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Rhode Island is New England’s Atlantic answer to California. Its 400 miles of coastline is quite a whopping stat, and you simply won’t be able to get enough of the beach variety here. Glorious sandy stretches define the smallest state in the U.S. It’s a mecca for surfers, kayakers, swimmers, sailing enthusiasts, and all the water activity aficionados. Whether for a romantic escape, an oceanic break at a beach house rental, or a family getaway, these best beaches in Rhode Island will be happy to provide you with a stunning backdrop.
Sachuest Beach (Second Beach) - Middletown
An authentic Rhode Island beach experience awaits you at Sachuest Beach (also known as Second Beach). Some locals may even say that it’s the very best beach in the state and certainly one of the best places to visit in Rhode Island. Everything you need for top-notch ocean enjoyment is here. Sachuest Beach is vast, well-maintained, scenic, and lifeguard-monitored. You also have showers, changing rooms, picnic tables, and grills. There’s a campground here, too, for those who’d like to extend their rendezvous with the ocean.
Roger W. Wheeler State Beach - Narragansett
The quintessential New England weekend getaway is found at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, with its maze of colorful umbrellas that rise like canopies from the white sands, the slow roll of the waves, and the cheer in the air. Families flock here for easygoing leisure and for its picnic facilities, tranquil waters, and playgrounds. Parking won’t be a problem either – the place is huge!
Bristol Town Beach - Bristol
Your kids will have fun at Bristol Town Beach. It’s one of the best beach vacation destinations in New England when it comes to a family-friendly attitude. Parking is easy and cheap, the infrastructure is great, and Colt State Park nearby is beautiful. Have a seashell-hunting contest, sit down for a scenic picnic, and get into the calm water without waves. Where Bristol Town Beach really shines, however, is in the sports department. There are courts for baseball, basketball, tennis, and Bocce, as well as a skateboard park, a few soccer fields, and even a roller hockey arena. A full-day beach experience it is!
Charlestown Breachway State Beach - Charlestown
Long and glorious, Charlestown Breachway State Beach is the poster child for sandy Rhode Island perfection. Hugged by the waves of the Block Island Sound, it’s a fantastic place to swim, try saltwater fishing, and play under the sun. The 75-site state campground nearby allows you to duly feel the off-grid delights of oceanside living. While enjoying quite an underdog status in the state, it’s one of the best beaches in Rhode Island if you’re into unspoiled beauty. For more natural exploration, check out the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge close by.
Narragansett Town Beach - Narragansett
Rhode Island is a surfing state, and Narragansett Town Beach is among the best places to ride the waves. Location just off the center of pretty Narragansett makes it very accessible, the separate section for surfers ensures extra attention to this activity, and great conditions promise excellent time in the water. Being in town means that you can explore the many cafes, bars, and restaurants of Narragansett, including The Coastguard House – one of the most beautiful restaurants in the U.S. It’s also a very family-friendly Rhode Island beach with clean sand, large parking, and easy swimming.
Vaill Beach - Block Island
There are beaches that immediately take your breath away and this is one of them. Located on the southern tip of Block Island, Vaill Beach is an unforgettable spot and the ultimate hidden gem of Rhode Island. The epic Mohegan Bluffs rocks set the dramatic scene and are a must-see in Rhode Island. You won’t be able to resist the urge to take countless photos here. Rocky terrain makes swimming a bit challenging, but Vaill Beach works best as a place for admiration and contemplation.
Salty Brine State Beach - Narragansett
Salty Brine State Beach (or Galilee as locals call it) represents everything people love about easygoing Rhode Island beaches. The sand here is white, the seawall makes the surf gentle and suitable for the children, and the lifeguards watch for safety. But what really draws residents and tourists to Salty Brine is the boat watching. There’s something special about observing the fishing boats and ferries go in and out of the Galilee Point Harbor and sunset is the time to be here.
East Matunuck State Beach - South Kingstown
Here’s one of the top beaches in Rhode Island for every kind of activity. East Matunuck State Beach is a family-friendly sandy stretch 102 acres long, with convenient parking and excellent surfing conditions. Matunuck Oyster Bar nearby provides raw seafood delights, the picturesque New England town of Jerusalem a few steps away adds to the charm, and the seasonal lifeguards ensure safety for the swimmers.
Misquamicut State Beach - Westerly
Misquamicut State Beach is simply gorgeous. Located in one of New England’s cutest beach towns, it’s among Rhode Island’s most beloved and popular beaches. Large, developed, and beautiful, it boasts a modern pavilion, plenty of parking space, and many cool water activities. Be aware, though, that Misquamicut is among the Rhode Island hot spots during the summer, so it can get crowded. Still, half a mile of territory allows everyone to have their comfy sandy spot under the sun.
East Beach - Charlestown
Those who like it on the least developed side will be delighted to find East Beach. Stretching for over 3 miles, it’s one of the best beaches in Rhode Island for sunset watching. You can engage in saltwater fishing, take a good dip in the ocean, and collect seashells. There’s a 20-unit seasonal campground in the area for a true oceanfront escape. For bird watching, head to Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, located a few miles away.
Napatree Point Beach & Conservation Area - Westerly
Combine a scenic visit to the beach with wildlife watching in this magnificent corner of Rhode Island. Located close to Watch Hill (an upscale community where Taylor Swift and Conan O’Brien have their holiday houses), Napatree Point Beach & Conservation Area is ideal for admiring nature. Take long walks feeling the ocean waves caressing your feet, observe shorebirds and hawks that come here every summer, and embrace the breeze while marveling at the sunset colors.
Conimicut Point Beach - Warwick
Warwick’s local favorite Conimicut Point Beach is not necessarily about swimming, it’s about the vistas of Narragansett Bay and Conimicut Lighthouse. It’s also a popular spot for Providence families to picnic, kayak, or simply take in the fresh air. Conimicut Point may not have the looks of glorious ocean stretches of the state’s south, but it’s a nice little spot to sunbathe and catch a break from the big city bustle.
Scarborough State Beach - Narragansett
Scarborough State Beach is one of those quintessential Rhode Island beaches that has a special place in the hearts and memories of the residents. A popular spot for families, it has seen generations of Rhode Islanders come to profit from its sandy shores, superb Atlantic vistas, and snacks at the food court. Seventy-five picnic tables, two pavilion houses, ample paved parking, and a scenic boardwalk ensure you have a blast by the ocean at Scarborough.
South Shore Beach - Little Compton
South Shore Beach is among the hidden gems of Rhode Island. Usually uncrowded, tucked away from civilization, and incredibly scenic, it’s an ideal pick for a slow Atlantic unwind. If you’re a sunset lover, this is the go-to spot. The panoramas as the sun sets are to die for here – enough to inspire you to come to Little Compton for your next coastal escape.
Fred Benson Town Beach - Block Island
Block Island is home to some of the best beaches on the East Coast, including Fred Benson Town Beach. Best reached by ferry from Point Judith, it’s a hidden gem in the state and a location with superb beaches. Fred Benson Town Beach is among the most popular beaches on the island. Swathes of golden sand, calm waters, and brilliant infrastructure is what you’ll find here. And being on the island definitely adds extra charm to the visit.