Sure, Rhode Island is small, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have beautiful beaches. Whether you're heading to the swanky yachting hub of Newport or to off-the-beaten-track Block Island, you'll find lovely stretches of golden sand. Here are the top Rhode Island beaches.
Crescent Beach is one of Rhode Island's most photographed beaches. Located on Block Island (an hour-long ferry ride from Point Judith), this 3-mile beauty starts near the harbor and ends at Clayhead Bluffs. Some sections have their own names, including The Fred Benson Town Beach, which is popular with families.
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One of Rhode Island's most peaceful beaches, Napatree Point is known for its soft sand, dunes, and natural grasses. Birders can keep an eye out for ospreys and piping plovers. This beach is near the village of Watch Hill, so after a day of relaxing on the sand, head to the Ocean House hotel for a cocktail at The Verandah.
Easton's Beach, also called First Beach, is one of Newport's main beaches. The family-friendly spot, a 10-minute drive from the yacht-filled harbor, has a snack stand and a vintage carousel. It's also the starting point of Cliff Walk, the gorgeous coastal walk that takes you past Gilded Age mansions, including the must-see Breakers.
East Beach, or East State Beach, is part of the Ninigret Conservation Area and stretches for 3 miles. It's not as developed as other Rhode Island beaches, so you won't find the big-time crowds (there's limited parking, so get there early!). It also offers a 20-site campground, and it's adjacent to Ninigret Pond, a popular windsurfing spot.
Watch Hill Beach is one of Rhode Island's most beloved beaches. Not only is there plenty of space to find your own patch of sand, but Watch Hill village is a charming spot to indulge in a cup or cone of creamy gelato at Gramma's Gelato Cafe and snap photos of the kids on the Flying Horse Carousel, said to date back to 1867.
If you're looking for a scene, you'll find it on Ballard's Beach, just a few steps from the ferry docks. You can rent chairs and umbrellas at Ballard's Inn, order tropical drinks from the tiki bars set up on the sand, lunch on lobster rolls in the inn's casual cafe, listen to live music, and maybe even play a game of beach volleyball.
Narragansett Town Beach, a crescent-shaped strand in the center of town, has a little something for everyone. Families love the snack stands and lifeguards on duty, surfers can catch good waves here, and there are also concerts, sandcastle contests, and other fun beach events in the summer. Plus, there's ample parking.
Misquamicut State Beach. Aside from swimming and boogie boarding, you can rent a paddleboat or a jet ski and take a surf lesson. There's also a pavilion with a snack bar and picnic areas, and nearby is the Water Wizz of Westerly water park.is Rhode Island's longest beach — it's 7 miles in total, and in the middle is
One of Rhode Island’s easterly beaches, South Shore is a gorgeous stretch of golden sand that isn't always packed, so you can enjoy a peaceful day on the sand. If you're up for a stroll, you can walk to neighboring Goosewing Beach, which typically has even less crowds and is considered a hidden gem by locals. Goosewing is owned by the Nature Conservancy.
East Matunuck State Beach has a boardwalk and amenities, such as picnic areas, a pavilion with showers, and a playground for the kids. When you're done for the day, grab a bite to eat at nearby Jim's Dock, a casual waterfront spot with a large wooden deck. Order a local Narragansett beer and fish and chips, and soak up the nautical views.