Jamestown: The Best of Both Worlds
While the water views steal the show, the island's pastoral history lives on.
Great Places for Foodies
Enjoy views of the Newport Bridge and Narragansett Bay as you munch on cafe food (we recommend either the Ferry or the Mackerel Cove sandwiches). Plus, as the only restaurant in Little Rhody that serves homemade ice cream from Richardson’s Dairy, Spinnakers makes for an ideal spot to visit on a summer evening.
3 Ferry Wharf, Jamestown, 423-3077, spinnakerscafe.com.
A Short Drive Away
This is a classic burger joint with a bit of a twist: All of the burgers and hot dogs are ground in-house. Its meaty meals even come with a special homemade “Mission sauce,” (think aioli with ketchup, cornichons, capers, herbs and brandy) and the sides of fries are hand-cut every day.
29 Marlborough St., Newport, 619-5560, missionnpt.com.
Great Places to Shop
Fair Trade Winds
Located right on the water, this boutique has gifts and souvenirs for everyone’s tastes. All are handmade and each comes with its own unique backstory, produced from sustainable materials and made by artisans and farmers near and far.
47 Conanicus Ave., Jamestown, 560-0564, fairtradewinds.net.
A Short Drive Away
The Magic Studio
Whether you’re looking for a colorful kite to fly at Brenton Point Park or investing in a new deck of cards to perform magic tricks, this is the place to go. With a variety of reasonably priced toys and activity sets and owners who will be happy to demonstrate any card trick before you buy, this colorful outpost is a must for families looking to add some fun to their day.
435 Thames St., Newport, 841-0735.
Great PLaces to Explore
Swimming at Mackerel Cove
When the temp reaches sweltering levels on the thermometer, take a dip in the ocean. This beach is perfect for children; never too overcrowded, it has small waves and regularly hosts a Del’s truck in its parking lot. When you’ve had enough of the sand and surf, the cove is just minutes from a slew of other promising outdoor attractions.
Beavertail Road, Jamestown, jamestownri.gov.
A Short Drive Away
Open throughout the summer, Gansett Cruises offers ninety-minute boat tours around Narragansett Bay. These trips are fully narrated and are a welcome break from your average (read: boring) informational tour. You’ll see and learn about a number of historic sites in both Newport and Jamestown. The crew even serves up famous Rhode Island specialties, including clam chowder, stuffies and cabinets.
2 Bowen’s Landing, Newport, 619-1300, gansettcruises.com
Discover Historic Island Remnants
Originally built as a fort for soldiers during World War II, Fort Getty has now been transformed into a scenic campground that has the perfect groundwork for however you want to set up stake, whether it’s a picnic blanket, a tent or an RV. Nature lovers can enjoy the old fortifications, the beach, the surrounding walking trails and the wildlife observation platform built by the Rhode Island Boy Scouts.
Fort Getty Campground, 423-7211, jamestownri.gov.
Bought in 1789 by Job Watson, Watson Farm still operates as a working family farm to this day. It’s open to the public during working hours for self-guided tours, where you’ll have the chance to explore the 265-acre property, participate in workshops, enjoy seasonal farm activities and stroll along the nearby shoreline.
455 North Rd., 423-0005, historicnewengland.com.
Open for a little more than a century, the Jamestown Windmill ceased operation in 1896 but still stands high on Windmill Hill at the center of the island, thanks to the efforts of the Jamestown Historical Society. Don’t miss out on the chance to take a tour during any weekend this summer, where you’ll be able to climb to the peak of the bonnet and witness the gears that power the large sails at work.
North Road, jamestownhistoricalsociety.org.