Just over the state line from Connecticut, Westerly, Rhode Island is a quaint, sweet, unassuming town that offers stunning beaches, unique boutiques and a charming downtown district. These days we find ourselves coming out here almost every weekend, if not for the beach for the great restaurants and shops. Westerly is an easy, 20 minute drive from Groton, and absolutely worth a day trip.
Here are seven great things to do:
Explore Napatree Point.
Rhode Island is known for its pristine beaches, and after a visit here you can understand why. Napatree Point Conservation Area is a sandy spit on the southernmost and westernmost point of mainland Rhode Island. Its long and pristine, white sandy beaches offer views of Little Narragansett Bay, Long Island, Connecticut, Block Island and the Atlantic Ocean. There is a two mile beach trail and a grassy, lagoon area perfect for birding. Like most New England beaches, dogs are only allowed during the off season (before Memorial Day, after Labor Day). Keep an eye out for Taylor Swift, she owns a home around the corner from the lighthouse.
Eat brunch at the Cooked Goose.
OK – don’t let the name scare you, but the Cooked Goose is not for the weary. I’m talking cinnamon roll pancakes. Lobster eggs benedict. Cinnamon almond french toast. On the lighter side, the brunch menu offers simple omelettes, quiche, granola and fruit bowls. The restaurant is right on the way back (or on your way to) Napatree Point, you can’t miss it.
Get lost inside Savoy Bookshop.
With an unassuming storefront, Savoy Bookshop and Café – much like its collection of books – shouldn’t be judged by its cover. Once you step inside the bookstore surprises with beautiful high, tiled ceilings and tall, oak bookshelves. A dramatic iron stairway leads you downstairs to a children’s library and reading nook. Cozy up in a leather armchair with a good read and a coffee from their café. The bookshop has some sweet touches like hidden fairy houses and a selection of “blind date” books wrapped in butcher paper. You won’t want to leave.
Stand in two places at once.
Ok – rejoice Walk to Remember fans (don’t know what I’m talking about? Come on.)! It was on Jamie Sullivan’s list of things she wanted to do before she died. Of leukemia. Sorry if I just spoiled that for you! But you can stand in two places at once in Westerly! The two towns of Pawcatuck, CT and Westerly, RI cross paths on the bridge over Pawcatuck River. Walk across the bridge and you can straddle the state line between Connecticut and Rhode Island!
Taste at Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery.
One part winery one part cidery, Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery is a downtown Westerly gem. The family owned and operated winery is all fun and love, with silly varieties like Respect the Elder (soft, dry red, made with elderberries), Hoposite Attraction (hoppy with citrus notes), and Light My Fire (smokey with a scotch undertone).
Taste at Grey Sail Brewing.
Grey Sail Brewing opened in 2011, inspired by the New England waters and grey sails on the horizon. The brewery operates inside a former Westerly Macaroni Factory, with its tap room next door inside a bright yellow, colonial home. Inside the walls are colored with quirky murals, the rusty old floorboards creak and farm tables line the parlor. Individual tables and chairs are scattered throughout the home, along with board games to add to its charm. Choose a custom flight of beverages, including Grey Sail’s beers and others from nearby microbreweries and wineries.
Eat a soft pretzel from Malted Barley.
OK, that’s some of our favorite places and things to do in Westerly! For more ideas or trip inspiration, visit www.seewesterly.com.