Beach Day at Napatree Point

The state's southernmost beach boasts big waves and no admission price.

This summer, you’ll find me where the people are spare, the parking is free and the water is swimmable. Napatree Point in Watch Hill, Rhode Island’s southernmost spit of land, is a great place to soak up some rays without spending a dime. (It’s also a prime spot to watch the sunrise.)

The hitch: You’re limited to two hours of parking in downtown Watch Hill, so timing can be tight. On a recent Sunday, my family and I arrived by 9 a.m. and got a front-row spot in town.

Another hitch: You have to hike it over a very tall dune, so beach gear should be kept to a minimum. We brought one blanket, one towel and a backpack with snacks and sunscreen.

If you can live within these confines, you, too, will love your beach day at Napatree Point. Here are step-by-step directions to this slice of secret paradise in Watch Hill:

Arrive early for front-row parking.

Yay, little red car!

Just beyond the car is a parking lot, where you’ll start your short walk to Napatree Point. It took us seven minutes.

Veer left and follow the seawall all the way down.

Keep going….

Almost there….

You know you’re in the right place when you reach a heap of lobster traps and old signage.

On your left, you’ll see a footpath that stretches over the dunes. Here’s a view from the top:

You made it!

Napatree Point is good for walking. It’s good for lazing. It’s good for swimming (no lifeguards on duty, so play it safe). And it’s good for the wallet. See you there.


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