South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with 30,000 inhabitants and a total area of 79.8 square miles, is the most populated town in Washington County and the largest town in terms of area in all of Rhode Island.
In a way, South Kingstown has the best of everything that South County has to offer, as it features easy access to many surrounding towns, miles of beaches, and a commercial center. As a result, you’ll be able to do your shopping in Wakefield Village in the morning and can head to a quiet beach on the Atlantic Ocean for the afternoon.
If you’re considering buying real estate in South Kingstown, you’ll have many different neighborhoods to consider, since the town is so spread out, and each area has its own amenities and charm.
A Very Brief History of South Kingstown
This area was first settled in the late 1600s, and in 1674, a town called Kings Towne was founded. Kings Towne was made up of what is present-day South Kingstown and North Kingstown. In 1722, Kings Towne split into the two separate towns we have today. Another split occurred in 1888 when Narragansett left South Kingstown to become its own town.
Villages in South Kingstown
Kingston is home to the University of Rhode Island and has a population of 5,446. Much of the village's center, called the Kingston Village Historic District, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
West Kingston is a smaller village that is home to the area's Amtrak station. It also has the Old Washington County Courthouse, which is an impressive old building that is worth checking out.
Wakefield is the main commercial center in South Kingstown and is where you'll spend most of your time if you're looking for dining options or shopping venues. Much of the central village, which is called the Wakefield Historic District, is on the National Register of Historic Places. In total, 53 different buildings appear on the list separately, as well. Wakefield and Peace Dale combine to create a census-designated place with a population of over 8,000 people.
Matunuck is a beachfront village with some of the most sought-after real estate in South Kingstown. Beaches in the community include Moonstone, East Matunuck State Beach, and South Kingstown Town Beach. The village is also home to the famous Theatre-by-the-Sea.
Other villages that are part of South Kingstown include Uspuepaug, Tuckertown, Green Hill, Perryville, and Snug Harbor, each with its own unique quirks. Smaller neighborhoods that you can choose to live in include Curtis Corner, Torrey Hill, Indian Lake, Ocean Ridge, and Middlebridge. Have a look around the town to find the village or neighborhood that best meets your needs before choosing a home.
Things to Do in South Kingstown
As with most towns in this area, much of the recreation in South Kingstown involves heading outdoors and enjoying the natural environment. There are some great beaches on the town's south end, and even more in neighboring Charlestown and Narragansett.
If you're a fan of the arts, Hera Gallery is found in Wakefield, while the South County Arts Association is located in Kingston. There's also The Contemporary Theatre in Wakefield, along with Theatre-by-the-Sea, which is in Matunuck. The largest museum in the area, the South Country History Center, is in Kingston and sits in an old jail.
For sports, you'll probably become a fan of the Ocean State Waves, a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The league is made up of NCAA players who want to keep playing while school is out for the summer. The team plays its home games at Old Mountain Field in Wakefield.
Education System in South Kingstown
There are nine public schools found throughout the South Kingstown School District, starting with South Kingstown Inclusionary Pre-School, which sits in Wakefield. From there, students head to one of the four elementary schools, Matunuck, Peace Dale, Wakefield, and West Kingston. Both middle schools in town, Broad Rock, and Curtis Corners, are in Wakefield, as is South Kingstown High School. South Kingstown's second high school, Independence Transition Academy, is in the village of Kingston.
South Kingstown is also home to three private schools. The Compass School is a charter school in Kingston that serves students between kindergarten and grade eight, while Monsignor Clarke School is a Catholic school in Wakefield that is also K-8. The Prout School is the Catholic high school in Wakefield.
After high school, students will have the chance to attend the University of Rhode Island, which is a high-end institution in Kingston. As a result, your kids will have the opportunity to complete all of their schoolings in the same town after you make the move to South Kingstown.
The Town’s Public Transportation
Three bus lines operate in South Kingstown, making it easier to get around the area without a car. These lines also run to larger centers like Providence and Newport, so they are convenient for commuters who want to live near the beach, but work in the big city.
Route 64 starts in West Kingston, heading east through Narragansett, north into North Kingstown, and then finally continuing east into Newport. Since the first stop in West Kingston is near the University of Rhode Island, the route is popular with university students.
Route 65X runs between Wakefield Mall and Providence. The route has park and ride stations, making it a popular choice for commuters who work in the city.
Route 66 starts at Galilee Beach and goes through Narragansett and South Kingstown, before heading north toward Providence. This bus takes a wider route and makes more stops, so it works for those who are going from point to point within South Kingstown or heading to a neighboring town.
Relocating to South Kingstown
As you can see, there is a lot going on in South Kingstown, and even though it only has a population of 30,000 people, it has many of the amenities you’d expect to find in a larger center. The town is only 32 miles from the heart of Providence, as well, so you can get there in under an hour if you plan to work in the city. You're also only 82 miles from Boston and 163 miles from New York City, making a weekend getaway a breeze.
Have a look at the available properties in South Kingstown to see if you can find the perfect match on a new Rhode Island home.