Niantic (East Lyme)

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Niantic is a census-designated place (CDP) and village in the Town of East Lyme, Connecticut in the United States. The population was 3,085 at the 2000 census.

Located on Long Island Sound, Niantic Bay is popular for swimming, fishing and boating. Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, the Niantic Bay Yacht Club organizes sailboat races and the Bay is filled with sailboats. The Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Waterford is visible on the bay's eastern horizon line.

Beachgoers may want to seek out the local Rocky Neck State Park, whose mile of beach offers much better views of Long Island Sound, including several offshore islands such as Gardiners Island, Plum Island and the distant tip of Long Island, Orient Point.

The Rocky Neck beach is known for its sandbar, one of the few places along the Connecticut shoreline free of rocks and stones. At low tide the sandbar lies exposed and bathers may walk out into the water for quite some distance before reaching waist deep water. The sandbar at low tide is a popular place with kids for building sandcastles, digging holes and flinging mud. Besides beachgoing, Rocky Neck also offers camping in the summertime and a large, flat meadow area also has a number of picnic tables and outdoor barbecue grills. Weekends are usually the most crowded time in summer, with many people coming down to the shore to get away from the more intense inland heat.

In the off-season, Rocky Neck is popular with locals for hikes through the woods (the wooded areas of Rocky Neck feature some great hiking trails, but make sure to avoid them in the summer heat when the deer flies, whose bite is nasty, make hiking less than a pleasure). Spring and fall are beautiful times for hiking and enjoying the quieter side of Rocky Neck. On mild winter days one will find local inhabitants enjoing a stroll along the beach.

Once famous for its Niantic River scallops, the scallop population has been in decline for a number of years. Attempts to revive the scallop population have not met with much success, most likely due to increased pollution from the heavy traffic of motorboats on the river[citation needed]. Nonetheless, boating, fishing and swimming are all popular summer activities up and down the river.

The Book Barn is also a popular Connecticut destination for bibliophiles.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which, 1.5 square miles (3.8 km2) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) of it (58.64%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,085 people, 1,404 households, and 835 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,110.3 people per square mile (815.8/km2). There were 1,756 housing units at an average density of 1,201.2 per square mile (464.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.63% White, 0.49% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.11% of the population.

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