After a hectic day spent chasing the kids on the beach, hiking isolated trails, or toiling away at work, finding a relaxing place to unwind is often essential. Luckily, Southern Rhode Island has some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever witness but with so many spots to check them out, deciding on a location isn't easy.
Do you head to a popular beach with a large parking area or choose a secluded point that you know will be empty?
To make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best spots in South County to watch the sunset, taking accessibility, parking, and nearby dining options into account.
If you’re looking for a fantastic place to spend an evening, each of these locations is worth a visit.
Salty Brine Beach
Salty Brine State Beach has a lot going for it because overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, has a large parking area, and features a boardwalk along the jetty that shoots into the water, giving unparalleled access to the horizon. All of these elements come together to create a scenic spot in Galilee to watch the sun disappear.
Not only are these sunsets at Salty Brine Beach outstanding, but its location makes the area easily accessible, as its steps from the village's main strip. Here, you can enjoy dinner at George's of Galilee or Buster Krab's in the evening before walking to the park as the sun starts to go down. A trip to this beach is the perfect way to end an evening in South County.
Point Judith Lighthouse
It should come as no surprise to see Point Judith in Narragansett on this list because it's one of the most breathtaking locations in the entire state. What you might not know, however, is that west of the tip where Point Judith Lighthouse sits is a small park with benches, a parking lot, a beach, and some amazing sunsets over Block Island Sound.
To reach this area, called Fisherman's Memorial Beach, turn off Ocean Road onto the dirt road just before you reach the lighthouse. Follow the dirt road to the end, where you can park and make the short walk to the beach. There's plenty of space to find an area to yourself, and the beach permits dogs. There are restaurants about three minutes away, as well.
Speaking of plenty of space, Napatree Point will provide you with all the room you need, as long as you are willing to walk for it. This conservation area in Watch Hill has a trail that leads you to its secluded tip, making it the least accessible location on this list. Of course, if you aren't prepared to walk to the point, you can stop anywhere along the path to enjoy the views.
The easiest way to reach Napatree Point is to park by Watch Hill Beach and then make your way northwest to the walking trail. The hike isn't challenging, and the payoff is well worth the time. There are plenty of delicious restaurants in Watch Hill, as well, if you're looking to make a night of it.
Locals and visitors alike love Misquamicut Beach during the day because it’s easily accessible and there’s a ton of parking steps from the sand. At night, it’s also popular with those looking to enjoy the sunset. You can even grab a table on the patio at the Windjammer Surf Bar if you want to take your sunset viewing to the next level.
Just east of Misquamicut Beach at Weekapaug Point is a more secluded spot to take in a sunset. To reach this spot from Misquamicut Beach, follow Atlantic Avenue until you reach Wawaloam Drive and go right. You'll then follow Wawaloam Drive and take another right on Spray Rock Road. There are about a dozen parking spots along Spray Rock Road that provide breathtaking views of the sunsets without having to get out of your car.
Despite being more inland than other favorite evening spots, Wickford Village enjoys some exceptional sunsets over Narragansett Bay from the docks and marinas along Wickford Cove. While you won't have the same panoramic experience that you'd get when watching the sun go down over the open ocean, observing the pink sky disappear over the bay is equally as impressive. North Kingstown Town Beach, just south of the village, is another excellent place to spend an evening.
Parking in Wickford Village is plentiful, so you shouldn't run into any trouble unless there's an event on your chosen night. Tate's Italian Kitchen and The Place provide tasty places to grab a meal beforehand, too.
Many Others to Visit
While this list only scratches the surface of the magnificent sunset locations in South County, it provides some primary places to explore.
As you start seeing more of the region, you're sure to find a favorite spot all to yourself along its 100 miles of coastline, or even within its harbors, coves, rivers, and parks. All of these nooks provide a bit of space to experience the breathtaking colors of the sun setting in this incredible part of the country.
*Photo credit Ann Henne