Weekend road trip to coastal Rhode Island

Rhode Island is known for its small scales. The country’s smallest state is so frequently shown up for geographic comparisons – of everything from active wildfires to the world’s largest comet – that it’s so easy to dismiss as Lilliputian that it doesn’t have anything of interest.

But one of its greatest charms is Rhode Island’s small size. It’s easy to get from the Hudson Valley—which, if you’re wondering, can fit the entire state within its borders five times over—and relatively quick to get around once you get there. Rhode Island’s coastline is brimming with sights and activities, from scenic 40-mile cruises to outdoor entertainment, culture, dining, and more, providing plenty to fill a summer weekend.

How to get to Rhode Island

The drive from the Hudson Valley takes about three hours. From Poughkeepsie and points south, take I-84 East to Connecticut, where you can connect to I-91. From northern points, including the metropolitan area, take I-90 East to 1-91 South. From there, you have two options: a scenic coastal route along I-95 East, or a more direct take across CT-2 East to I-395.

There are no nonstop flights from Albany to Providence, which makes travel time longer than if you were driving. The fastest non-car option is Amtrak’s 1.5-hour Acela service from New Haven, Connecticut. Of course, you will need to rent a car or take a taxi once you arrive.

Day 1: Sandy beaches, crunchy clam cakes and historical splendor

Spend the morning at Watch Hill, a coastal village in Westerly, on the state’s southwestern tip. Common with the Golden Age group that used “summer” as a verb, and it is still home to a number of Victorian “huts”.

Watch Hill has two views of miles of sandy beaches, East Beach And the Netter Point. The public access to the east, via Bluff Avenue, has the feel of a storybook, covered in lush greens and fragrant wildflowers. Parking near the beaches is rare, so it is best to find a place near the city center and walk. The currents are strong and can be dangerous here.

Downtown Watch Hill It is scenic, with cedarwood shops, galleries and cafés. It’s also home to the country’s oldest continuously operating carousel, a “flying horse” model built in 1867. Its horses are so hardy that they survived the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which devastated coastal Rhode Island.

Downtown Watch Hill has an array of galleries, cafés, and stores, such as Christina Stankard Jewelry.

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Hop on Route 1 east to 108 south in Narragansett. Here you will find a number of lunch options. While local politicians want you to believe calamari is the state’s appetizer—it oddly appeared during the name-calling at the 2020 Democratic National Convention—the real state starter is clam bun, a crunchy pie on the outside with a lumpy interior. Contains fresh clams. Other New England states have attempted to replicate the alchemy found in Little Rudy, and none have been compared. tasting in Aunt Carrie (1240 Ocean Road, Narragansett) or Iggy Dogboys and Chowder House (1151 Point Judith Road, Narragansett)which also serves up a wonderful lobster roll.

The real state appetizer in Rhode Island is clam cake, a pie made with freshly cut clam pieces.

The real state appetizer in Rhode Island is clam cake, a pie made with freshly cut clam pieces.

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Cross the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge to Konanikot IslandWell worth a stop by itself, if you have the time. On the east side, Claiborne Bell/Newport Bridge takes you straight into the excitement of Newport.

The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk offers stunning views of the ocean and Newport mansions.

The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk offers stunning views of the ocean and Newport mansions.

Erin McGinn

You may be familiar with the city’s opulent oceanfront mansions, which have been featured in everything from the 1974 movie “The Great Gatsby” to the current HBO series “The Gilded Age.” Explore them via Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile track overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and winds through the backyards of many mansions. Some parts are paved, while others are hard ground. The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff’s most famous rival, The Breakers, is in his grandeur. They all offer a surprising look at how the one percent lived in the early 20th century.

Newport mansions, such as the Marble House, are known for their opulence - inside and out.

Newport mansions, such as the Marble House, are known for their opulence – inside and out.

John W Corbett

downtown Newport, especially around Bowen’s Wharf, is full of stores. The Newport Historical Society (127 Thames Street, Newport) It hosts walking tours around town, including two about the history of slaves and free blacks. The new trademark Sailing Museum (365 Thames Street, Newport) He does not focus on commercial history, but on the sport of sailing. Choose an avatar of the boat to guide you through the museum’s exhibits, on everything from the physics of sailing to its legends, including Olympic and America’s Cup champions. One of the Sailing Museum’s goals is to make the sport more accessible to people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities.

Bowen's Wharf is the commercial center of Newport.

Bowen’s Wharf is the commercial center of Newport.

Courtesy of Discover Newport

for dinner, the morning (1 Sayers Wharf, Newport) It is a 35-year-old establishment loved by locals and visitors alike. Don’t skip the award-winning New England clam chowder, or the bag of donuts—lobster and shrimp take the clam bun, served with chipotle maple aioli. gusto (4 Commercial Pier, Newport) It takes advantage of its location away from the main drag and its excellent cocktails. The “Italian Free” portions are on the smaller side but well prepared.

Day 2: Water recreation, public park and quaint little village

Breakfast menu at Corner Cafe (110 Broadway, Newport) It’s impressive, from the stuffed omelettes to the breakfast burrito and avocado toast. French Portuguese toast, stuffed with berries, bananas, and sweet cream, is so rich that it will keep you full until lunch.

Then go boating and sailing Narragansett Bay. Or cross the bridges into Wakeford Village for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The kayak center It offers rentals of both, as well as guided tours.

Newport is known as one of the sailing capitals of the world.  Boat rentals are popular here.

Newport is known as one of the sailing capitals of the world. Boat rentals are popular here.

Courtesy of 12 meter charters

Nineteen percent of Rhode Islanders claim to be of Italian descent, and you should take advantage of the culinary heritage that this has to offer. While you are not in a scenic area of ​​the city, Antonio’s bakery (2448 West Shore Rd, Warwick) A must for connoisseurs of cannoli, zeppelin, bagnoli and more. Pick up some “party pizza,” a Rhode Island specialty: rectangular slices of focaccia diced with tomatoes, topped with a sprinkle of herbs and Parmesan and served—always—at room temperature.

Don't let the strip's location fool you: Antonio's Bakery is one of Rhode Island's best restaurants.

Don’t let the strip’s location fool you: Antonio’s Bakery is one of Rhode Island’s best restaurants.

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Take your pizza to Rocky Point State Park (1 Rocky Point Street, Warwick), a former beloved theme park turned nature area. Hike, walk, or bike the trails, fish from the pier, or park some benches on the cliffs overlooking Greenwich Bay.

Rocky Point State Park is located on the site of one of New England's most popular amusement parks, which closed in 1995.

Rocky Point State Park is located on the site of one of New England’s most popular amusement parks, which closed in 1995.

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End your explorations seven miles north in a small but sweet picture Pawtuxet . Village, the best kept secret in coastal Rhode Island. Perched on a serene flower-filled waterfront along the Pawtuxet River, this historic hamlet, founded in 1638, is one of the oldest villages in the country. There are a few restaurants and shops in the village Noon Designs (18 Postal Rd., Warwick)which stocks household items and gifts with a nautical flair.

Shop for nautical-themed gifts at Noon Designs in Pawtuxet Village.

Shop for nautical-themed gifts at Noon Designs in Pawtuxet Village.

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For dinner, head to Basta (2195 Broad Street, Cranston)A contemporary look at classic Italian fare. Lobster risotto and Sofia pizza, topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella and crunchy basil.

Basta, in the pretty village of Pawtuxet, serves classic Italian cuisine.

Basta, in the pretty village of Pawtuxet, serves classic Italian cuisine.

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Where to Stay in Coastal Rhode Island

You won’t find much in the way of haggling on a proper coast. Campers will have an easier time; This place in Newport or this camper-friendly property in Middletown are solid options.

For a reasonably priced stay in a great location, try this rustic suite in Pawtuxet Village. This small but cheerful apartment, also in the village, is affordable and has excellent reviews.

The small, sweet, and quiet village of Pawtuxet is the best kept secret along the coastal island of Rhode Island.

The small, sweet, and quiet village of Pawtuxet is the best kept secret along the coastal island of Rhode Island.

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Among the newer residences in the area, was Brenton Hotel (31 America’s Cup Street, Newport) And the Hammets Hotel (4 Commercial Pier, Newport) These are luxury boutique properties overlooking the harbor and/or the city.

Designed to look like a Victorian seaside inn, Ocean House benefits from a stunning Watch Hill location and excellent service.

Designed to look like a Victorian seaside inn, Ocean House benefits from a stunning Watch Hill location and excellent service.

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If you’re in the mood to splurge, you can’t do better than this ocean house (1 Bluff Ave., Watch Hill). A boutique hotel built in the style of a Victorian seaside inn, with sweeping views of Block Island Sound and a host of complimentary extras, from daily activities like cooking classes to access to the hotel’s fleet of Mercedes-Benz convertibles, a fully loaded atv and an in-room snack bar.

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