Cove in Danbury, Connecticut and Squantz Cove Boat Launch in New Fairfield, CT. Lattins Cove Candlewood Lake Boat Launch is located at 8 Forty Acres Mountain Road, Danbury, CT. The Squantz Cove Candlewood Lake Boat Launch is located at Route 39, New Fairfield, CT. Both Squantz Cove and Lattins Cove boat launches at Candlewood Lake have a parking limit of 100 vehicles and will close when capacity is reached.

Do You Need a Connecticut Boating License to Operate a Boat on Candlewood Lake?

If you are operating a boat at one of Connecticut’s inland bodies of water such as rivers and lakes, then you don’t need a Connecticut Boating license. You will need a Connecticut boating license with the CT Safe Water Skiing Endorsement if you want to do any water sports activities (tubing, skiing or kneeboarding) on Candlewood Lake. If you plan to use a Personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski, wave runner, sea-doo) you must have a recognized Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation to operate legally. 

In order to legally operate any boat in Connecticut with a motor, or a sailboat 19 1/2 feet in length or longer, you must be a residents of Connecticut, persons owning real property in Connecticut, or persons with vessels registered in Connecticut. You must have either a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC), a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) or a valid vessel operator license* issued by the United States Coast Guard. Exceptions to the requirements are if you are operating a boat in an inland bodies of water with a 10 horsepower limit and between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, a certificate is not required to operate a boat with an electric motor (rated at 106 lbs. of thrust or less). However, the vessel must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. For more information, check Connecticut’s DEEP Connecticut Boating site.

Fishing at Candlewood Lake

Candlewood Lake is a popular lake for fishing. The lake is frequently stocked with trouts by CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection since Candlewood Lake is a Connecticut Trout Management Lake. There is a wide variety of fish to catch at Candlewood Lake- from bass to trouts to catfish. Candlewood Lake is considered one of the best lakes to fish in Connecticut. During the winter months, when the lake freezes, Candlewood Lake is also a destination for ice fishing.

Do You Need a Permit to Fish in Candlewood Lake?

Yes, you need a Connecticut fishing license to fish in Candlewood Lake. Connecticut requires you to have a valid fishing license to fish in Connecticut waters. The Connecticut Inland fishing license is $14 for CT residents ages 16-17 years old, $28 for CT residents ages 18-64 years old CT residents age 65 years old and up is free. If you are not a CT resident, the CT inland fishing license for non-residents is $55. You can also purchase a 3 day CT inland fishing license for non-residents for $22. Check the website for more up to date information and how to purchase a CT Fishing License.

Watersports on Candlewood Lake

Paddlesports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boards, canoeing are popular on Candlewood Lake. Jet skiing and tubing are also a fun watersports activities on Candlewood Lake. Note that you will need a Connecticut boating license with the CT Safe Water Skiing Endorsement if you want to do any water sports activities (tubing, skiing or kneeboarding) on Candlewood Lake. If you plan to use a Personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski, wave runner, sea-doo) you must have a recognized Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation to operate legally. 

candlewood lake vacation

Candlewood Lake Beaches

There are several Candlewood Lake beaches. Most of the Candlewood Lake beaches are only open to town residents and their guests. Below you will find Candlewood Lake beaches that are open to non-residents. Please check the individual beach website for details regarding non-resident Candlewood beach passes.

Candlewood Town Park in Danbury, Connecticut

Candlewood Town Park in Danbury, CT is an 11 acre park with 200 feet of beachfront shoreline on Candlewood Lake. It’s a nice beach to go to for a day of swimming and relaxing. There is also a concession stand, playground and boating dock. Candlewood Town Park is located at 36 E Haystown Road, Danbury CT.

Lynn Deming Park in New Milford, Connecticut

Lynn Deming Park in New Milford is a beachfront park on Candlewood Lake. Spend the day relaxing at beach. Lynn Deming Park is located at 134 Candlewood Lake Road North, New Milford, CT 06776

Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield, Connecticut

Squantz Pond State Park is a Candlewood Lake beach located in New Fairfield, Connecticut. It is the only State run beach on Candlewood Lake. It’s a great park for a beach day on Candlewood Lake. There are bathroom facilities, a boat launch and picnic tables at Squantz Pond State Park. It’s important to note that the parking at Squantz Pond State Park is limited to 250 vehicles, after that the lot will be closed for the rest of the day and there are no additional parking near the beach. Squantz Pond State Park is located at 178 Shortwoods Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812

Distance to Candlewood Lake from New York City and Boston

Candlewood Lake is approximately 1.5 hours from New York City’s midtown Manhattan and it is approximately an hour from Westchester County (New York). If you are coming from Boston, Candlewood Lake is 2 hours and 45 minutes from Boston.

Hotels near Candlewood Lake

There are many hotels within driving distance to Candlewood Lake. Unfortunately, there are no waterfront hotels or resorts on Candlewood Lake. In addition to hotels near Candlewood Lake, there are over 1600 waterfront homes in Candlewood Lake. Many vacationers rent seasonal vacation rentals on Candlewood Lake.

Luxury Hotel near Candlewood Lake

If you want to indulge and treat yourself, then stay at the Mayflower Inn and Spa. The Mayflower Inn and Spa is a 40 minute drive to Candlewood Lake but it’s so worth the drive!

Grace Mayflower- Ultimate Weekend Getaways from New York's Tri-State area
Photo Credit: Mayflower Inn and Spa

Comfortable Hotel near Candlewood Lake

For a less expensive hotel option near Candlewood Lake, try the Ethan Allen Hotel. The Ethan Allen Hotel in Danbury is a 20 minute drive to Candlewood Lake.

Bed and Breakfast near Candlewood Lake

If you want to stay in a quaint Bed and Breakfast near Candlewood Lake, you should stay at the Homestead Inn. The Homestead Inn is a 25 minute drive to Candlewood Lake.

Waterfront Restaurant on Candlewood Lake

Down the Hatch is a beautiful waterfront restaurant on Candlewood Lake located in Brookfield, Connecticut. It is the only waterfront restaurant on Candlewood Lake. Enjoy your lunch at the outdoor patio overlooking Candlewood Lake. Down the Hatch is a waterfront restaurant serving fried seafood specialties as well as burgers and wraps. It is a popular lakeside dining spot on Candlewood Lake. Down the Hatch is located at 292 Candlewood Lake Road, Brookfield, CT 06804. Phone: 203-775-6635

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