15 Best Beaches In Rhode Island

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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The ocean state known as Rhode Island in New England is America’s smallest state.

In spite of its diminutive size, it offers visitors over 40-miles of coastline.

The estimated population of this wee island is 1.06-million.

Rhode Island combines picturesque beaches with delectable cuisine, chic stores, a booming nightlife, and an infinite list of activities, all within easy reach.

It is estimated that in the time it takes some people to commute to work, one can drive from the north end of Rhode Island to the south end, or east to west across the entire state in under 50-miles.

There is no reason you can’t squeeze in a visit to at least a few of the beaches listed below while visiting Rhode Island.

Let’s take a look at the 15 best beaches in Rhode Island:

1. Watch Hill Beach, Westerly

Watch Hill Beach, WesterlySource: KAD Photo / shutterstock
Watch Hill Beach, Westerly

Watch Hill Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in Rhode Island.

It is famous for its sunsets and soft, golden sand.

This beach is situated on a peninsula in the southern part of Rhode Island, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

With miles of coastline, there is room for everyone.

The town of Watch Hill offers great lunch spots and unique shops to wander through.

Watch Hill is famous for the carousel, which was built in 1867. It is a ritual for families to come every year and ride this old-fashioned merry-go-round.

With many events happening at Watch Hill Beach throughout the summer, you’ll be sure to enjoy your time spent in this charming spot.

2. Crescent Beach, Block Island

Crescent Beach, Block IslandSource: Ellen McKnight / shutterstock
Path to Crescent Beach at Block Island

Crescent Beach, located on Block Island, is an hour-long ferry ride from Point Judith.

This beach is one of the most photographed in Rhode Island.

There are long stretches of white sandy shore from the east coast at Old Harbor to Clay Head.

The Frederick J. Benson Pavilion – known as the ‘Town Beach’ – is situated at the heart of Crescent Beach.

You can rent chairs, cabanas, and boogie boards for the day and indulge in some treats at one of the concession stands.

Showers and bathroom facilities are available for public use and pets are allowed on the beach.

3. Easton’s Beach, Newport

Easton’s Beach, NewportSource: KYPhua / shutterstock
Easton’s Beach, Newport

Easton’s Beach is Newport’s largest public surf beach.

With three-quarters of a mile of soft sand and a boutique that rents boogie boards and umbrellas, this is a neat place to spend the afternoon.

You can take a stroll on the boardwalk, surf the waves or ride the carousel- there is no room for boredom.

Easton’s Beach offers seasonal facilities such as restrooms, showers, picnic and propane grill areas, and beach wheelchairs for people with frailties.

4. Napatree Point Beach, Westerly

Napatree Point Beach, WesterlySource: Dangagga / Flickr
Napatree Point Beach, Westerly

Napatree Point Beach is an unrestricted beach and wildlife preserve which is protected by the Watch Hill Conservancy.

Napatree is a long, sandy spit created by a geologic phenomenon called longshore drift.

Trekkers and bird watchers idolize this beach for its pristine habitats and large variety of bird species.

The name Napatree derives from ‘nap or nape’ (the neck) of trees.

The area of Napatree Point was once heavily logged, but now makes the perfect place to lounge on the beach and listen to the birds.

It’s a great beach to experience more nature and wildlife.

Napatree Point is the most southern and western point of the interior of Rhode Island.

5. Ballard’s Beach, Block Island

Block Island BeachSource: Justin Starr Photography / shutterstock
Block Island Beach

Ballard’s Beach is the VIP beach for any beach-goer.

This premium ocean destination offers live music, beachfront dining, tiki bars with full service and beach volleyball, to name a few attractions.

To make sure guests are comfortable, there are umbrellas and beach chairs to rent.

Enjoy your day taking in the beautiful views of the Atlantic and wash off in the complimentary showers.

Ballard’s Beach is minutes away from the ferry dock and accessible by car or on foot.

It’s rated as the best beach on Block Island, so enjoy your day and stick around for a starlit evening; Ballard’s offers private bonfires for the folks who aren’t ready to go home when the sun goes down.

6. East Beach, Charlestown

East Beach, CharlestownSource: TheCLF / Flickr
East Beach, Charlestown

East Beach in Charlestown stretches for three miles.

This beach is one of the underdeveloped beaches in Rhode Island and offers limited parking spaces.

There is a section of shoreline that is staffed with lifeguards during the summer.

East Beach offers a campground for people who are looking to spend a few days soaking up the beach vibes.

There are camping and vehicle restrictions that may apply, so check before you rock up.

You can’t go wrong visiting East Beach, camping under the stars and listening to the waves roll in.

7. Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly

Misquamicut State BeachSource: Ritu Manoj Jethani / shutterstock
Misquamicut State Beach

Misquamicut State Beach is a family-friendly beach and a state favorite.

With over half a mile of shoreline, your children will be occupied for hours.

The water is clean and the waves are gentle.

Weekends in the summer months tend to get busy with travelers and locals, so you’ll want to arrive early to secure your spot for the day.

There are public bathrooms and showers available and a concession stand with a gift shop.

In September, there is a fall festival with a fair that comes to Misquamicut State Beach.

8. Goosewing Beach, Little Compton

Goosewing Beach, Little ComptonSource: Gary Brownell / Flickr
Goosewing Beach, Little Compton

The locals consider Goosewing Beach to be a hidden gem, and tourists don’t crowd it.

This beach is one of Rhode Island’s eastern beaches.

If you are looking to enjoy a peaceful day at the seaside, and fancy strolling from one end to the other, this is the place to go.

It’s a scenic spot and a favorite amongst the people who know it exists.

Some visitors enjoy fishing on Goosewing Beach – if that’s something you fancy, don’t forget to bring your rod.

To reach this beach you’ll need to park at the south shore beach and walk to Goosewing.

9. East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingston

East Matunuck State BeachSource: jiawangkun / shutterstock
East Matunuck State Beach

East Matunuck State Beach is the place to be if surfing is your thing.

It’s a good place for beginners to learn the art, but the waves are also well suited to more advanced surfers.

If you’re not brave enough to carve up the waves, it’s still fun to relax and watch how it’s done while enjoying a picnic on the sand.

There are restrooms and concession stands, as well as a lifeguard on duty during the seasonal months.

If you want to indulge in the local cuisine, take a wander over to Jim’s Dock, where you can enjoy a local Narragansett beer and fresh fish and chips.

Between the views, the food, and everything in between, you’ll want to stay close to East Matunuck for more days of fun in the sun.

10. Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett

Narragansett Town BeachSource: Jay Yuan / shutterstock
Narragansett Town Beach

Narragansett Town beach is another surf spot with waves up to four feet.

You can rent surfboards and get lessons from professionals.

This beach is great for building a tan, and with a hotel so close, you can stay here for as long as you want.

Narragansett Town Beach is one the best New England beaches as rated by the locals, and it receives around 10,000 visitors on the daily during the weekends.

If you have ever dreamed of learning how to surf, this is your opportunity.

You can go home with the pleasure of saying you learned how to surf in Rhode Island.

11. Reject’s Beach, Newport

Reject’s Beach, NewportSource: Mike GL / Flickr
Reject’s Beach, Newport

Reject’s Beach is the complete opposite of its name and definitely does not reject anyone.

It is located beside the ritzy Baileys Beach and retained by a secluded club in Newport.

You can access this beach at the eastern end of Cliff Walks by foot or bike.

If escaping the crowds and going somewhere more secluded sounds like your ideal vacation, then Reject’s Beach is calling your name.

Although this beach is free to enter, there are no restrooms or places to park.

It is a great place to swim and tan while enjoying some solitude and peace.

12. Charlestown Beach, Block Island

Beach, Block IslandSource: ARENA Creative / shutterstock
Beach, Block Island

Charleston Beach is the prime location to enjoy sunsets and generous lengths of coastline.

It stretches from the inlet to New Harbor south, following the western shore of Block Island.

The sand is coarser, with stones and pebbles, and there are fewer people here than at the other beaches on Block Island.

This beach is accessible along Champlin Road and can be reached by bike or car.

If spending the day, a picnic is the best way to enjoy the views.

You’ll need to bring your own, as there are no services located on or near to Charlestown Beach.

Don’t forget your camera and snorkeling gear – this is a good place to see marine life and take in the sunset.

13. Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island

Mohegan Bluffs, Block IslandSource: ARENA Creative / shutterstock
Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island

Located on the southern shore of Block Island, Mohegan Bluffs is a picturesque place with towering 150-foot cliffs.

This is a great little spot to hike, as you can ascend the cliffs and look out for miles over the Atlantic Ocean.

The most popular times to visit Mohegan Bluffs are before sunrise and before sunset.

You can bring your dog along for company, it’s a great spot for your four-legged friend.

Before you reach the bluffs, you will come across the lighthouse, which is a respectable historical place to stop and take pictures.

14. Scarborough State Beach North, Narragansett

Scarborough State Beach NorthSource: www.visitrhodeisland.com
Scarborough State Beach North

Scarborough State Beach is a spot enjoyed by many visitors in the summer months.

It is a clean and sandy beach with moderate to heavy surf.

You need to be careful when swimming at Scarborough State Beach, as there is a strong undertow.

There are lifeguards on duty during high season.

There are restrooms and showers, along with picnic areas for your convenience.

15. Salty Brine State Beach, Narragansett

Salty Brine State BeachSource: www.visitrhodeisland.com
Salty Brine State Beach

Salty Brine State Beach is positioned close to the Galilee dock.

The dock has various seafood restaurants nearby for seafood lovers.

This beach is less than 100-yards long.

Since the surf protects it, it makes an ideal beach for young children.

You will be entertained by pleasure boats, fishing boats, and ferries.

In 1990, Salty Brine was formerly known as Galilee State Beach but was renamed after famous local broadcaster Salty Brine in 1990.

15 Best Beaches In Rhode Island:

  • Watch Hill Beach, Westerly
  • Crescent Beach, Block Island
  • Easton’s Beach, Newport
  • Napatree Point Beach, Westerly
  • Ballard’s Beach, Block Island
  • East Beach, Charlestown
  • Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly
  • Goosewing Beach, Little Compton
  • East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingston
  • Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett
  • Reject’s Beach, Newport
  • Charlestown Beach, Block Island
  • Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island
  • Scarborough State Beach North, Narragansett
  • Salty Brine State Beach, Narragansett