Charming Destinations - South Kingstown, Wickford and Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Hi everyone.  I just got back from a great family vacation to South Kingstown, Rhode Island.  South Kingstown is a quiet and relaxing beach town with a casual and laid back atmosphere.  There are a variety of things to do for both children and adults, the beach, lighthouses, shopping, amazing restaurants, mini golf and lots of ice cream shops!

My Aunt and Uncle own a vacation home in South Kingstown so we stayed there, but there are many charming beach homes to rent as well as some charming seaside inns.  I loved checking out all the different homes as we drove around, from the cute little cottages to the large gated homes that sat right on the ocean.

Driving around South Kingstown at sunset

Misquamicut Beach, which is probably the best known beach in Rhode Island is not a far drive from where we stayed but we chose to chill at South Kingstown Beach.  My family and I like South Kingstown Beach because it is smaller and less crowded but still offers the big waves and beautiful views of Misquamicut.  There is a good crowd at South Kingstown as well, families with children, young couples, older couples, and groups of friends.  The water is cold at first but spend an hour or two laying out on the beach and then it feels great! 

South Kingstown Beach

After a relaxing day at the beach I love to go home, shower, put on a nice sundress and head to dinner.  Fortunately there are some great dining options in the South Kingstown area.  Matunuck Oyster Bar is a farm to table, pond to plate restaurant and is very popular with vacationers and locals alike.  If you go there, be prepared to wait for a table, I assure you though it's worth it and that you usually never end up waiting as long as they say.  They do offer a great outdoor space with a bar where you can order from the raw bar and sip cocktails while you wait.  Their cocktails are quite tasty, I'd highly recommend their mojitos or their Matunuck Martini which features vodka, elderflower liquor, fresh lemon and prosecco.  As far as entrees, their seared scallops, blackened yellowfin tuna, and jambalaya are all delicious.  210 Oyster Bar and Grill is another great dining option.  It's a relatively new place and offers a wide variety of options.  For appetizers alone they offer a good mix of things, wings, fried calamari and sushi to name a few.  Another great thing about them is that you can order most of the items on their menu in gluten free versions.  We were traveling with one person that has a gluten allergy and they were very happy with the wide variety they had to choose from.  Be prepared to wait for a table at 210 Oyster Bar as well, however, they also have a seating area with seats built around fire pits where you can order cocktails and items off the appetizer menu.  If you are jonesing for some fried seafood, then Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House in nearby Naragansett is a great option.  Be sure to get some of their doughboys with your me they are well worth the calories!!!

The Matunuck Martini

210 Oyster Bar's Fried Calamari - Thai Chili style

While staying in South Kingstown, we also took some day trip excursions to Wickford and Watch Hill.  Both are quaint little towns with wonderful shopping, restaurants, galleries and ice cream.  Wickford is about a 25 minute drive from South Kingstown.  The downtown shopping area is small and can be covered in a couple of hours, however, it does have some truly amazing stores.  In fact I think the shopping was so great in both Wickford and Watch Hill that it warrants it's own blog post, so I will get a "Where to shop" post up on the blog soon!  I loved the quaintness of Wickford...vibrant hydrangea seemed to abound along the street.

Hydrangea in Wickford
Wickford Marina

Some shops in Wickford
Equally quaint is the upscale town of Watch Hill.  Watch Hill features the stunning Ocean House resort and is also the location of Taylor Swift's Rhode Island home.  It's fun to walk along the main streets and view the beautiful boats in the marina.  Shopping and restaurants are plentiful there as well.  One unique and fun feature is that it is the home of the oldest and longest running flying horse merry-go round.

You could rent these beach side cabanas in Watch Hill

Shopping along Watch Hill

The Watch Hill Merry-Go Round

History of the Watch Hill Merry-Go Round

Overall, South Kingstown and the surrounding towns offer a truly great get away.  I enjoyed every minute of my vacation, whether I was enjoying some prosecco and good conversation on the back porch of our vacation house, being lazy on the beach or sight seeing and shopping.  However you tend to like to spend your vacation time, chances are Rhode Island offers something that is up your alley!

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