Westerly: Where A-List Meets Blue Collar

There's so much more to this seaside town than Taylor Swift.
Photography by Chris Vaccaro

Great Places for Foodies

The Cooked Goose
This Watch Hill gem is a good breakfast spot to start your day off right. Enjoy morning coffee by the water or stop by later and grab a delicious sandwich and soup combo to go. But be prepared; the freshly made assorted baked goods are also tempting.
92 Watch Hill Rd., Westerly, 348-9888, thecookedgoose.com.

Olympia Tea Room
This seasonal Westerly outpost in the heart of Watch Hill has been a local favorite for a century. Wine and dine as you watch the sun sink into the Rhody summer sky, a great way to end your beach day.
74 Bay St., Watch Hill, 348-8211, olympiatearoom.com.

The Malted Barley
How can you go wrong with pretzels galore and a bar stocked with craft brews?  From pale ales to porters to stouts, beer lovers won’t leave this popular establishment disappointed. We recommend pairing your drink with a pretzel, like the one stuffed with smoked Gouda and chipotle pepper.
42 High St., Westerly, 315-2184, themaltedbarleyri.com.


city-data.com; variety.com; Westerly Historical Society; westerlyri.gov.

Great Places to Shop

The Candy Box
Slipped between the Watch Hill coast and plaza, this cotton candy-colored shop is just as sweet as it looks (and smells). Its homemade and imported candy collections have sweet-a-holics returning to this tiny store time and time again.
14 Fort Rd., Watch Hill, 596-3325, candyboxwatchhill.com.

Savoy Bookshop
Wooden shelves packed with books line every inch of this shop’s quaint brick walls in downtown Westerly. Curious bookworms will be right at home with the selection of fantastic reads. Grab a coffee and settle in with a good novel at the cozy cafe nestled within the shop.
10 Canal St., Westerly, 213-3901, facebook.com/savoybookshopcafe.

A short drive away
Simple Pleasures
The simplest of pleasures in life often have the most meaning, and this shop underlines that fact with a curated line of coastal living home decor, jewelry (think Alex and Ani bracelets), scarves and unique “Made in New England” gifts.
5000 South County Trl., Unit E, Charlestown, 364-9852, facebook.com/simpleri.

Great Places to Explore

Misquamicut State Beach
Clean blue waves meet the seaside while vibrant umbrellas block the summer sun.  You would never know this oceanfront shoreline was close to being gone for good after a devastating storm blew through in 1992. The renovations ensured quite the comeback and more than a half-mile of fun times.
257 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, 596-9097, riparks.com.

Grey Sail Brewing of RI
At Grey Sail, brewing is a passion, one that needs to be shared, so help the little brewery fulfill its mission. Stop by the tap room and imbibe a seasonal specialty or any one of the year-round offerings. We suggest either the Captain’s Daughter, an Imperial India pale ale, or the Flagship, an award-winning cream ale.
63 Canal St., Westerly, 212-7592, greysailbrewing.com.

A short drive away
The Fantastic Umbrella Factory
There’s a reason why they call it fantastic:  This nineteenth century farmyard and international bazaar has offered everything from fashionable clothing and vintage jewelry to unique plants and yummy treats since 1968. Hop from shop to shop, eat lunch at the Small Axe Cafe and then head outside to hang with some of the factory’s four- legged frequenters. Don’t miss the photo-worthy bamboo garden.
4820 Old Post Rd., Charlestown, 364-1060, fantasticumbrellafactory.com.

Iconic Westerly

Flying Horse Carousel
This charming local icon has been rooted in Watch Hill since 1876 when it was, according to legend, abandoned by a traveling circus. For most kids, the carousel is the highlight of a trip to Westerly, especially if they’re lucky enough to find the sole brass ring amongst a sea of silver; they earn a second ride for free.
151 Bay St., Westerly, 348-6007, watchhillbeachandcarousel.com.

Wilcox Park
This historic park, designed by an associate of Frederick Law Olmsted, covers fifteen acres and features a beautiful fountain, koi pond, dwarf conifer collection, monuments, flower gardens and perennial borders. In the summer, it’s home to Shakespeare in the Park. Productions are top notch and full-fledged picnic spreads are highly encouraged.
44 Broad St., Westerly, 596-2877, ext. 334, westerlylibrary.org.

Watch Hill Lighthouse
While the lighthouse itself is closed to the public, the lighthouse museum is open seasonally for exploration. The breathtaking view of the ocean is worth the trip itself. This piece of Rhode Island history is a great place to take a date or enjoy some time with the family.
65 Atlantic Ave., Westerly, 348-8200.

Westerly Armory
Constructed in 1901 and just one of eighteen historic armories in the state, the armory was once used by the National Guard. Nowadays, it’s home to the People’s Museum, which holds a wide variety of military artifacts and memorabilia. Make an appointment for a free tour on a Monday or Thursday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a chance to witness history up close.
8 Dixon St., Westerly, 596-8554, westerlyarmory.com.

Weekapaug Inn
While the first iteration may have been destroyed during the 1938 hurricane, the Weekapaug Inn we know today (which was rebuilt just a year later in 1939) has one of the strongest followings around. The inn not only has top rate rooms and waterfront views, but also a recently renovated dining room that’s open to the public and offers exquisitely prepared meals by executive chef Devin Bozkaya. For an authentic Westerly experience, make a reservation this summer for a Thursday night clambake, complete with lawn games and toasted s’mores by the fire pit.
25 Spray Rock Rd., Westerly, 855-679-2995, weekapauginn.com.

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