City Spotlight: Wickford

Wickford, RI is a quaint waterfront village that’s worth a trip. It’s about 30 minutes from Providence and 20 minutes from Newport. Visiting the South County beaches? Wickford is just minutes away. If you enjoy strolling down small-town main streets and browsing in eclectic shops, Wickford, RI is for you. There are restaurant choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on what time you visit, and a fabulous bakery you won’t want to miss. Scroll down for details on shopping, restaurants and attractions.

 

A Peek at Some Favorite

Wickford, RI Stores

What’s nice about shopping in Wickford is that you’ll find an eclectic mix of small, local stores. From women’s clothing to jewelry to unusual gifts and household items, there’s something for everyone. It’s also a very pet-friendly village. Dogs are welcome to join you for outdoor dining and even in some stores. You’ll also find lots of water bowls on the sidewalks so Fido can stay hydrated. Here’s a taste of the stores you’ll find in Wickford, Rhode Island:

 

  • The Book Garden is your top pick if you’re one of those people who can’t walk by a bookstore without going in. You’ll find a nice assortment of used books for adults and children.
  • Nearby, look for The Grateful Heart for books related to meditation, philosophy, psychology and women’s issues.
  • Family-owned Wilson’s of Wickford has been in business since 1944. Stop in for men’s or women’s apparel, with brands such as Tommy Bahama, Woolrich, The North Face and Pendleton.
  • It’s hard to miss Lulabells because of its bright pink exterior. Inside, you’ll find a variety of gifts, household items and jewelry. Look for the eco-friendly cutting boards and serving dishes made from recycled bottles.
  • Wickford is a dog-friendly community, and if you like to pamper your pet, you’ll want to be sure to stop in Shaggy Chic. You can pick up adorable collars and doggie sweaters as well as grooming items, treats and other necessities.
  • For a wide variety of home decor and gift items, stop by the Yes! Gallery. You’ll find beautiful pottery, handmade artwork and even items that use recycled materials from Fenway Park (great for the Boston Red Sox fan in your life).

 

Restaurants in Wickford, Rhode Island

Wickford Diner

For an inexpensive diner breakfast, start your day at the Wickford Diner. While service can be hit or miss, the food (and coffee) hits the spot. For an inexpensive, hearty breakfast, try the Wickford Diner.

 

Beach Rose Cafe

This small, casual cafe serves breakfast and lunch, either inside or out on the deck overlooking Wickford Cove. (Bring your dog!) For lunch, choose from a variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps and paninis, as well as local seafood favorites like clam rolls, chowder and clamcakes. The outdoor seating at Beach Rose Cafe is nice in warmer weather.

 

Wild Flour Bakery

If you need a little pick-me-up after all that shopping, be sure to stop by the Wild Flour Bakery. When you see all the beautiful items in the display case (all reasonably priced), you may need several minutes to decide what to order. Coffee and gelato are also available. If you like sweets, don’t miss the Wild Flour Bakery.

 

Tavern by the Sea

If you’re looking for dinner in Wickford, this is your best option. Depending on the weather and your preference, you can sit inside or out on the casual, dog-friendly deck overlooking a small section of Wickford Cove. Most salads and sandwiches are under $10, with grilled pizzas just a bit more. Dinner entrees are in the $16-$20 range. Stop by on Tuesdays and you can get dinner for two (including two glasses of wine) for under $35. Tavern by the Sea is a popular dinner spot in Wickford.

City Spotlight: Jamestown

Jamestown, Rhode Island is a quiet town on tiny Conanicut Island, which is just 9 miles long and 1 mile wide. For many, the island is simply a stretch of land to cross quickly via Rt. 138 when traveling between the southern part of Rhode Island and Newport. Take the Jamestown exit, however, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You can:

 

  • Visit Beavertail Light, the third oldest lighthouse in the country
  • Stay in a cozy B&B; or family-friendly timeshare hotel with beautiful water views.
  • Take a self-guided tour of a historic farm with acres of grazing livestock
  • Enjoy lunch while looking out over Narragansett Bay

 

Keep reading for more ideas about how to spend a pleasant day in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

 

Jamestown, Rhode Island Attractions

Beavertail Lighthouse and Park

The historic Beavertail Lighthouse is the third oldest in the United States. It sits at the southern-most tip of Jamestown, where the two channels of Narragansett Bay meet the Atlantic Ocean. Dog-friendly Beavertail Park has free parking, paths for walking and biking, open space for kite-flying and spectacular water views. Nice portable restrooms are available. The small lighthouse museum won’t take long to walk through and there is a one-room “aquarium” next door.

 

Watson Farm
This 265-acre Jamestown farm is more than 200 years old; the land was purchased from the island’s Native Americans in the late 1700s. Still a family-run operation, Watson Farm offers self-guided tours through the fields and along the shore. You’ll see the grazing sheep and Red Devon cattle, while enjoying beautiful pastoral views. Kids will enjoy watching the barnyard chickens and cats.

 

Jamestown Newport Ferry
This small ferry (approximately 30 passengers) is a fun way to travel between Jamestown and Newport. You can avoid traffic and parking hassles in Newport and get a close-up view of all the boating activity in Newport Harbor. The boat even has a small bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail on board. The ferry makes the following stops:

 

  • Rose Island:* Explore the island and take a fun lighthouse tour
  • Fort Adams: Take a fort tour; walk around and look out at the harbor; take a dip at the small beach
  • Waites Wharf: Enjoy the restaurants and shops on Lower Thames Street in downtown Newport
  • Perrotti Park: Stop in the Newport Gateway Center for visitor information; browse the shops and restaurants

 

Jamestown Fire Museum
Volunteers from the Jamestown Fire Department are happy to unlock the adjacent museum, show visitors around and share the rich history of the department. Children will have fun looking at the old-fashioned fire engines, uniforms and other memorabilia. The two-story building even has a “fireman’s pole” leading from the top floor to the first floor.

 

The Fire Museum’s old-fashioned phone is a hit with kids. After visiting the museum, walk around the corner to the playground at the Jamestown Library. The equipment is great for kids of all ages (and there’s a restroom in the library). The playground at the Jamestown Library gives kids a great way to burn off some energy.

 

Jamestown, Rhode Island Restaurants

  • East Ferry Market and Deli: Bagels, breakfast sandwiches, salads and wide range of deli sandwiches. Great views from outdoor patio.
  • Spinnaker’s: Small sandwich shop and ice cream parlor. Order at the counter (cash only) and sit outside overlooking the marina. Enjoy a beautiful view from Spinnaker’s outdoor seating area.
  • Chopmist Charlie’s: This popular local hangout has a cozy, pub-like atmosphere (but no water view).

 

City Spotlight: Bristol

Named after Bristol, England, Bristol, Rhode Island is a deepwater seaport in the historic Bristol County. Known for boat building, manufacturing, and its abundance tourism industry, the town is a gorgeous destination for every season—whether you want to see New England’s spectacular fall foliage, a snow-covered sea town, or a summer beach vacation.

 

In 1676, four colonists purchased a tract of land as part of Plymouth County. This, which was to become Bristol, was originally a Massachusetts town. The Crown transferred it to the Rhode Island Colony in 1747. Until 1854, Bristol was one of the five state capitals of Rhode Island, but it eventually ceded the title to Providence. Its proximity to the ocean crystallized the city as a fishing town, with much of its industry coming from trading and marine-related ventures. It is currently home to Roger Williams University, which is named for the Rhode Island founder of the same name.

 

Bristol has a fascinating maritime history, and the America’s Cup race is deeply ingrained in Rhode Island culture. The Herreshoff Marine Museum, located in Bristol, provides the opportunity for visitors to understand the history of sailing and racing. The museum has restored ships from the late 19th century, including one that is considered to be the most beautiful hull ever created, and houses the America’s Cup Hall of Fame.

 

A haven for history-lovers, Bristol is also home to several sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The Town Common often hosts community events, and the Town Hall, War Memorial, and Bristol County Statehouse provide remarkable examples of colonial architecture. Outdoor enthusiasts will love Colt State Park, and the Roger Williams Zoo is just a short drive away.

City Spotlight: Newport

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island—around 37 miles southeast of Providence. It is known primarily as a New England summer resort town. Famous for historic mansions, world-class regattas, and a bustling social scene, Newport should be on everyone’s New England summer hit list.

 

The city was founded in 1693 by a group of colonists who had been part of the Portsmouth settlement with Ann Hutchinson. After leaving Massachusetts, however, these colonists left Hutchinson and her followers to settle Newport on the southern side of the island. It quickly grew to be the largest of Rhode Islands original four settlements. The state received its royal charter in 1663, and—interestingly—Benedict Arnold was elected its first governor at Newport. The city’s commercial activity and access to ports cemented it as a place of wealth in the 18th century.

 

Newport is home to some of the most spectacular architecture on the East Coast—The Breakers. The city’s most celebrated Gilded Age mansion was built by the Vanderbilt family in 1895. Their Italian Renaissance “summer cottage” has seventy rooms, including a three-story dining room, ceiling paintings, mosaics, marble columns, wood paneling, and carved stucco. Visitors can get there via the Cliff Walk, a pathway along the rocky shore which allows pedestrians to glimpse the beautiful mansions and stunning ocean views.

 

If gigantic mansions aren’t really your thing, don’t worry: Newport has much more to offer. Aquidneck Island is home to many beaches—both public and private. Easton’s beach is the largest, and it has a view of the famed Cliff Walk. The city is also home to a series of yacht races for the America’s Cup, and regattas are a common occurrence on summer weekends. From gorgeous buildings to beaches, sailboats to award-winning seafood, Newport is the perfect summer destination.