6 Oceanfront Beach Houses to Rent in RI
Now's the time to book for summer, and these gems — with big views, porches, outdoor showers and beach access — hit all the right marks for a week away.
There’s something quintessentially Rhode Island about renting a beach house forty minutes from your own home. My family was no stranger to this tradition. My mom and dad would save up all year for week-long vacations, and it paid off; I remember them all with unusual clarity.
There was the weathered A-frame in Bonnet Shores. Early in our stay, a bird flew into a big window out front and left a smear. It rained a lot that week, but the smear held strong.
Then there was the multilevel blue house in Matunuck, a stone’s throw from the Ocean Mist. Friends, family, even my high school sweetheart stayed over for a night or two in that massive place. You could go all day without bumping into someone else — a rarity for a beach rental in South County.
But my favorite was the cottage on stilts, just down the street from the blue house in Matunuck. It was the tiniest of the bunch, but it compensated with a gigantic wrap-around porch. Part of it was screened in, and we spent long nights out there listening to the tide push pebbles around on the surfer’s beach across the lawn. I can’t recall the hours I spent sunning myself that week — many, I assume — but I can visualize my brother, his friend and our uncle playing music in the dark while our parents cooked dinner inside. It was summer, we were together, and it was good.
My mom had high standards for her beach houses. She wanted to see the ocean. Not a pond or a river. The ocean. And without craning her neck over someone else’s roof.
She’d also plan months in advance. This was before the days of VRBO and Airbnb, which makes the search for a vacation rental easier and — let’s face it — a lot more honest. But one thing hasn’t changed: If you want the right place, for the right amount of money, you have to book early. Now’s the time, fellow sun-worshipers.
Here are six great oceanfront properties my mom would love (and are available for booking, if you get to them first):