Summer Guide – Day Trips

Jamestown: Island Adventure Without the Crowds

You probably know Jamestown as that five minute stretch between bridges on your way to Newport, but the town has a lot to offer.

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Begin at the Beginning
Start your day in Jamestown by exploring some history. Conanicut Battery National Historic Park is home to several earthen fortifications dating back to the Revolutionary War, built by both colonists and the British. Explore the trails, that have information on the park’s history. Fort Getty Park is another piece of Jamestown’s military history, and has a campground and fishing areas. Conanicut Battery: Battery Lane. Jamestown-RI.info. Fort Getty: 913 Fort Getty Road. 401-423-7211, JamestownRI.gov

Watson Farm has been in operation since 1796, and offers self-guided tours of livestock, wildlife and farm history. The Jamestown Historical Society is a hub for all of the island’s historic preservation, including the Jamestown Museum, Windmill, Meetinghouse and Jamestown Library. They offer rotating exhibits and frequent events. Watson Farm: 455 North Road. 401-423-0005. JHS: 92 Narragansett Avenue. 401-423-0784, JamestownHistoricalSociety.org

Stop for Lunch

When it’s time for lunch, fuel up at Slice of Heaven. The European-style bakery and cafe serves up delicious, creative salads (like the Tuna Salad Nicoise), sandwiches (think Roast Beef Agro e Dolce) and sweet treats. 32 Narragansett Avenue. 401-423-9866, SliceofHeavenRI.com

Explore Nature
Now that you’re full of energy and ready for adventure, it’s time to get active. For an easy hike that has views for days, head to Beavertail State Park, easily one of the most beautiful pieces of scenery in New England. The rocky coastline offers views of Newport and the Atlantic Ocean from any of four picnic-friendly vistas and from the hiking trails throughout. Beavertail is also home to a lighthouse and a small aquarium with exhibits on local sea life. Director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums) was so taken with Beavertail that he filmed scenes from Moonrise Kingdom there. Spend an afternoon exploring, or enjoy their environmental interpretive program with guided tidal excursions. Nearby, Fort Wetherill, an abandoned military fort, is a must-see destination. Besides the fort itself, which has become something of a graffiti art museum, the views from the cliffs of this 100-foot vantage are stunning. It’s also a popular spot for SCUBA divers. Beavertail: Beavertail Road, Jamestown. 401-423-9941, RIParks.com. Fort Wetherill: Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown. 401-423-1771, RIParks.com

Go Gourmet for Dinner
For dinner, you have a lot of delicious dining options. Jamestown Fish is one of the state’s finest seafood restaurants, helmed by Executive Chef (and James Beard Award nominee) Matthew MacCartney. The main dining room offers fresh-from-the-sea fine dining, while the upstairs lounge and outdoor bar have a more casual menu. The patio also has couches for sunset cocktails, complete with fire pits for after the sun goes down. 14 Narragansett Avenue. 401-423-3474, JamestownFishRI.com

Across the street, Simpatico Jamestown serves an eclectic menu that blends classic Rhode Island foods with worldly flavors. While you can eat inside, you really should choose a table outdoors, especially with a date. The perfectly romantic outdoor dining areas include a bar, a garden and terraced decks. The island’s newest restaurant is J22 Tap and Table. The restaurant has only 10 tables and a bar that seats 12, and a small menu that changes often, but don’t let that stop you. The small scale means that every ingredient is hyper-local and at the peak of freshness, and that everything, down to the cocktail sauce, is made in-house. Simpatico: 13 Narragansett Avenue. 401-423-2000, SimpaticoJamestown.com. J22: 22 Narragansett Avenue. 401-423-3709, Facebook.com/J22TapandTable

Hit the Dance Floor
After dinner, head to The Narragansett Cafe. The Ganny offers some of the area’s best live music every night during the summer. Bands range from jazz and blues to rock, and are always danceable. 25 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown. 401-423-2150, NarragansettCafe.com