Rhode Island, known as the “Ocean State,” is home to approximately four hundred miles of ocean coastline. For generations, the sandy long Rhode Island beaches have evoked feelings of exhilaration, peace, joy, inspiration, awe, and much more. The beach towns of Narragansett and Bristol have been named as some of the top beach destinations due to their iconic beach experiences for individuals and families of all ages.
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Sachuest Beach, which is also known by the locals as Second Beach, is a family-friendly, south-facing beach of about a mile in length with great sand and good surf. The beach is consistently ranked as one of top ten beaches in the New England region. Sachuest Beach is a clean and scenic beach that is typically relatively uncrowded. Amenities at the beach are located at the beach’s main building and include a concession stand, a changing area, picnic tables, grills, showers, bathrooms, and shaded structures. Surfing lessons and surfboard rentals are offered during the summer season, along with Del’s Lemonade truck.
2.Charlestown Breachway State Beach
The Charlestown Breachway State Beach is situated on the Breachway’s east side and is a state beach that also features a campground for self-contained RV’s. There is no camping area for canvas camping. The Charlestown Breachway offers some of South County’s best saltwater fishing, as well as panoramic views of the Block Island Sound. The Charlestown Breachway State Beach also features a boat launch that has limited parking. The “breachway” was created to prevent water in the Charlestown/Pawaget/Ninigret pond from becoming unfit for cultivating and harvesting oysters, which is an important industry for the area.
3.East Beach and Ninigret Conservation Area (Ninigret State Beach)
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The East Beach and Ninigret Conservation Area, also known as Ninigret State Beach, is located near the town of Charlestown and consists of three miles of the prime beach shoreline. As one of the least developed state beaches in Rhode Island, East Beach has only around half a dozen changing rooms and limited parking. There is is a twenty-site campground at the barrier beach, along with four Clivus Multrum Composting Toilets that serve as the beach’s restrooms. The small parking area fill up fairly quickly during sunny days in the summer. East Beach is considered one of the state’s seaside treasures.
4.East Matunuck State Beach
The East Matunuck State Beach encompasses nearly 150 acres and is a public recreation area along the shore of the Block Island Sound near South Kingstown in Rhode Island. The state beach provides opportunities for swimming in the ocean, picnics, and other beach activities for visitors to enjoy. The beach is a fine-sand, curved, long ocean beach with up-to-date facilities and moderate surf. Beach guests will find adequate parking, coin-operated hot showers, free rinse showers, toilets, a concession stand, and free beach-capable wheelchairs at the East Matunuck State Beach, along with lifeguards on duty during the summer season.
5.Misquamicut State Beach
The Misquamicut Beach is approximately seven miles in length, making Misquamicut the longest stretch of beach anywhere in Rhode Island. The Misquamicut State Beach itself is situated in the center of this beach stretch and features a swimming area patrolled by lifeguards, a concession stand, picnic tables, and a modern pavilion with composting toilets and outdoor showers. The other areas of the stretch of beach are owned by the town and offer jet ski and paddle boat rentals, along with surfing lessons and other services from local businesses. The beach charges a fee for entry and parking.
6.Roger Wheeler State Beach
The Roger Wheeler State Beach is named after Roger Wheeler, the man responsible for the Rhode Island State Life-Saving System’s development. The beach is also known as the Sand Hill Cove Beach by locals. Roger Wheeler State Beach is protected by a large breakwater barrier from the Block Island Sound, making the beach popular among families with young children due to its gentle surf. Visitors can enjoy the calm water, a very slight drop-off, and fine white sand. There is also plenty of parking space, a bathhouse, picnic tables, and a playground area at the beach.
7.Salty Brine State Beach
The Salty Brine State Beach is also known locally by the name of Galilee Beach. It is a tiny beach of just a little over one hundred yards in length, located near the busy docks of Galilee, Rhode Island. Thanks to its location, there are also a number of seafood restaurants nearby. The Salty Brine State Beach is situated inside of a three-mile-long sea wall. This results in protection from the surf and provides locals and visitors alike with a beach well suited for younger children. A pavilion contains a concession stand, coin-operated hot showers, and restrooms.
8.Scarborough State Beach
The Scarborough State Beach features an expanded beach area and a renovated pavilion, in addition to renovations to the Lido’s and Olivo’s beach areas that are now known as the Scarborough South Complex. This area offers a wide variety of beach related activities. One of the biggest attractions of the Scarborough State Beach is saltwater bathing. Lifeguards are on duty from nine in the morning until six in the evening. Other popular activities include the boardwalk, picnicking in shaded shelters, and scenic views from the observation tower. Many people come to the beach for sunbathing on the sandy beach.
Mansion Beach is one of the state of Rhode Island’s most popular beaches, boasting soft sand and clear waters. The waves at this beach are a bit larger than the beaches to the south, making it a good spot for body surfing, beach combing, and boogie boarding. On calm day, Mansion beach is also an ideal setting for some skim boarding. The beach, however, is the furthest away from town and visitors may not want to try to walk to it. Mansion Beach is typically less crowded than other beaches nearby and is located at the north end of Crescent Beach.
10.Narragansett Town Beach
The Narragansett Town Beach is what can be considered a classic “New England Saltwater Coastal Beach.” the beachfront provides some of New England’s most accessible, cleanest, and best beach conditions for both tourists and local residents alike. Situated in the heart of the town, Narragansett Town Beach offers plenty of parking in the Cabana, West, South, and North parking areas, in addition to a stunning sandy beach, surfing area, a first-aid office, restrooms, and food. The beach encompasses around nineteen acres and is open during the weekends from Memorial Day weekend until mid-June, and daily from mid-June until Labor Day weekend.
11.South Kingstown Town Beach at Matunuck
The South Kingstown Town Beach at Matunuck is a beach on the outskirts of the Matunuck village and is the official public beach of South Kingstown. The beach contains a walkway that leads to the sand from the parking lot, a playground for children, a boardwalk, 1,300 feet of sandy beach, and two picnic areas. There is also a small pavilion open seasonally in the summer with a vending area, restrooms, and showers. The South Kingstown Town Beach is open to visitors from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend. Daily and season passes are available for residents and visitors.
Goosewing Beach is a natural beach preserve of approximately seventy-five acres in size that is a system of dune, beach, and coastal pond environments. The area is one of the most scenic spots in Rhode Island and a favorite place to explore among visitors to Little Compton and the surrounding area. Visitors can access the Goosewing Beach Preserve through South Shore Beach. The preserve is a historic landmark and contains the Benjamin Family Environmental Center that displays information and the various habitats that make up the preserve’s ecosystem. A fee for parking is charged during the summer season, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
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Ballard’s Beach is considered by many to be one of the best beach party destinations in the state of Rhode Island, offering a fun beach experience everyday. Visitors will find oceanfront dining, tiki bars, beach volleyball, and live music at Ballard’s Beach on a daily basis, and even full service on the beach itself. Ballard’s Beach is a private beach located on Block Island just a short walking distance from the island’s ferry landing and is accessible by sea, air, or land. Umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for rent, and beer, wine, and craft cocktails are served at the tiki bars.
13 Best Rhode Island Beaches
- Sachuest Beach, Photo: Alina McCullen/stock.adobe.com
- Charlestown Breachway State Beach, Photo: ICW/stock.adobe.com
- East Beach and Ninigret Conservation Area (Ninigret State Beach), Photo: Cordia L. Murphy/stock.adobe.com
- East Matunuck State Beach, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Misquamicut State Beach, Photo: samdisc/stock.adobe.com
- Roger Wheeler State Beach, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Salty Brine State Beach, Photo: gawriloff/stock.adobe.com
- Scarborough State Beach, Photo: Adwo/stock.adobe.com
- Mansion Beach, Photo: whyframeshot/stock.adobe.com
- Narragansett Town Beach, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- South Kingstown Town Beach at Matunuck, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- Goosewing Beach, Photo: Peera/stock.adobe.com
- Ballard's Beach, Photo: ILYA AKINSHIN/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: ellenmck/stock.adobe.com