Make the Most of the Coast

Looking to keep the blanket-to-blanket experience to a minimum at the beach this summer? Try some of these hidden gems instead.

We all know that feeling. You get to the beach super early to secure the *perfect* spot only to be overrun by the masses by lunchtime. Even if you throw on those headphones, shut your eyes and envision that empty beach, there’s still a chance little Johnny is going to sprint by and kick sand in your face and snap you back to reality. As much as we love the beach, it’s not wrong to admit you’d love it more if you were the only person on it. In Rhode Island, we’re the Ocean State so there are beaches a-plenty. Some are better known than others, and therefore tend to get more crowded. We’re here to stealthily slide you a list of the lesser-known beaches that may be the key to achieving the tranquil beach day you’ve always wanted.

The Charlestown Breachway is a state beach, but when compared to the “big” beaches (Misquamicut, Scarborough, etc.), it’s relatively empty by comparison. The extremely limited parking that tends to fill up early may have something to do with this. If you’re an early riser with a desire to relax on a unique beach, try this one. The sand trends down to the water and drops off at a sharp decline, almost giving the illusion of a gentle, sandy cliff. While this eliminates any concerns of having to move when the tide comes in, it also means it’s not exactly kid-friendly. If your little ones are playing by the water, you may not be able to see them from above. And the angle which the water crashes, especially as the tide comes in, makes it particularly tricky to get out of the water. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a lighter crowd and if you stay ‘til dusk the payoff is spectacular views around the corner over “Quonnie” Pond.

Charlestown Breachway-Charlestown-South County
Charlestown Breachway

Vaill Beach looks like something out of a movie. In photos one might think “that’s not Rhode Island” because of the dramatic landscape, as even the locals can forget just how incredible Block Island is. Situated on the secluded southern shore of the island, this beach offers some of the most private beach-going you can find without paying a members-only fee. The landscape is rocky which deters most swimmers, but there are plenty of areas to rest a chair or a towel to soak up those rays during the day and be dazzled by spectacular sunsets in the evening. You’ll find the path at the bend in Snake Hole Road right across from the famed Painted Rock, a landmark boulder that visitors continuously paint over with original artwork and messages ranging from song lyrics to wedding proposals and pregnancy announcements.

Vaill Beach
Vaill Beach

Calf Pasture Point Beach is off the beaten path more so than any other on this list and is the definition of a hidden gem. The only way you can access it is from the Davisville Bike Path and either walk or bike the 1.3 miles to the beach. I know what you’re thinking: “Walk/bike a mile to the beach? Are you crazy?” Trust me, the seclusion of the beach and the views once you arrive are worth it. It’s nestled in Narragansett Bay with a whole lot to look at from the shore: the Warwick Neck lighthouse, Barrington Beach, Rumstick Point and islands, galore! Patience, Prudence, Hope, Aquidnick, and Conanicut to be exact. Also visible from the beach are all three of the major Rhode Island bridges (Mount Hope to the east, Newport and Jamestown to the south). Sling a chair over your shoulder and pack some snacks for your trek and make a day of it. If you want solace on the beach, this is the place. And if you stay long enough you may even find some neighborhood locals clamming for their dinner.

Calf Pasture Point Beach
Calf Pasture Point Beach

Rhode Island is home to nearly 400 miles of coastline with so many relaxing locations along its shores. Check out our sampling of "hidden gems" for a few more we think are worth the visit and be sure to share shots from your favorite secret spots at #RhodeIsland!