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Tips For a Weekend Staycation in South County, RI

When you have some time off work, it's always tempting to head to another part of the country for a few days of vacation.

Living in South County, Rhode Island, however, means you have pretty much everything you could ever want at your fingertips, as this is where people from all over the United States come on their own vacations.

Here are some ideas of things you can do on your staycation in South County, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of a vacation while avoiding the travel.

Hit the Beach

Photograph of Blue Shutters Beach bath houseSummer vacations are great because you get to enjoy the great weather and outdoor attractions without having to deal with work. And as luck would have it, South County is home to some of the East Coast's most scenic and renowned beaches.

In Charlestown, you can choose between Blue Shutters Town Beach, Charlestown Town Beach, and East State Beach, while Narragansett has Narragansett Town Beach, Roger Wheeler State Beach, Salty Brine State Beach, and Scarborough State Beach.

There's also Blue Reach and Compass Rose Beach in North Kingstown, East Matunuck State Beach and South Kingstown Town Beach in South Kingstown, and Watch Hil Beach, Wuskenau Town Beach, East Beach, and Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly.

In short, you'll have a lot of choices when deciding on where you spend time at the beach, and if you're lucky enough to have a week-long staycation, you can check out a few of them.

Get Out On the Water

Spending time near the water doesn't necessarily mean you have to lounge on the beach, as you'll have the opportunity to take a boat into the region's kettle ponds or hire a charter for some deep-sea fishing.

The Kayak Centre has locations in Charlestown and Wickford, offering kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals into Ningret Pond and Narragansett Bay. You can also take a tour into those bodies of water, allowing you to learn more about the region's ecosystem and see some of the more memorable locations.

You can also rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at East Coast Paddle Sports in Wakefield, Narrow River Kayaks in Narragansett, Queen's River Kayaks in South Kingstown, and Paddle Surf in Westerly. For a faster journey, Wickford Boat Rentals allows you to rent powerboats, as well.

If you'd rather head into the ocean on a larger boat, companies like Billfish Sportfishing, Ace's Wild Fishing Charters, Adventure Road Island Fishing Charters, and Drifter Charters are just a phone call away. These providers will customize your excursion, so you can get exactly what you want from your staycation.

Sample the Cuisine

It wouldn't be a vacation without trying some of the local cuisine and, luckily, South County has you covered.

Start your day with breakfast at a local favorite like the Cooked Goose in Westerly, T's Restaurant in Narragansett, or Mae's Place in North Kingstown before heading to the Misquamicut Sandwich Company or Monahan's Clam Shack for lunch.

For dinner, you can choose between seafood restaurants like the Coast Guard House and the Matunuck Oyster Bar, or go for something casual at The Charlestown Rathskeller or The Nordic.

Are you looking for dinner and a drink? Places like Ocean Mist and Mews Tavern have a great selection of beer and wine, or you could head to a local brewery like Whalers or Grey Sail after your meal.

Visit the Theater

Once you've eaten, it's time to find an evening activity. South County has an active theatre scene, especially in Westerly, where you can find high-end performances of some of the country's most well-known plays.

We mentioned that Westerly is a hotbed for the arts, and that's because the town features the Chorus of Westerly, The Colonial Theatre, and Granite Theatre. The Chorus of Westerly generally plays at the George Kent Performance Hall on High Street, although they have outdoor performances during the summer. The Colonial Theatre is known for its summer Shakespeare Festival at Wilcox Park, and they'll often hold indoor events in the winter, too, while the Granite Theatre sits in a restored Green Revival church and has performances all year long.

South Kingstown is another excellent place to check out some performances, as it is home to The Contemporary Theater Company, the University of Rhode Island Theatre, and, perhaps the area's most famous performing arts venue, Theatre By The Sea.

Learn Some History

While you're enjoying your staycation, it's also worth brushing up on your local history. After all, it's nice to know what this area was like before, as it provides insight into how things have progressed throughout South County's history.

Museums like the Old Washington County Jail, the Seabee Museum and Memorial Park, Hale House, the Gilbert Stuart Museum, the Babcock-Smith House Museum, the Charlestown Historic Society, Smith's Castle, and the South County Museum are great because they're relatively small but full of great pieces.

Other historic venues that you can visit include Kenyon's Grist Mill, the Narragansett Rune Stone, Pettaquamscutt Rock, the Great Swamp Memorial, the Point Judith Lighthouse, and the Watch Hill Lighthouse, just to name a few.

There's a lot of history to learn, and there's no time like your staycation to get started.

A Staycation in South County

This list is just a starting point for your staycation in South County, as you can also go whale watching, do some shopping, go for a hike, check out the bike trails, head to a winery, go skiing, play a round of golf, or buy some fresh produce at a farmer's market.

Your options for a great staycation in South County are only limited by what you can imagine doing, so spend some time planning the perfect activities. And as a bonus, you can return to your own bed each and every night.


Published August 1, 2021 in Exploring South County, Exploring Our Area