Get Out of Town: Weekend Getaways Just Outside Rhode Island

If, like us, you're in need of a little weekend R and R this fall, we have some perfect close-by solutions.

By now you’re fully vaxxed and have chronic Zoom fatigue. The open road beckons and a getaway is just what the therapist ordered. We scouted Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont for resorts with plenty of onsite amenities should you want to simply arrive and drop anchor. If you’re seeking more adventure after the past year’s staycation, these resorts specialize in customized experiences from lobstering excursions to sailing on Lake Champlain.

Family Getaway

Chatham Bars Inn
Chatham, Massachusetts


The Chatham Bars Inn sits on twenty-five acres with a private quarter-mile beach. Courtesy of Chatham Bars Inn.

Sometimes history repeats itself and the sequel is even better. That’s the case with Chatham Bars Inn, which was founded in 1914 as a hunting lodge and underwent a $100 million facelift in 2006. Of course, the Cape waterfront location has never needed improvement. Former guests — including Henry Ford, William Rockefeller and Henry Morgenthau Jr., treasury secretary under F.D.R. — congregated at the inn’s Veranda restaurant to watch the sun sink into Chatham Harbor, and guests still mingle here today, G and T glasses clinking.

Nested on twenty-five acres with a private quarter-mile beach, the inn also owns a nearby farm, which is open for guided tours along with a seasonal farm stand. Since 2012, seasonal produce has been sourced from its own nearby operation: fresh corn and potatoes are key ingredients for its famous clambake. Guided tours of the twenty-five-acre waterfront property are available, as well as dining at the farm.


Oyster Pond in Chatham opens into Oyster Pond River. Getty images/Ken Wiedemann.

Many families book the Cape Cod-style shingled cottages, and a menu of children’s programs are on tap from July through Labor Day, including sailing instruction and pirate cruises where kids can hunt for buried treasure. Guests seeking a quiet zone can book a room in the adults-only Spa Suites above the spa. They include hydrotherapy tubs, saunas, steam showers, massage tables and fireplaces. They also have access to a private relaxation pool, cabanas and a Japanese Zen garden.


Set out on the Shooting Star and observe humpback, minke and fin whales. Courtesy of Chatham Bars Inn.

Humpback, minke and fin whales can be observed from Shooting Star, the inn’s thirty-eight-foot vessel (designed by Billy Joel), which is also available for private cruises to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. A beach launch ferries guests to observe harbor seals basking in the surf and there are boat trips to Cape Cod National Seashore. Another boat is available for fishing expeditions to catch lobster, tuna, bass and black sea bass; the chef can prepare the “keepers” for your dinner. Boat trips are offered from early spring through October, plus the inn also hosts Orvis saltwater fly-fishing courses. And did we mention the Champagne and sunset cruises?
297 Shore Rd., 800-527-4884, Fall rates start at $425 per night.