15 Best Rhode Island Beaches for a Sandy Getaway

October 2, 2020

by Rina Bernardo

wooden pathway leading to the beach

Rhode Island may be America’s smallest state, but it makes up for its natural wonders. Whether you are an architecture buff or a laid-back beach lover, there’s always something exciting for you to do. Providence, its capital city, is filled with preserved mansions and museums featuring Colonial architecture. On the other hand, find opulent Gilded Age mansions in Newport. However, Rhode Island beaches are what most locals and travelers love about the state.

Also known as the Ocean State, it offers more than 600 kilometers of picturesque coastline, making it a dream come true for every thalassophile. Surfers can take advantage of the large waves in some beaches, while families with children can relax at beaches with milder waves.

Itching to go to the beach? Continue reading and learn more about Rhode Island beaches!

 

Where Is Rhode Island?

 

The Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island
Photo by 12019 on Pixabay

Rhode Island is a relatively small state in the United States’ New England region. Connecticut lies on its west and Massachusetts on its north and east. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Ocean borders it to the south. Rhode Island isn’t an actual island, but it is the smallest US state by area and is also twice the size of Phoenix, Arizona

Providence is the capital city, and is one of the oldest states in America, founded way back in 1636. Other major cities in the state include Newport, Warwick, Cranston, and Woonsocket.

 

What Is Rhode Island Famous For?

 

Man surfing in one of the rhode island beaches
Photo by Chloé Taranto on Unsplash

From coastal towns, stunning beaches, and jewelry, Rhode Island is famous for a variety of things. Providence, its capital city, is known for its Art Deco buildings, restaurants, and quaint cafes. The city is also a popular cheap weekend getaway for travelers in its neighboring states.

Jewelry Manufacturing

Also called the “Jewelry Capital of the World”, Rhode Island is famous for its jewelry manufacturing industry. Dating as early as 1794, Nehemlah Dodge was credited as the pioneer of the industry. Soon after, plenty of shops in Providence started creating and selling costume jewelry. Some of the jewelry products made in Province include bracelets, necklaces, pins, pendants, and cufflinks. 

Rhode Island Beaches

Because of its location, Rhode Island is home to some of America’s most beautiful beaches. Each of its beach towns has its own charm, and there is a beach for every kind of traveler. Whether you are with your family, friends, partner — or even by yourself! — you will appreciate the beauty of Rhode Island’s many beaches. 

If you’re not sure what to do in Rhode Island, you may start by visiting famous Rhode Island beaches.

 

Best Beaches in Rhode Island

 

 

1. Narragansett Beach, Narragansett

 

Group of people lounging by the shore of Narragansett Beach
Photo by lisatener on Pixabay

Narragansett Beach offers clean and accessible beach conditions for residents and tourists in town. It is also one of the more popular beaches, welcoming thousands of visitors daily. Spanning across 19 acres of pristine sand, Narragansett Town Beach is conveniently located in the heart of town. You can find different restaurants and shops within walking distance, perfect for grabbing snacks and refreshments.

What makes Narragansett Beach one of the best Rhode Island beaches is that it is the best place for surfing. The waves can reach as high as four feet in the morning, a dream for every surfer. If you don’t know how to surf, you can rent a surfboard and have a professional teach you! On the other hand, you can just relax and go sunbathing or swimming.

Address: 39 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, RI 02882, United States
Entrance fee: 10 USD

 

2. Goosewing Beach, Little Compton

 

Goosewing Beach shore
Photo by Gary Brownell on Flickr

If you are looking for Rhode Island beaches with fewer crowds, Goosewing Beach is your best choice. The beach is also part of the Goosewing Beach Preserve, a conservation area home to several endangered bird species. The beach is also one of the few Little Compton beaches that are open to the public, but not heavily crowded. Instead, find grassy dunes, clear ponds, and a quiet beach.

Aside from sunbathing or swimming, enjoy guided nature walks and get to know more about the local wildlife. You may also bring your fishing rods and go fishing on the beach. Or if you just want a relaxing time, you can walk along the shore and marvel at the view. On that note, you may also get to spot some of the local bird species out and about.

Address: S Shore Rd, Little Compton, RI 02837, United States
Entrance fee: 15-20 USD (depending on the day)

 

3. Easton’s Beach, Newport

 

View of Middletown from Easton's Beach
Photo by Warren B. on Flickr

Easton’s Beach is a family-friendly beach in Newport. Also known as First Beach, Easton’s Beach is Newport’s largest beach. The beach also includes a playground, a carousel, a skateboard park, and an aquarium, making it a favorite among families. Additionally, Easton’s Beach is one of the wheelchair-friendly beaches in Rhode Island, and you can rent a wheelchair to enjoy the shore. 

There are plenty of activities you can do at the beach. Learn more about ocean life and ecology at the Save the Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium, located near the beach. You can also rent a boogie board or a surfboard to enjoy the waves. After an exciting day of beach activities, you can grab a bite at the snack bar. There are also live entertainment and different events, depending on the season and day. 

Address: 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI 02840, United States
Entrance fee: 5 -25 USD (depending on vehicle type and day)

 

4. Watch Hill Beach, Westerly

 

Gold sand shore of Watch Hill Beach
Photo by mst7022 on Flickr

Watch Hill Beach is one of the best Rhode Island beaches for families. With miles of white sand, picturesque sunsets, and fun events, it is the perfect summer getaway. Iconic pop star Taylor Swift also built her beachside mansion in Watch Hill, a testament to the beauty of this beach town. Watch Hill Beach is also near the famous Flying Horse Carousel, one of the two carousels designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Walk around its coast, feeling the golden sand on your feet. The beach is also ideal for children, thanks to its small waves. Most of the town’s shops and restaurants are also within a near distance. After lounging by the beach, why not head to the iconic carousel in town? You may also enjoy a short walk to Watch Hill Lighthouse and enjoy expansive views of the sea. 

Address: 151 Bay St, Westerly, RI 02891, United States

Entrance fee: 10 USD

 

5. Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island

 

Stairs leading down to the beach in Mohegan Bluffs
Photo by Joy on Flickr

Mohegan Bluffs is a picture-perfect place on the southern part of Block Island. The popular tourist attraction in Block Island got its name from the battle of the Niantic and Mohegan tribes that took place during the mid-16th century. Under the imposing cliffs lie a secluded yet beautiful beach, perfect for swimming and surfing. 

Catch dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and get a chance to see Montauk on clear days at Mohegan Bluffs. The 141 steps leading to the beach sounds intimidating, but the white sand beach is the best reward after a tiring hike. You can also bring your dogs for a walk along the sandy shore. Although the climb going to Mohegan Bluffs and beach is a tedious one, the view of the beach makes everything worth it.

Address: New Shoreham, RI 02807, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee

 

6. East Beach, Charlestown

 

Sunset over East Beach in Charlestown

Surrounded by a wildlife refuge and some conservation areas, East Beach is one of the Rhode Island beaches that offer pristine waters and pale sand. It is relatively secluded and lacks most amenities, but it makes up in terms of its natural beauty. East Beach is also perfect for camping and stargazing, with more or less 20 RV camping sites. Take note that the beach has limited parking spaces, so make sure to arrive early.

East Beach is the perfect Rhode Island beach if you’re looking for a fuss-free day at the beach. You can also go birdwatching, fishing, and kayaking in Ninigret Pond. Although the beach is secluded, there are lifeguards monitoring the place. Additionally, toilet facilities and changing rooms are available. Keep in mind that there are vehicle restrictions for travelers planning to camp, so make sure to check beforehand.

Address: E Beach Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813, United States
Entrance fee: 6-7 USD for residents (depending on the day); 12-14 USD for non-residents (depending on the day)

 

7. East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingstown

 

Adult and child walking along the shore of East Matunuck State Beach
Photo by Cynthia Donovan on Flickr

East Matunuck State Beach is one of the Rhode Island beaches perfect for surfers. While it is also a good training ground for beginner surfers, its waves are more suited for advanced ones. The beach is popular for its soft sand and beautiful marshlands, although there is plenty of seaweed on the shore. 

Aside from surfing, you can enjoy ocean swimming, picnicking, and other fun beach activities. Because the waves can be strong at the beach, East Matunuck is not ideal for families with young children. On the other hand, this is a good place to watch pro surfers zip past tall waves. Grab a bite to eat at one of the concessions stands nearby after lounging in the sand. East Matunuck State Beach is less frequented than its neighboring beaches, but there is limited parking space. If you plan to visit during the summer, make sure to arrive ahead.

Address: 950 Succotash Rd, South Kingstown, RI 02879, United States
Entrance fee: 6-7 USD for residents (depending on the day); 12-14 USD for non-residents (depending on the day)

 

8. Fred Benson Town Beach, Block Island

 

Fred Benson Town Beach pavilion
Photo by Roger Williams on Flickr

One of the best Rhode Island beaches for families, Fred Benson Town Beach is a popular attraction in Block Island. It has been in many “Best Family Beaches” list, proof of what it has to offer. The beach features white sand with gentle waves, perfect for children and beginner swimmers. The pavilion at Fred Benson Town Beach includes changing rooms with lockers, restrooms, and concession stands.

You can also rent chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, and even boogie boards at the beach. On a summer day, the water is moderate and perfect for swimming with children. Since Fred Benson Town Beach is a popular destination, crowds can get thick especially during peak season. 

Address: 7 Corn Neck Rd, New Shoreham, RI 02807, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee

 

9. Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly

 

Crowds of people at Misquamicut State Beach
Photo by Roger Williams on Flickr

Misquamicut State Beach is part of the 3-mile long Misquamicut Beach along with Atlantic Beach Park, Wuskenau Town Beach, and Westerly Town Beach. It is also a state favorite and a family-friendly beach, thanks to the nearby activities and entertainment. The beach features a grand pavilion with modern facilities like outside showers, composting toilets, changing areas, and picnic areas. 

The beach is perfect for surfing, although its waves are relatively calmer than other surfing hotspots. Therefore, Misquamicut State Beach is ideal for families with young children or inexperienced swimmers. You can also rent paddleboats, jet skis, and even take surfing lessons. At night, there are concerts, fireworks, and other forms of entertainment, especially during the summer months.

Address: 257 Atlantic Ave, Westerly, RI 02891, United States
Entrance fee: 10-14 USD for residents (depending on the day); 20-28 USD for non-residents (depending on the day)

 

10. Mansion Beach, Block Island

 

Pristine white sand shore of Mansion Beach
Photo by Brian Birke on Flickr

If you want a beach with a secluded location, blue waters, and fine white sand, Mansion Beach is a must-visit. The beach took its name from the notorious Mansion House built in 1887 by the architect Edward Francis Searles. The lavish estate included a pavilion, manicured gardens, and a boardwalk. Unfortunately, the house burned down in 1963 but parts of the mansion remain. Its two brick pillars mark the parking lot of what is Block Island’s best-kept secret.

Admire the picturesque view of Crescent Beach and New Shoreham from Mansion Beach. Surfers can take delight in the beach’s bigger waves and pleasant water. You can also go beachcombing and be on the hunt for seashells and surprise trinkets to bring home. Take a dip in the beach’s warm water and nap on the soft sand. However, take note that there are little to no amenities in the beach.

Address: 1701 Mansion Rd, New Shoreham, RI 02807, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee

 

11. Reject’s Beach, Newport

 

Beachgoers at Reject's Beach. Newport
Photo by Mike G

Reject’s Beach is anything but a reject! It got its name from a “rejected” portion of the elite Bailey’s Beach Club. This small and uncrowded beach has little to no facilities but makes up for a worthwhile visit in Newport. Admission is free; however, there is no parking and the beach is only accessible via a footpath.

Enjoy a leisurely walk along its 100-foot shoreline. Reject’s Beach is also a perfect stopover after a stroll at Cliff Walk. Because the beach is smaller as compared to other Newport beaches, there are fewer people. On another note, there are no lifeguards at the beach, so take extra precautions when swimming. There are also no restrooms and changing areas, but it is a great place to swim and lighten up away from the crowds.

Address: Cliff Walk, Newport, RI 02840, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee

 

12. Napatree Point Beach, Westerly

 

Sunset at Napatree Point Beach
Photo from Napatree Point Conservation Area Facebook page

If you’re looking for free Rhode Island beaches that offer unspoiled areas and peace, Napatree Point Beach is perfect for you. The beach is part of the Napatree Point Conservation Area, a protected area home to some endangered species. It is also close to Watch Hill Beach, although not as populated. 

Like other Rhode Island beaches, Napatree Point Beach has no amenities but boasts plenty of wildlife and natural sites. Kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes as you go beachcombing. The beach is also perfect for walking, swimming, or just lazing around on the sand. However, the beach doesn’t have lifeguards on duty, so keep an eye if you are traveling with children. At the end of the day, take picture-perfect shots of the sunset at Napatree Point Beach.

Address: Fort Rd, Westerly, RI 02891, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee

 

13. Charlestown Town Beach, Block Island

 

Beachgoers running to the shore at Charlestown Town Beach
Photo by Roger Williams on Flickr

Block Island is known for having some of the best Rhode Island beaches, and Charlestown Town Beach is one of them. It has coarser sand, with stones and pebbles, but is also ideal for swimming. Its relaxed atmosphere also makes it a must-visit for picnicking and watching the sunrise or sunset. Take note that no pets are allowed within the beach.

Charlestown Beach is the perfect location to watch the sunset. Since there are fewer people as compared to other beaches, you won’t have to worry about overcrowding or keeping your distance. Divers and snorkeling enthusiasts can also bring their snorkeling gear and see an abundance of marine life underwater.

Address: 557 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813, United States
Entrance fee: 20-30 USD (depending on the day)

 

14. Ballard’s Beach Resort, Block Island

 

Summer crowd at Ballard's Beach Resort
Photo from Ballard’s Beach Resort Website

While other Block Island beaches are for the solitary traveler, Ballard’s Beach Resort is more social and packed with beachgoers. All beach facilities are provided by Ballard’s, the owners of the beachfront hotel. Admission and parking are free, but you have to rent chairs and umbrellas. If you rent a private cabana, you also get a private server from the hotel’s restaurant.

Sip on an icy cocktail as you lounge on the sand or play a game of beach volleyball with the other beachgoers. Don’t miss the chance to celebrate summer evenings with live music, bonfires, craft cocktails, and good food. Ballard’s Beach Resort also offers private bonfires for groups who want to spend more time at the beach. 

Address: 42 Water St, New Shoreham, RI 02807, United States
Entrance fee: No entrance fee to visit the beach

 

15. Sachuest Beach (Second Beach), Middletown

 

Shore of Sachuest Beach in Middletown
Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on Flickr

For a relaxing day after exploring Newport, head to Sachuest Beach. Also called Second Beach, it is less crowded than its neighboring beaches and offers rugged scenery. The beach is a famous hotspot for families, thanks to its gentle waves and fine sand. Additionally, facilities on the beach include changing areas, bathrooms, showers, grills, and picnic tables.

Go for a swim or go windsurfing at Sachuest Beach. On the west end, locally referred to as “Surfer’s End”, zip past waves and currents. You can also rent a surfboard or take beginner surfing lessons. For nature lovers, take a quick walk to Norman Bird Sanctuary and Hanging Rock. Regardless of the activity, Sachuest Beach is a good place to spend time after a busy day of exploring.

Address: 315 Sachuest Point Rd, Middletown, RI 02842, United States
Entrance fee: 15-25 USD (depending on the day)

 

Visit Rhode Island Beaches Today!

 

Rhode Island maybe a small state, but it has plenty to offer with its rich colonial towns and stunning coastlines. Perfect for families, there is something for you in Rhode Island whether you’re into the local culture, art, or historical sites. But if you’re visiting Rhode Island, why not take a trip to its sandy beaches? You can also learn how to surf or bring your pets for a fun time at the beach.

From popular surf spots in Narragansett to hidden gems in Newport, there are plenty of Rhode Island beaches you can visit. Now, pack up your travel essentials and beach umbrellas and head to the sunny beaches of Rhode Island today!