Rhode Island Beaches: Hidden Gems
When it comes to beaches, do you like to "take the path less traveled by"? Here's a list of terrific beaches that keep a slightly lower profile, offer fewer people and are a great place to settle in for a relaxing day in the sun!
Why it’s a hidden gem: One of the furthest beaches from town and secluded on the west side of Block Island, Cooneymus Cove is too rocky sunbathing and the surf is too unpredictable for swimming. However, this secluded cove is an excellent place for walking, hiking, fishing and beachcombing. It makes a sweet spot for a private sunset picnic.
Why it’s a hidden gem: This spectacular barrier beach takes up three miles of prime beach shoreline but is the least developed of all Rhode Island’s state beaches. It has limited parking, as well as a 20-site campground. It's a beautiful spot for a walk along the beach, and as you head toward the breachway you'll see the dune grass that's home to the Piping Plovers during nesting season. Avoid the nesting areas, but enjoy watching the birds feed at the water's edge. The 2.6-mile East Beach/ Ninigret Conservation Area Trail is a nice hike that affords wildflower views and bird watching opportunities.
Why it’s a hidden gem: It’s a stunning, sandy stretch between the Bay and the ocean that’s great for a relaxing stroll or a hike. It’s also a great spot for watching the shorebirds in summer and fall and Hawks in late summer and early fall. Sandy Point, once part of the Napatree Point penninsula, was made an island by storm surge during The Great Hurricane of 1938. Napatree Point is also home to the ruins of Fort Mansfield which was built in 1883 to protect New York City via Long Island Sound.
Why it’s a hidden gem: Small and relatively quiet, this beach is east-facing and overlooks Third Beach Harbor. Features include shallow water, minimal waves, grills, picnic tables, a boat ramp, port-a-potties, and a Del’s Lemonade cart. The winds over the water make it popular with windsurfers.
Why it’s a hidden gem: It’s rocky and very secluded – accessed by a dirt path to the bottom of a hollow. Swimmers should be cautious because the surf is rough, and the shallows are rocky. Vaill Beach is known for fantastic sunsets, a great view of the Block Island Windfarm, as well as excellent beach combing and good surfing.
Why it’s a hidden gem: Smaller and less busy than its big sister, Misquamicut State Beach, Wuskenau Beach offers soft sand, good waves and proximity to food and attractions. Parking is available for a fee, lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day to Labor Day and there are bars, restaurants, a drive-in theater, water slides and a carousel nearby.