Summer Guide – Day Trips

Westerly: The Small Town With a City Feel

Westerly is home to a handful of must-visit beach villages, plus a thriving downtown filled with arts, shopping and delicious food.

Posted

Head to the Shore
Start your Westerly adventure in Watch Hill, the tiny, tony hamlet that Taylor Swift calls home for three days out of the year. Watch Hill has a strip of restaurants and shops along Bay Street and Fort Road – like Olympia Tea Room, which is celebrating 100 years this summer – and is home to the The Flying Horse Carousel, the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country. Olympia Tea Room: 74 Bay Street. 401-348-8211, OlympiaTeaRoom.com

Don’t spend much time shopping, though, because you’re going to want to maximize your beach time. Watch Hill’s Napatree Point is a half-mile long public beach that separates Little Narragansett Bay from the Block Island Sound. Sandy Point was once attached to Napatree, but hurricane erosion separated the two. The 35-acre island also has a public beach and is a nature preserve.

Coast to Lunch
For lunch, you’ve got some options. You could stay in Watch Hill and perch on The Verandah at The Ocean House – it’s casual enough that you’ll feel comfortable even if you aren’t shelling out $10,000 a night for a room. They serve specialty cocktails, a killer lobster roll and views of the Atlantic and Long Island. 1 Bluff Avenue. 855-678-0364, OceanHouseRI.com

For lunch on the beach, take the short drive over to Misquamicut, one of the only places in the state where servers will serve you while you’re actually on the beach. Paddy’s Beach Club has lounge chairs available on their private beach area, as well as several different outdoor bars. The kid-friendly dining rooms are in the shade, but still have great water views. The Andrea is another beach-friendly restaurant where you can walk straight off the sand, have lunch and hear some live music in the afternoons. Their Adirondack chairs are prime real estate for getting some sun and enjoying a frozen beverage. The Windjammer Surf Bar, contrary to its name, is actually another family-friendly restaurant. Paddy’s: 159 Atlantic Avenue. 401-596-2610, PaddysBeach.com. The Andrea: 89 Atlantic Avenue. 401-348-8788, AndreaBeachBar.com. Windjammer: 321 Atlantic Avenue. 401- 322-0504, AtlanticBeachPark.com

Explore Downtown
If you can tear yourself away from the beach, head into downtown Westerly. The downtown area has a ton of places worth checking out, like the new Savoy Bookshop & Cafe, and favorites like art and home boutique The Beach House. In the center of all of this is Wilcox Park, a Greek Revivial oasis that has a pond, fountains and art. Savoy: 10 Canal Street. 401-213-3901, SavoyBookshopCafe.com. Beach House: 12 High Street. 401-596-7171, TheBeachHouseWesterly.com

In addition to being a food destination, Westerly is becoming a beer lover’s haven. The Malted Barley, a pub serving nearly 100 craft beers, along with gourmet pretzels and pretzel sandwiches, offers live music on weekends. Grey Sail, Westerly’s resident brewery, offers beers like their signature Flying Jenny extra pale ale, Captain’s Daughter imperial IPA and Flagship cream ale at their tasting and tap room. Grey Sail: 63 Canal Street. 401-212-7592, GreySailBrewing.com. Malted Barley: 42 High Street, Westerly. 401-315-2184, TheMaltedBarleyRI.com

Stay for Dinner
Downtown Westerly is home to any restaurant that fits your taste, from classically Italian Trattoria Longo to unmatched burgers at B&B Dockside to creative brunch at 84 Tavern on Canal. Ella’s Fine Food and Drink serves locally-minded French/Asian fusion, and its chef Jeannie Roland managed to accomplish the title task on Beat Bobby Flay last year. Longo: 12 Canal Street. 401-315-2952. B&B: 19 Margin Street, 401-315-2520, BnBDockside.com. 84 Tavern: 15 Canal Street. 401-596-7871, 84Tavern.com. Ella’s: 2 Tower Street. 401-315-0606, EllasFineFoodandDrink.com

Arts and the Park
The Colonial Theatre will be holding its 25th annual Shakespeare Festival this summer, staging Hamlet al fresco in the beautifully landscaped Wilcox Park from July 20-August 7. 3 Granite Street, Westerly. 401-596-7909, TheColonialTheater.org

Granite Theatre offers a full summer season of stage productions. Catch the New York comedy Social Security from June 24-July 24, and Neil Simon’s farce Rumors from July 29-August 28. 1 Granite Street, Westerly. 401-596-2341, GraniteTheatre.com

The Chorus of Westerly brings back its Summer Pops on June 18. Families bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets to Wilcox Park, enjoy the performance and watch fireworks afterwards. 119 High Street, Westerly. 401-596-8663, ChorusofWesterly.org