This is the quintessential New England beach town, with some of the state’s most popular beaches, plenty of houses for rent and a population that swells in the summer. It is home to perhaps South County’s most iconic piece of architecture, the towers, a historic former casino turned event space, and several of the Rhode Island’s favorite clam shacks. Families will find plenty of attractions to explore. singles and young couples will enjoy some of the area’s best dining and bars.
This area around Town Beach is bustling with families enjoying lunch on oceanside patios, surfers fresh off the water and couples strolling and shopping.
This landmark stands guard over the town beach. it’s alive all summer with dancing, music and food events, and is home to the town visitor’s center. 35 Ocean Rd. thetowersri.com
The South County Museum
The South County Museum is a summer-only attraction that features a living history farm, maritime gallery, print shop, blacksmith shop and more. 115 Strathmore St., 401-783-5400, southcountymuseum.org
Narragansett Pier Marketplace
This seaside complex boasts, shopping, food, lodging and services from fashionable boutiques like Polka Dot Panda, For Art’s Sale, KC shoes, Curiosity and Mischief and Simply Natural to delicious food and drink from Pier Liquors and Nana’s ice Cream. Natural Fitness Yoga, in the Pier, offers beach yoga in the mornings on Narragansett town Beach. Boon Street, which offers more restaurants, including Crazy Burger and PJs Pub, and the One Way Gallery, is a short walk. Across from Narragansett Town Beach
Dining by the Pier
While there are many restaurants along the sea wall, the Coast Guard House is the only one with waves crashing directly on it – and a roof deck overlooking the water. 40 Ocean Rd. 401-789-0700, thecoastguardhouse.com
The northern part of Narragansett is where you’ll find the locals during the height of the tourist season, as well as the URI institute for oceanography and the private Bonnet shores Beach Club.
This mid-18th century homestead is still a working farm and hosts one of the area’s largest farmer’s markets on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. 2325 Boston Neck Rd. 401-295-1030
Owner Chris Woodbine describes this must-stop store as “a mini TJ Maxx,” selling designer closeouts, as well as iconic Narragansett clothing that families return for year after year. 1175 Boston Neck Rd. 401-782-1110
Dining in Bonnet Shores
Stop for your morning coffee at Fuel Coffee Bar (904 Boston neck Rd. 401-792-3835, fuelri.com). Meldgie’s Diner (909 Boston neck Rd. 401-789-1351) serves breakfast and lunch daily. Twin Willows (865 Boston neck Rd. 401-789-8153, twinwillowsnarragansett.com) is a local favorite, serving casual food with a side of ocean view.
Home to Point Judith (where all of that calamari comes from), Galilee has Wheeler and salty Brine beaches, and is the point of exit for the Block Island Ferry. It’s mainly known for its fish – fresh off the boat – and it’s dining.
George’s of Galilee (250 Sand Hill Cove Rd. 401-783-2306, georgesofgalilee.com) and Champlin’s (256 Great Island Rd. 401-783-3152, champlins.com) are directly across the street from each other, next to salty Brine. George’s has live music and a patio where you can watch the ferry depart; Champlin’s has a fresh fish market – but if you can’t wait, they’re cooking their own seafood upstairs. Hank’s Down South (33 state St. 401-792-9200, hanksdownsouth.com) serves up barbecue favorites.
Aunt Carrie’s (1240 Ocean Rd. 401-783-7930, auntcarriesri.com) and Hammerhead Grill (1230 Ocean Rd. 401-789-6159, hammerheadgrillri.com) are closer to Wheeler Beach. aunt Carrie’s is a century-old clam shack with incredible homemade pies. Hammerhead Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner upstairs from local hang Bon Vue Inn.
On the road into Galilee, across from the salt Pond shopping Center, Mariner Grille (140 Point Judith Rd. 401-284-3282, marinergrille.com) serves up delicious, fresh seafood – but fair warning, your kids will want to stop at nearby Adventureland for a round of mini golf afterwards. Pancho O’Malley’s (140 Point Judith Rd. 401-782-2299, panchosri.com) is an Irish pub with Mexican food.