The Ocean State has plenty to offer in the Great Outdoors. Read our picks for the best outdoor attractions in Rhode Island for 2014.
BEST SURF LESSONS
PETER PAN SURFING & SUP ACADEMY, Narragansett
Peter Panagiotis, better known as the wave-riding world’s legendary Peter Pan, is as passionate about introducing people to water sports as he was in 1976 when he opened his first Narragansett surf shop. His top-notch instructors provide group and private lessons seven days a week year round and will meet you at Narragansett Town Beach with all the gear you need.
74 Narragansett Ave. 401-575-0003; peterpansurfingacademy.vpweb.com
POINT JUDITH SALT POND, Galilee
Pop into Benny’s (688 Kingstown Road, Wakefield) to purchase a metal rake, a plastic pail, and your $11 tourist shellf ishing license if you’re from out of state, and you’ll have everything you need to harvest your own clams for two weeks. An hour before low tide, set out into the mudflats and look for telltale holes in the muck. Then dig like mad for quahogs and soft-shell clams. Whether you steam them or make stuffies, you’ve never tasted better, fresher seafood.
Galilee Escape Road
BEST KITE FLYING
BRENTON POINT STATE PARK, Newport
Along this windswept point of land at the juncture of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, kites lift effortlessly thanks to the same vigorous breezes that earn Newport its “Sailing Capital of the World” designation. Watch stunt and giant kites compete during the free Newport Kite Festival, July 11–12 this year.
Ocean Drive. 401-849-4562; riparks.com/Locations/LocationBrentonPoint.html
BEST HIDDEN BEACH
CALF PASTURE POINT BEACH, North Kingstown
Pack a blanket and a romantic picnic, park on Marine Road inside Quonset Business Park, and bike or walk 1.4 miles northeast along Quonset Point Bike Path. The reward is a mile-long crescent that you’ll have practically to yourselves.
BEST SHORT HIKE
BLACK POINT, Narragansett
Don’t breeze past the fishing-area parking lot, even if you’re not equipped to surfcast for blues. An easy, half-mile, wildflower-lined path follows a boulder-strewn stretch of shore south toward Scarborough State Beach. Scrambling out onto the rocks to listen to crashing surf and spy on sea creatures in the tidepools is a pastime that predates the Civil War.