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New Englanders have long spent summers in Rhode Island, enjoying tremendous seaside vistas, exploring ornate mansions, and chowing down on some serious chowders.
Narragansett, Rhode Island, is one of the long-time destinations for this type of summer frolicking — being the home base for many family summer residences for those living in the Boston area.
Top Things To Do
With all the coastal charms, seagrass, tide pools, and sand dunes, the beaches are an obvious draw to Narragansett. Stay for the clam cakes, Narragansett Lager, Del’s lemonade by the beach, lobster boils, and time by the waves.
14 Point Judith Lighthouse
Point Judith Lighthouse
A beacon to offshore boaters, Point Judith Lighthouse has also long been a beacon for the community, as well. A brightly illuminated landmark for the town of Narragansett, the story of its namesake is just as sweet as its dramatic cliffside views.
Legend says that before the old lighthouse was constructed in 1810 a boater and his daughter, Judith, had met some rough seas. Unable to see where they were going, the sailor instructed his daughter to keep watch for the rocky shores ahead.
He told her to “Point!, Judith!” if she saw something. At least that’s the story the locals pass around the lobster pot.
Visiting the lighthouse is possible and accessible by car, however, in most circumstances, visitors cannot go into the lighthouse itself. Take some photos and enjoy the iconic views.
13 Go To The Beach
In addition to Roger Wheeler State Beach, and Narragansett Town Beach, one of Rhode Island’s best beaches, Scarborough beach is another favorite for locals, summer vacationers, and surfers.
The surf is good for beginner to moderate levels of experience. Be sure to beat the crowds and get there early. Beach days are paired well with ice cream from the snack bar and Del’s lemonade. Some beaches will require admission fees, so make note of that too.
Watch for signs posting tide warnings and restrictions on surfing or other water activities.
12 Take The Ferry To Block Island
With stunning beaches, lighthouses, and fantastic seafood restaurants, a visit to Narragansett is not complete without a day trip to Block Island. Be sure to see the Mohegan Bluffs and enjoy a nice lunch before returning to Narragansett later in the day.
11 Visit A Seafood Market At Galilee
Seafood market in Galilee
Watch the fishing boats come in with their fresh catch and venture to the local markets nearby to bring some home. Shelling out lobsters, clams, mussels, and a variety of local seafood, this is a must if staying in Narragansett.
If looking for something truly unique to Narragansett, take home some smoked bluefish. Yum.
10 Pick Wild Blackberries
Blackberry picking is a favorite summer pastime in Narragansett; blackberries grow nearly everywhere. Bring a basket and enjoy picking some juicy fruit to bring home or gobble them up while on the go.
Be courteous of private areas and watch for signs marking ‘No Trespassing’ or ‘Private Property.’ Be aware that the bushes can be sharp and prickly, so keep an eye on little children.
9 Walk Past The Towers
The iconic towers in downtown Narragansett used to be a casino but now stand as a landmark for visitors to the seaside town. A sidewalk runs the length of the beach passing by the towers, perfect for a stroll along the water.
8 Visit The Tide Pools
Kids will love bringing their sand pails to the tide pools to search for crabs, starfish, and anything else that washes in and out with the waves. There’s no set destination on the map for the tide pools, so seeking them out is part of the fun!
7 Charter A Fishing Boat
Galilee is a well-known fishing port in Narragansett, so go early and hop on a charter boat tour around the bay or make it an all-day event with a deep-sea fishing vessel.
Charters can be picked up at the marina at the end of Galilee Escape road, near the Block Island Ferry area.
6 Best Time To Go
The summer months and the shoulder seasons (late Spring and early Fall) are the best bet for any trip to Narragansett, however, fall and holiday trips can’t be beaten either. With year-round things to do, the only thing visitors need to worry about is whether the seasonal dining establishments are open or not.
No matter the time of year, make this seaside stunner a weekend getaway or part of a Rhode Island road trip, and enjoy working the way up the coast.
5 Best Ways To Get Around
Narragansett is a town best explored by car (especially for travelers who want to check out nearby Providence, too), but go ahead and pack that surfboard, bicycle, or beach cruiser for days by the shore.
4 Where To Eat
Note that many restaurants in Narragansett are seasonal and may be temporarily closed during the colder, winter months.
Lobster eggs benedict and bacon lobster bloody mary’s are on the menu at this breakfast hot spot.
is located at 91 Point Judith Rd Salt Pond Plaza, Narragansett, RI.
Get in line or make a reservation in advance on their website to guarantee a wait-free, relaxing dining experience.
An iconic Narragansett mainstay, this seasonal restaurant has been in business since 1920. With its rustic and simple decor, diners have been eating the best of Rhode Island’s local seafood here summer after summer, craving the day it opens up after its winter season closures.
On the menu: start with clam chowder and do not miss their infamous clam cakes. Compared perhaps to hush puppies, these fried dough balls are chock-full of chewy local clam meat and are exclusively served in Rhode Island.
Steamed Maine lobsters and clams are a surefire bet diners will walk away happy, and even the sandwiches and simpler options don’t disappoint. Finish with their drool-worthy banana cream pie.
Once upon a time, this restaurant was cash-only. Bring some extra cash just in case.
George’s at Galilee
Since 1948 George’s is another Narragansett staple. Go here for a big upmarket lunch, or for an enjoyable evening dinner. From shellfish to chowder and everything in between, this continues to sit at the top of everyone’s list for dining in Narragansett year after year.
- George’s is located at 250 Sand Hill Cove Rd, Narragansett, RI.
Coast Guard House
Located right next to the iconic Narragansett Towers, the Coast Guard House is a historic restaurant with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay.
Good for special occasions, cocktails, or just a well-deserved day of indulging, the Coast Guard House remains as iconic as its neighboring towers. Known for its service, high-quality food, and even brunch, this is a must-visit while in Narragansett.
Del’s Lemonade is an absolute staple of beach-going in Rhode Island. With roots in Naples, Italy, the owners concocted one of the most addicting frozen lemonade treats known to New Englanders this side of Italy. With chunks of real lemon in a frozen slush drink, visitors will be begging for more on the next hot day.
- Del’s is located at 49 Old Tower Hill Rd, Wakefield, RI 02879, or at the Narragansett Town Beach from Del’s cart on a lucky day!
Del’s and Providence’s Narragansett Brewing teamed up to make a summertime shandy using Del’s lemonade and their signature Narragansett Lager. The perfect summer drink!
3 Where To Stay
Narragansett, RI has plenty of picturesque accommodations to choose from.
The Break Hotel, $$$$
With a pool, ocean views, onsite dining, and brightly colored rooms, overnight guests will feel all the beach vibes in this elegant property.
- Offering camping and a farmer’s market, this is a fantastic stepping-off point for tent campers or RV’ers.
Shepherd’s Run, $$$
2 Tips To Consider When Visiting
Before heading to the beach, consider a few things:
- Crowds – get there early to find parking
- Surf swell – typically a beginner’s wave, but watch for tide warnings
- Seaweed – Narragansett has “lasagna-style” seaweed, among others. Just be aware it’s common on a lot of the beaches
- The beaches are not always free — bring some cash, just in case (and some extra for Del’s lemonade or ice cream at the beach bar!)
1 How To Spend The Perfect Day In Narragansett
Narragansett shouldn’t be attempted in one day, but it is easily doable. This historic seaside haven will keep on giving every visit, bringing families back for more sunshine, more beach days, the best seafood, and all the charms a traveler could wish for. Rhode Island may be a small state, but this town delivers big family fun.
Start the day at the beach before the crowds hit, or take the ferry to Block Island. Enjoy a seafood lunch and complete the day with a cold Narragansett lager in hand.
Q: What is Narragansett known for?
Like many places in Rhode Island, Narragansett is known for its gorgeous beaches and delicious seafood, making it a top vacation destination for people from all over the world.
Q: Does Narragansett have a boardwalk?
Narragansett’s most popular beach—and one of the best in Rhode Island—Scarborough State Beach does have a boardwalk.
Q: Do you have to pay to walk on Narragansett beach?
Some beaches in Narragansett do charge for access; Narragansett Town Beach has a day-use fee. However, there are many underrated Rhode Island-area beaches that are free to use.