Seven unique villages nestled along fifteen miles of Narragansett Bay’s western edge give Narragansett an extraordinary amount of coastline, offering Rhode Island waterfront real estate for every taste as well as stunning ocean sunrises.
Narragansett’s population of only 16,000 gives it a definite ‘know-your-neighbor’ feel within a rich architectural history. The elegance and style you see here dates back to Narragansett’s ‘Gilded Age’ in the late 1800s when it was host to 19 major Victorian resorts, including the Rockingham Hotel and the still-standing Narragansett Towers on scenic Ocean Road. At that time, Narragansett Pier Casino functioned as the heart of social life in town, offering boating and other sports, a ballroom, stores, theater and bandstand. Today, the Towers host weddings and dinners, while overlooking the now-world-famous Crescent Beach. And the Narragansett Pier area is now home to beautifuloceanfront resort homes.
In Narragansett you’ll find a bounty of p ristine beaches, rivers, coves and inlets to explore, including three state beaches – Salty Brine beach, Scarborough beach, Roger Wheeler beach – and a town beach considered the best by many locals. In addition, the Great Salt Pond and Narrow River offers plentiful opportunities for kayaking, boating, fishing and relaxing.
Perhaps Narragansett’s most well-known landmark is the Point Judith Lighthouse standing watch over the vacation and rental cottages at the town’s southern tip on the western entrance to the Narragansett Bay. Thanks to coastal storms, the original 1810 wooden tower was blown over in 1816, a replacement stone tower lasted until 1857, when the current more powerfully-built octagonal tower was erected. Point Judith is also the place to hop aboard the ferry to Block Island.
Narragansett’s marine heritage is showcased in Galilee’s cottages and commerce. It’s a working New England fishing village where you can watch the fishermen unloading their catch almost anytime. Sign on for a whale watching tour or a fishing charter or take the do-it-yourself approach and go quahogging with the locals. Summer’s annual Blessing of the Fleet is a must-see colorful parade of commercial and recreational vessels along the wharf.
Narragansett is also home to Great Salt Pond, location of the two island communities of Harbour Island and Great Island. Here you’ll find relaxed neighborhoods of evolving island architecture, historical cottages and numerous docks awaiting the arrival of all sorts of watercraft. Just ashore from the islands is the Scarborough Hills neighborhood of beach and rental cottages, as well as Fisherman’s Memorial State Park and Scarborough State Beach, a 26-acre facility with more than 2300 feet of beach frontage. At the newly renovated pavilion you can shower, grab a quick snack or even rent observation glasses!
Thanks to the abundance of coastline and Bonnet Shore’s unique peninsula shape, oceanfront and pond-front vacation homes are easy to find in this neighborhood. Condos, cabins, cottages and villas – nearly every type of vacation home is here. Bonnet Shores also has a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach offering great cove swimming and the private Bonnet Shores Beach Association.
In fact, many people discover Narragansett while renting a summer cottage, then become summer residents, transitioning to year-round homeowners as the salt air and casual lifestyle work their way into your heart.
The coastline also makes Narragansett a natural spot for URI’s Bay Campus/ Graduate School of Oceanography, one of the top five oceanographic institutions in the country and the academic and research home to Explorer Robert Ballard, discoverer of the sunken Titanic. The University also attracts a vibrant international student community working through the tourist season.
For all its natural beauty and opportunities to live and work on Narragansett Bay, the town is convenient to both Boston and New York, 15 minutes from the Kingston Amtrak station or a short drive to TF Green State Airport. A quick jaunt over the bridges takes you to Jamestown and Newport activities.