Because their state is nicknamed the”Ocean State” it’s hard even for residents to pick out the best beaches in Rhode Island there are just so many from which to choose. The natural bays and inlets that make up the coast of Rhode Island have created so many ideal spots for surfing, fishing, walking, boating and swimming that narrowing choices down and selecting the best beaches in Rhode Island is a difficult task at best. And of course personal taste always comes in to play. Are the best beaches in Rhode Island the ones with the best surf, or are the best beaches in Rhode Island the ones with the longest white sandy beaches? Whatever your preference may be you will undoubtedly want to at least consider the beaches described here on your own list of best beaches in Rhode Island.
Any list of best beaches in Rhode Island is likely to include some beach in Newport. Because Newport ,Rhode Island is on Aquidneck Island, it has a variety of beach options. Certainly a top choice among these varied beaches both among locals and vacationers is Newport’s Second Beach. You will not be overpowered by the waves at Second Beach but you will note that at one end of the beach surfers do find a suitable location for occasionally taking out their boards. You won’t exhaust yourself because of the demands of an endless beach , in fact if you are in shape, you can easily walk the length without ill effect. There is undertow to take into consideration but it is seldom excessive. So what makes Second Beach, Newport appear on many people’s lists of best beaches in Rhode Island? This beach gives you the feeling of being tucked away. While Newport in summer can be a busy place, being a Second Beach gives vacationers and day trippers the sense of being quietly hidden from the crowds. While the tides, the sand, the surf are all quite average, the over all effect of this beach is unusually calming and relaxing.
What adds another attractive element to the total atmosphere of Second Beach is its incredible surroundings. Looking straight out to sea visitors are seldom disappointed. Frequently there is a panorama of colorful sailboats, yachts and the occasional cruise ship, giving even the day tripper a feeling of relaxation and vacation. At one end of the beach those who wish to extend their walking can pick up the path to Cliff Walk. There they will find a two and a half mile trail that eventually winds behind 19th Century “cottages” once owned by the fabulously rich and now open as tourist attractions. At the other end of the beach visitors will find the Norman Bird Sanctuary which includes wonderfully wide trails for wandering and exploring along seaside cliffs with spectacular ocean and beach views while enjoying some excellent shore bird watching opportunities. There is something so pleasantly remote about its beautiful setting that Second Beach easily earns its place as one of the best beaches in Rhode Island .
The State of Rhode Island has a well structured system of state owned and operated beaches. Because they are state controlled these beaches have to rise to certain levels of cleanliness and safety and they are reasonably priced to allow for public access and enjoyment. Among these beaches one that can easily make its way onto anyone’s list of Best Beaches in Rhode Island is Scarborough. Contrary to the tucked away feeling one enjoys at Second Beach in Newport, Scarborough Beach located in Narragansett, Rhode Island gives off an aura of wide open spaces. From the moment you enter the facility you experience a beach that is truly accommodating. There is lots of easily accessible parking, an excellent expanse of sandy beach area, spacious pavilions for pulling in out of the sun, clean, well manned concession stands and well layed out picnic tables , lots of changing area and hot showers or for those who wish to just rinse off a little sand out door showers as well.
Because Scarborough is so accommodating it attracts large numbers of vacationers and traffic in and out of the facility at peak times on good beach days can be considerable. In general the facility and its approaches however are truly engineered to be very visitor friendly and to produce satisfaction instead of stress.
Less known because of its location at the far western extremity of Rhode Island in the town of Westerly is Watch Hill. What puts Watch Hill on many lists of best beaches in Rhode Island is certainly not its accessibility. Its distance by car from the more populated areas of the state and the almost non-existent parking once you get there can be discouraging features for beach goers, especially with a car full of children. Ironically what reduces the number of its patrons is also exactly what helps it to qualify as one of the best beaches in Rhode Island. The Watch Hill beach is small, remote, with beautiful sand, gentle tides and seldom any overpowering crowds. When you approach the beach it seems to spring up out of nowhere and is in fact quite adjacent to the small village with which it shares a common name. Folks can be enjoying the sand and surf one minute and doing some window shopping at upscale shops the next and all of this activity is taking place in a location that truly feels like you have reached lands end.
An added bonus to Watch Hill recreation is that with just a little extra driving you can enjoy your day at the beach and then go on to an evening of gaming and entertainment at the not too distant Connecticut casinos at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Watch Hill and all it offers make it an easy fit on many lists of best beaches in Rhode Island.
Many lists of best beaches in Rhode Island include a novelty beach. In Rhode Island this category can be filled nicely by Salty Brine State Beach. Formerly known as Galilee Beach because it is located in the coastal town of Galilee, the beach was renamed to honor long time popular radio personality “Salty Brine”. Like the announcer for whom it is named, Salty Brine State Beach is one of a kind. It’s location puts visitors on a clean sandy beach almost abutting the fishing port of Galilee. Bathers, especially families, can enjoy the gentle waves, the absence of threatening undertow and the interesting comings and goings of fishing vessels nearby. There is here just a wonderful old time feeling .
The nearness of fishing activity provides swimmers with the opportunity, seldom found, of capping off a day at the beach by walking back up into a community where you can enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a real fishing village. You may not be able to pass up that chance to polish off your day at the beach with a very freshly caught fish dinner enjoyed at a low key clam bar with a wonderful ocean view. Salty Brine is unique and belongs on the list the best beaches in Rhode Island for just that reason.
Rhode Island has over 400 miles of beach coastline and plenty of places to fish, swim, surf and beach walk but if you can only sample a few try these best beaches of Rhode Island and come away happy.