By Nita McKinney
Watch Hill Beach RI is a wonderful summer destination for swimming, sailing, fishing, hiking, surfing, and birdwatching. There’s also local shopping and fine restaurants in this small town where everything is in walking distance. The town attracts tourists to it’s scenic, idyllic coastline with a variety of seaside areas open to the public.
Most of the residences are summer homes and there are several exclusive, private clubs catering to homeowners. There’s also reasonably priced hotels, Inns, vacation cottages, as well as condos to rent for a relaxing vacation by the ocean. There’s plenty of anchorage for boaters. Centrally located between Boston and New York City, Watch Hill Beach RI is also a popular destination for day trips.
Napatree Point Conservation area is a 1 1/2 mile long peninsula where the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound come together. This official conservation area protecting endangered species is a major migratory route for several species of birds. Part of the shore is closed in the spring so Piping Plover bird nests are not disturbed. Napatree is popular with boaters, anglers, water skiers, knee boarders, hikers, joggers, and bird watchers. Walk through the dunes on foot paths for views of the village, ocean, mansions along the coastline, and Fishers Island, New York. Fishing and swimming can be enjoyed from the shore.
East Beach is a popular recreation area on the Atlantic Ocean. Take the right of way leading from Bluff Road to the coast, then follow the shore from the old lighthouse past the renovated Ocean House Hotel. Some of the coastline on either side is private. There’s plenty of public access as well, but no amenities or lifeguards. Enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
An antique carousel marks the road to Carousel Beach. The Flying Horse Carousel is quite unique. The horses are attached to chains suspended from a center frame so they swing outwards, or “fly”. After a ride for the kiddies, follow Bay Street up the hill to a family friendly swimming area with lockers, showers, and a lifeguard.
The Misquamicut shoreline is 7 miles long stretching between Watch Hill and Westerly. The State Park in the middle of that stretch has picnic tables, pavilions for shade, concessions, lifeguards and ample parking. A section is reserved for surfers. Other sections of the shoreline are town owned with rentals of paddle boats, jet skis, and kayaks. Many shops offer surfing gear for sale and surfing lessons.
A few miles from Watch Hill, on the way to Westerly is the Atlantic Beach Park, a favorite with families. The park has a ferris wheel, antique carousel, kiddie amusement park, and gift shops. Next door is the Bayview Fun Park with go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, and water slides. The public shoreline has a concession stand including a gift shop. Rent jet skis, paddle boards, or kayaks, or sign up for surfing lessons.
East Beach, Napatree peninsula, and stretches of the Misquamicut coastline offer excellent surf fishing. There’s also a yacht club with dock facilities, fishing boats, and charters. Rent a hotel room, cottage, or condo for a relaxing holiday. Make a day trip from the Boston or New York area. Shopping, eating, boating, swimming are all within walking distance of Watch Hill Beach RI.
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Travel and Leisure |
Tags: Destinations, leisure, travel, Travel and Leisure, vacations
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