With its seaside towns and Colonial history, Rhode Island is one of the many picturesque New England states filled with beaches galore. White sands, sparkling blue waters, kayaking and boating, sightseeing and whale watching, these stunning beach towns in Rhode Island are some of the best you’ll find. Whether you’re looking to move to Rhode Island or want to relocate to a quaint coastal city, there are plenty of options to check out in the state.
But if you’re not sure where to start on your hunt for the best Rhode Island beach town, we’re here to help. From Bristol to Newport, Redfin has compiled a list of 10 of the top beach towns in Rhode Island. Let’s explore some of the state’s beaches, listed in alphabetical order, and you might just be tempted to move there.
Starting off is Bristol, home to roughly 22,100 people. There are plenty of beaches to explore while in Bristol such as Bristol Town Beach, Juniper Trail Beach, and Walley Street Beach. Living in Bristol, you can also explore Colt State Park, visit one of the many museums like Blithewold Mansion Gardens & Arboretum or Herreshoff Marine Museum, and stroll through Bristol’s downtown.
Another one of Rhode Island’s great coastal towns to consider buying a home in is Charlestown. Even with just about 1,400 people residents, there are plenty of beaches to visit like Charlestown Beach, East Beach, Elbow Beach, and West Beach. Make sure to also check out the natural areas like Burlingame State Park and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge.
Jamestown has just about 5,400 residents and there are lots of beaches to explore on a warm Rhode Island day like Mackerel Cove Beach and Sunset Beach. If you find yourself moving to Jamestown, make sure to check out Beaver State Park, hike at Parker Farm, and explore downtown Jamestown.
#4: Little Compton
With beautiful beaches like Lloyd’s Beach, South Shore Beach, and Tappens Beach, there are countless places to spend a beach day in Little Compton. There are roughly 3,500 residents in Little Compton, making this a quaint area to live. Make sure to also visit the Sakonnet Garden during the summer months if you decide on moving to Little Compton.
The charming coastal town of Middletown has about 16,100 residents, making it a great place to consider moving to. You’ll find beautiful beaches such as Atlantic Beach, Peabody’s Beach, Pebble Beach, Second Beach, Surfer’s End, and Third Beach. Living in Middletown, you can explore the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, check out the shops and restaurants, and golf at one of the courses.
The town of Narragansett has about 15,500 residents and is a great spot to consider buying a home in. Some beaches you can visit are Bonnet Shores Beach, Kelly Beach, Narragansett Town Beach, Roger Wheeler State Beach, Salty Brine State Beach, and Scarborough South State Beach. Make sure to visit the Point Judith Lighthouse, hike along the Blackpoint Trailhead, and check out the local shops and restaurants if you move to Narragansett.
#7: New Shoreham
With a population of about 1,000, New Shoreham, located on Block Island, is an awesome coastal area to live in. There are plenty of beaches to explore – Black Rock Beach, Crescent Beach, Frederick J. Benson Town Beach, Mansion Beach, Scott Beach, and Vaill Beach. If you’re going to call this area home, plan time to visit the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Sacred Labyrinth, hike the Clay Head Nature Trail, and explore downtown New Shoreham.
In Newport, you’ll find stunning beaches such as Bailey Beach, Belmont Beach, Easton Beach, and Gooseberry Beach, perfect for a picnic. Make sure to check out the Ocean Drive Historic District, explore Fort Adams State Park, and visit the many museums and historical landmarks in the city once living in Newport.
Close to 10,600 people live in Warren where you’ll find beaches like Warren Town Beach. Some other fun activities to do in Warren include strolling through downtown, grabbing a bite at one of the local spots, and exploring Audubon Touisset Marsh Wildlife Refuge.
This coastal town has a population of 17,800 and there are lots of beaches to spend time outside at. In Westerly, you can visit East Beach, Dunes Park Beach, Misquamicut State Beach, and Westerly Town Beach. There’s plenty to do on an afternoon or weekend in Westerly, like visiting Napatree Point Conservation Area and the nearby Watch Hill Lighthouse, exploring the shops and parks in downtown Westerly, and spending the day checking out Woody Hill Management Area.
Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the beach towns in Rhode Island. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during June 2023. Average rental data from Rent.com June 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.