Rhode Island State Beaches
With 400 miles of gorgeous coastline, it's no surprise that the Ocean State has beautiful state beaches. Each beach has its own unique charm and amenities and best of all, they're free to the public (parking is free in the off-season). Whether you're into swimming, sunbathing, sea glass, seashell collecting, building sandcastles or people-watching, there's a lovely spot just waiting for you. Grab your sunscreen and enjoy!
Charlestown Breachway State Beach is located in Charlestown on Block Island Sound. The breachway is a man-made channel that connects Ninigret Pond with the Atlantic Ocean.
The beach and adjacent state campground (75 sites for self-contained RVs) is on the east side of the breachway. Visitors will be treated to a panoramic view of Block Island Sound as well as some of the best saltwater fishing in South County, ocean swimming and a boat launch.
POST BEACH: As you head out, pop into The Breachway Grill, The Bakery, The Cove or grab a slice at Charlestown Famous Pizza.
East Matunuck State Beach is 102 beautiful acres of saltwater beach with moderate to strong surf (great for boogie boards and surfing). It's said to have relatively warm water and lots of seashells on the sand.
The beach features plenty of parking and an electric vehicle charging station (max charge of 4 hours). East Matunuck Beach features a modern, solar-powered pavilion, a food stand, restrooms, free rinse-showers, coin-operated hot showers and free, beach-capable wheelchairs. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally.
POST-BEACH: Swing by Matunuck Oyster Bar, Jim's Dock or The Salt Marsh Pub & Raw Bar for drinks and/or a bite to eat.
East Beach is three miles of prime shoreline in Charlestown. It's one of the least developed Rhode Island beaches and is an extension of Quonochontaug Neck and abuts Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. East Beach is a barrier beach with limited parking, six changing rooms and includes a 20 site campground. Vehicles driving (or camping) on the beach require a Barrier Beach Pass.
A small section of the beach is staffed with lifeguards seasonally. East Beach is an excellent spot for salt-water fishing, shellfishing, ocean swimming and other typical beach activities. It's a popular spot for Piping Plovers and other birds. During nesting season, the nest areas will be roped off to protect the eggs.
POST-BEACH: Try the Hitching Post Restaurant, The Cove or The Haversham for food and drink after a day in the sun.
Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, is one of Rhode Island's most popular beaches. This seven-mile stretch of sand boasts more than a half a mile of beach front that fills up on the weekends in summer.
Misquamicut has a modern beach pavilion, outside showers, composting toilets, bathhouse and concession buildings, gift shop, gazebos for shade and a lifeguard tower. There are many local attractions, particularly for children including bumper boats, batting cages and a carousel. You can also rent paddleboats and jet skis or take surf lessons.
POST-BEACH: For a bite to eat after a day in the sun, check out Paddy's Beach Club, Two Little Fish, or Windjammer Surf Bar, all just a stone's throw from the beach.
Roger Wheeler State Beach (formerly and occasionally still known as Sand Hill Cove) is on Block Island Sound in Narragansett. RI's first state beach (1929) sits on 27-acres of land that was originally seized from Bristish sympathizers during the Revolutionary War.
This beach is popular with families of small children, as it's known for its gentle surf and a slight drop-off. Amenities include a modern beach pavilion, environmental education area with local marine animals, playground, concession building, picnic tables, coin-operated hot showers, a life guard tower, and plenty of parking.
POST-BEACH: Grab some clam shack delicacies at Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House or Aunt Carrie's, both Rhode Island institutions. Or enjoy drinks and bites at the rooftop lounge of Chair 5 at The Break Hotel.
Salty Brine State Beach is located on just over an acre of shoreline in the fishing village of Galilee. It's a great spot to watch the fishing boats come in and out and the Block Island Ferry come into port.
The breakwaters and gradual slope make for calm, warm, shallow water - great for little ones. Amenities include a pavilion with concession stand, restrooms, coin-operated hot showers; a lifeguard tower, and a boardwalk along the jetty with overlook platforms and decks. Electricity for the facilities is powered by a small wind turbine.
POST-BEACH: Browse the local gift shops, enjoy fresh seafood and live entertainment at George's of Galilee, dine on fresh seafood or pick some up to cook at home at Champlin's Seafood, or kick back for a cocktail and (you guessed it) fresh seafood and live entertainment at Buster Krab's Grill & Beach Bar.
Scarborough State Beach is Rhode Island's most popular and well-known beach. It's comprised of North and South sections and sits on the Atlantic Ocean in Narragansett.
Activities include saltwater bathing, surfing, and picnicking. Scarborough boasts two pavilions (North & South), hot and cold showers, 75 picnic tables, shaded shelters and a concrete boardwalk with gazebos, an observation tower and observation glasses. The pavilion houses a food court and gift shop. There is also a large, paved parking lot.
POST-BEACH: (or pre-beach) Pop into Meldgie's Diner for some all-day breakfast or lunch. You can grab a slice and more at Casa Pizza, or head down to one of the clam shacks in Point Judith.