"Just As You Remember It"
Westerly is a quaint town nearly surrounded by water and filled with exclusive neighborhoods that bring Norman Rockwell paintings to mind. The Pawcatuck River, great for kayaking and salt water fly fishing, winds its way around the north and west of town, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The southern border of town is the Atlantic Ocean, which fills two sheltering bodies of water – Winnapaug Pond and Quonochontaug Pond. They both afford great protected mooring spots while still allowing ocean access. It’s no surprise Westerly is home to more than 10 marinas, including the Westerly Yacht Club and Marina.
The train station is no more than 4 miles from any point in town, offering easy access from New York and Providence for year-round commuters or summer vacationers. In fact, Westerly been a favorite seaside vacation spot for more than 100 years. Groucho Marx, Isadora Duncan, David Niven, Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks were all drawn to the beauty and privacy of the Village of Watch Hill.
This seaside retreat is the most exclusive neighborhood, an old community of historic gabled Victorians and oceanfront beach homes with vast lawns rolling down to the water. Watch Hill has a private beach association and is home to the Misquamicut Club, a private golf course, and theWatch Hill Yacht Club, established in 1913. In the summer residents enjoy windswept Watch Hill Beach, Napatree Point and the historic Flying Horse Carousel.
Next door is the fabled Misquamicut beach community with seven miles of unspoiled sandy beaches plus family fun and excitement. That includes amusement parks with a carousel, mini-golf, go-carts, batting cages, kiddy rides, Water Slides, movies on the beach and Jet Skis for rent. Misquamacut is a great jumping off point for deep sea fishing charters or a 12 mile jaunt to Block Island. For grownups, there’s the Winnapaug Country Club and Pond View Country Club. Diverse dining and nightlife opportunities flourish, from clam shacks to luxurious gourmet with a seaside view.
A little further east on Route 1A is the neighborhood of Weekapaug, a private community of lovely beach estates. Uniquely located at the end of Winnapaug Pond, a saltwater tidal pond, the view from here encompasses the pond, the barrier beach, and the Atlantic Ocean with Block Island in the distance. The private beach is protected from any development and is home to the Weekapaug Yacht Club.
The neighboring pond is Quonochontaug Pond (affectionately called Quonnie) and home to Shelter Harbor, a peaceful community nestled in another protected cove. A mix of architecture dots the landscape while residents enjoy the private Shelter Harbor Beach Association. Just north is the village of Haversham with small estates and a beach association on Quonnie Pond.
The exclusive Shelter Harbor Golf Club lies in both Westerly and Charlestown, offering challenging golf amid 400 acres of open space with a permanent prohibition on development. It’s the first new private course built in Washington County in over 100 years.
Quonochontaug Pond also extends east into the quiet town of Charlestown, split in two by Route 1 and offering protected pond-front real estate. South of Route 1 are the beautiful private sandy oceanfront beaches of East Beach and Central Beach with associations and tennis courts. Shady Harbor is a popular Charlestown neighborhood offering waterfront property and a private beach association on the pond.
Right next to Quonnie is Ninigret Pond, renowned as one of New England’s best wind surfing areas. There is also a town beach here, called Charlestown Beach. Foster Cove, a favorite neighborhood on Ninigret, offers a mix of cottagy beachfront properties. All of Ninigret Pond is protected from the ocean by the beach breakwater that allows ocean access through the Charlestown Breachway. This remote, unspoiled barrier beach has sugar-white sand, gentle surf and clear, turquoise waters.
The town-owned Ninigret Park has a pretty family beach at the spring-fed pond, a playground, tennis courts, a nature center, an astronomical observatory, a health/exercise track and a criterium bicycle racing course. In the summer, Charlestown hosts the famous Seafood Festival, one the top ten on the East Coast, as well as the Big Apple Circus.
Miles of coastal inlets and conservation centers make Westerly and Charlestown wonderful spots for raising families and exploring nature, either from your new home or a summer rental cottage.