Rhode Island

South County, Rhode Island – When You Go

Within earshot of the surf along Narragansett Town Beach sits a burnished little gem of a museum that dunks you into the lives of the farmers and fishermen of a coastal Rhode Island community.

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 26 2016

Here’s a sampling of South County beaches and activities, west to east. For fees, seasonal schedules, and other details, visit park and venue Web sites, listed below. For more on South County, see our feature story The Beaches of South County. watchhillharbor

WATCH HILL BEACHES (a village of Westerly)

NAPATREE POINT CONSERVATION AREA. Hidden like a secret, with two miles of beach, plus meandering trails and birding. thewatchhillconservancy.org/EAST BEACH. Brilliant and expansive, with views of Watch Hill Lighthouse. watchhilleba.org plus … FLYING HORSE CAROUSEL. At Watch Hill Beach, a vintage herd of tiny horses dangling on chains; costs a pittance to fly. 401-348-6007; visitwatchhill.comTHE BOOK & TACKLE SHOP. The smell of 50,000 old volumes mingles with the sea. 401-315-2424; bookandtackle.comCOMINA. Beautiful beach-themed furnishings and accessories. 401-315-0335; comina.comOCEAN HOUSE. Sets a high bar for elegance, with expansive views of East Beach. 401-584-7000; oceanhouseri.comOLYMPIA TEA ROOM. Pull up a seat outside, order up a plate of mussels, and gaze out at the harbor. 401-348-8211; olympiatearoom.comST. CLAIR ANNEX. Favorite spot for homemade ice cream and lobster rolls. 401-348-8407 fishermen


MISQUAMICUT BEACH. Seven miles of family fun, with water slides, carousel, free Tuesday movies, concerts, and bonfires. riparks.com/misquamicut.htm, misquamicut.org, atlanticbeachpark.comWEEKAPAUG BEACH. Where the sea meets the sky, a private bit of paradise, more accessible if you’re renting a cottage in the off season. weekapaugfoundation.com plus … SHELTER HARBOR INN. Comfy 19th-century converted farmhouse with rights to a private stretch of sand on Weekapaug Beach. 800-468-8883, 401-322-8883; shelterharborinn.comchaironbeach


QUONOCHONTAUG. A.k.a. “Quonnie,” an undeveloped, privately owned barrier beach. Trails allow public access at specified times. crmc.ri.govNINIGRET CONSERVATION AREA/EAST BEACH. East of Blue Shutters Town Beach, pick your parking lot and find a patch of sand. charlestownri.orgCHARLESTOWN BREACHWAY. Fishermen cast off here, at this beautiful channel between the ocean and Ninigret Pond. riparks.com/charlesbreach.htm plus … THE FANTASTIC UMBRELLA FACTORY. International bazaar with a ’60s vibe, set in a 19th-century farmyard. 401-364-6616 VINTAGE EYEWEAR. A don’t-miss shop at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory. 401-213-6870 NINIGRET NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE & KETTLE POND VISITOR CENTER. Kids and windsurfers love the gentle salt pond. fws.gov/ninigretWILCOX TAVERN. Revolutionary general Joseph Stanton’s birthplace serves calamari and stuffed quahogs in an elegant but casual colonial setting. 401-322-1829; www.wilcoxtavern.comRAMBLIN’ ROSE. Jammed with appealing vintage items for your beach cottage. 401-322-1111; ramblin-rose-antiques.com/boats


EAST MATUNUCK STATE BEACH. Strong surf, picnicking, pavilion, and concessions. riparks.com/eastmatunuck.htm plus … TRUSTOM POND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. 787 acres open year-round, with visitor center, trail info, and RI’s only undeveloped salt-pond shoreline. fws.gov/trustompondLIGHTHOUSE CRUISE. Hits a bit of the South County coast, and then goes all around Narragansett Bay, past 10 different lighthouses in 90 minutes. 401-295-4040; rhodeislandbaycruises.comMATANUCK OYSTER FARM. In East Matunuck, take a guided tour of oyster beds and belly up to the oyster bar. 401-783-4202; rhodyoysters.comWILLIAM C. O’NEILL BIKE PATH. A six-mile ride from Kingston Station to South County Museum in Narragansett. 401-783-8886; southcountybikepath.orgpointjudithlighthouse


SALTY BRINE (GALILEE) & ROGER WHEELER (SAND HILL COVE) STATE BEACHES. Fine sand, gentle surf, great views, picnicking. riparks.com/saltybrine.htm, riparks.com/wheeler.htmSCARBOROUGH NORTH & SOUTH STATE BEACHES. A long, popular stretch with moderate surf, picnic tables, boardwalk, and pavilions. riparks.com/scarborough.htmNARRAGANSETT TOWN BEACH. Surfing paradise (sign up for lessons), with a sand, concerts, and a kite festival. narragansettri.gov plus … CAMP CRONIN FISHING AREA. Great angling along the rocky shoreline and breakwater, plus hiking and birdwatching. narragansett.patch.comPOINT JUDITH. A stoic old lighthouse looms over one of New England’s own “graveyards of the Atlantic” and a wild, stony shore, home to surfers and fishermen. BLACK POINT CLIFF WALK. Hugs the coast off Ocean Road, with paths to boulders by the water, a top fishing area. narragansett.patch.comCHAMPLIN’S SEAFOOD, GEORGE’S, AUNT CARRIE’S, IGGY’S. In Galilee and Point Judith, the big-cahuna seafood shacks; don’t miss the “stuffies” (stuffed clams). champlins.com, georgesofgalilee.com, auntcarriesri.com, iggysdoughboys.comTHE RICHARDS B&B. A romantic stone house, built in 1884, with meandering garden paths. 401-789-7746; therichardsbnb.comCRAZY BURGER. A hint of Key West, with tropical outdoor seating. 401-783-1810; crazyburger.comblueskieswickfordharbor

WICKFORD (a village of North Kingstown)

“Ten Best Main Streets USA” designation; wickfordvillage.orgTHE KAYAK CENTRE OF RHODE ISLAND. Flagship store and paddling instruction; head out into Wickford Harbor. 888-732-5292, 401-295-4400; kayakcentre.comTAVERN BY THE SEA. Dine indoors or on the deck, overlooking Wickford Cove. 401-294-5771; tavernbytheseari.comPlease Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.