The state of Rhode Island has 40 miles worth of stunning coastline with beaches for everyone – from rocky beaches on remote islands to town beaches with great surf. So whether you’re looking for adventure or leisure, you’re going to find it.
Don’t leave without trying a famous Del’s frozen lemonade, a summer favorite in New England. You’re also going to love the local Narragansett Lagers, they go down a treat sitting on a sandy beach or relaxing on a deck chair.
What are you waiting for? Pack your sunscreen and beach towel and get ready for the perfect holiday on any of the best beaches in Rhode Island! Whether you love spending your time on the beach doing absolutely nothing, or you’re looking for a crazy surfing adventure on a secluded beach, you’ll find your spot here.
12. East Beach (Charlestown)
East Beach is a long stretch of beach that offers you plenty of coast to wander along. Come and enjoy a sunset stroll here if you’re looking for a touch of romance or just love the orange hue at this hour!
It’s a good idea to get here earlier on in the day if you want to find parking easily, it can get quite full. The advantage is that the limited parking keeps the beach from getting overcrowded, so you’ll have plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy some peace and quiet.
This stunning beach is just outside of Charlestown, no more than a 10 minute drive away. It’s also close to Charleston Town Beach, so you could combine your visit with a trip there too. Come and relax for the day or rent a board and do some surfing along the Atlantic coast.
11. Watch Hill Beach (Westerly)
Watch Hill Beach is small and cute. It’s right by the famous Flying Horse Carousel that has been going since 1876. Come and enjoy a chilly dip in Atlantic waters, relax on the beach, and disconnect from your every day worries.
After a slow morning on the beach you can explore the picturesque town of Watch Hill, which has quaint shops and tasty ice cream! There’s a traditional New England feel to the place that charms all its visitors.
This town and beach will keep you busy all day long, so make sure to put a day aside to visit Watch Hill Beach on your trip.
10. East Matunuck State Beach
East Matunuck State Beach is very popular. It’s less than 15 minutes drive away from Charlestown, so the location is pretty ideal. Visitors and locals come here particularly to make the most of the great surf.
But if surfing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. The long stretch of sandy beach is also a fantastic place to just chill – watch the fishing boats go by and enjoy some much needed downtime.
East Matunuck is one for the eco-warriors too – the beach’s pavilion is powered by solar and wind energy and they have charging stations for electric cars! What’s not to love about this Rhode Island beach?
9. Easton Beach (Newport)
This beach is known by the locals as First Beach, and it’s found along Memorial Boulevard at the start of Newport’s Cliff Walk. It’s a great place to come for a relaxing beach day, and there’s a few other exciting things in store too!
If you’re coming with kids, you can take them to see the 1950s carousel and there is also an aquarium right by the beach, so you can tie your beach day in with a trip to see the local marine life up close.
If you’re coming with friends, you could all rent a board and catch some waves. Whether you want to be busy or just spend the day relaxing in Newport, Easton Beach is for you.
8. Napatree Point Beach (Westerly)
Come and walk barefoot in the sand and make the most of the gorgeous Rhode Island coast. Napatree Point Beach is the perfect place for those looking to combine their love for the beach with their love of nature!
As well as being an amazing beach, Napatree Point Beach is also in a conservation area. The landscape is known to attract numerous bird species. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for the pretty shorebirds that are abundant in spring and fall, and the hawks that make an appearance in the late summer.
Incredibly, if you hike through the Napatree Point Conservation Area you’ll end at Napatree Point Beach – where could be a better place to end a gentle hike?
7. Goosewing Beach (Little Compton)
The beach itself is part of the Goosewing Beach Preserve that has sand and sea, as well as coastal ponds and impressive sand dunes. It’s just five minutes drive away from the center of Little Compton.
Spend your time at Goosewing Beach hunting for beautiful seashells or come and enjoy a simple and peaceful sunset (or a sunrise if you’re an early bird!). The beach has a mixture of sand, pebbles, and some small rocky patches. There are opportunities to surf too!
Sit on the beach and enjoy the comforting sounds of the waves crashing on the shore, or venture further into the preserve and look for two rare bird species, the Piping Plover and Least Tern, that call this land home.
6. East Beach (Westerly)
This little seaside treasure separates the Ninigret Pond from the cold and salty Atlantic Ocean. East Beach is a three mile long barrier beach that is not very developed compared to other state beaches in Rhode Island.
There are lots of campsite options nearby, so you could come on a camping trip with family or friends! How perfect would it be to wake up just minutes walk away from a sandy beach?
Forget your to do lists and let yourself relax into the gentle pace of beach-living. Spend your days reading your book, listening to your favorite tunes, and getting your summer tan back!
5. Roger Wheeler State Beach
This sandy beach originally had another name but it was changed to the Roger Wheeler State Beach in 1970 to recognize Captain Roger Wheeler who was the founder of the Rhode Island State Life Saving System (think lifeguards!).
The beach is popular thanks to its calm waters, something that isn’t always guaranteed along the Atlantic coast. It’s great for families who just want to splash and paddle and aren’t up for being thrown around by the waves or looking to do any surfing.
Other reasons families particularly love this beach spot is the playground and beach pavilion that has a fantastic education section on conservation and protecting the environment. There’s a car park right next to the beach, but bear in mind it can get busy!
4. Sachuest Beach
Sachuest Beach is known by the locals as Second Beach. It’s a mile long beach that is super family-friendly. There’s an opportunity to do some light surfing (great for beginners or youngsters with bodyboards!).
There are surf rentals nearby where you can get all your gear, and even book some lessons if you want some help from a pro! The beach is sandy and has grills and picnic tables with some shady areas where you can escape the hot sun whilst you eat your freshly grilled burger.
The beach is in a convenient location too, just 10 minutes drive away from Newport. If relaxation and a good time are your priorities, Sachuest Beach is the place for you.
3. Narragansett Town Beach
The beach is flat and mostly sandy, with a few pebbles here and there. Although sunsets on the beach are never bad, the sky is particularly gorgeous as the sun goes down at Narragansett Town Beach, and it’s not a secluded or hard-to-get-to spot!
There is a bar around the corner called the Coast Guard House in case you fancy a cold bevy or a nibble halfway through your beach day.
An area of the beach is dedicated to surfing, so if you’ve got your board, bring it along. You’ll want a wetsuit too, the Atlantic Ocean is pretty chilly!
It’s a town beach so parking can be a little more tricky than at more secluded beaches. But you’ll be by all the best restaurants and bars in Narragansett so beers and tasty meals by the beach will be an added perk.
2. Mohegan Bluffs (Block Island)
Mohegan Bluffs offers an island, countryside and beach experience all in one. Bear in mind it’s not a white sand beach, in fact it’s quite rocky. But it’s still somewhere you can comfortably swim and even surf.
The most incredible thing about this beach is the location and the views. You’ll spend your beach day at the base of the 200-foot tall Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island, and it’s worth the 141 steps you’ll have to walk to get there.
From here there are stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and on clear days you can even see the tip of Long Island! The beach is also part of the Block Island Bicycle Tour if you fancy a cycling adventure.
1. Misquamicut State Beach
If you’re looking for a spacious, gold-sand beach then look no further! This stunning Rhode Island beach is the perfect place for sun-tanning and a leisurely swim in the sea.
There are occasionally some surfable waves here, but in general, the surf is more for beginners. Come and enjoy the gentle sea breeze, gorgeous sea views, and some peace and solitude at this gorgeous beach in Westerly.
If you’re worried about facilities, don’t be. There’s a modern pavilion at the end of the beach that has everything you need, like showers and toilets. Plus some activities for the kids. There’s plenty of parking too.