NARRAGANSETT — Narragansett was recently named among the top three coastal towns in the country by travel website Big 7 Travel. In its write-up of the town, Big 7 Travel cited Narragansett’s recreational opportunities, beaches, history and seafood as reasons for the distinction.
“Narragansett is the total package,” the website reads. “It’s got incredible surf, some of the best beach bars on the East Coast, loads of history and, dare we say, the best seafood in New England. Perfect for foodie travelers, history buffs or leisure enthusiasts, it’s impossible not to have a great time here. Be sure to head to the historic Coast Guard House for the best views of Narragansett Bay and don’t skimp on the local oyster platters.”
Narragansett was ranked the third best coastal town in the U.S. in the recent list, which ranked the top 50 coastal towns throughout the country. Nantucket, Mass. came in at number two and Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. took the number-one spot.
Narragansett is 15 miles long and one mile wide, a narrow stretch of a town that contains a number of popular beaches and restaurants, making the area a top tourist and summer destination in the state. Narragansett Town Beach, with its pavilions and proximity to the Narragansett Seawall and Historic Towers, is considered not just one of the best beaches in Rhode Island, but in New England. The town is also home to three state beaches — Salty Brine State Beach, Roger Wheeler State Beach and Scarborough State Beach. Because of its coastal nature, Narragansett has been a staple of the Rhode Island surfing scene since the 1960s.
“The words flow easily from folks, ‘charming,’ ‘picturesque,’ ‘historic,’ ‘clean,’ ‘well-kept,’ ‘welcoming,’ ‘timeless,’ ‘calming,’ ‘relaxing,’ ‘healthy,’ ‘artistic,’ ‘family-friendly,’ ‘classy,’ ‘classic,’ ‘quintessentially New England,’ ‘fresh seafood’ and it goes on,” said Peg Fradette, Narragansett Chamber of Commerce Operations Manager. “During our 2020 COVID year, what better place was there to be stuck? Can we throw in unbelievably, ‘lucky’ for those of us who live here?”
“The ones who really delight us the most are those who are new to Narragansett and/or who ‘just happened to pull into town’ and find themselves in the Pier,” Fradette continued. “They look at the Towers, our Seawall, our stunningly beautiful Town Beach and our surfers and are in awe. We take it from there and encourage them to visit our unique “neighborhoods” from Mariner Square to Boon Street to the North End and of course Pt. Judith & Galilee. In all of these places they get a taste of Narragansett, not just with sweatshirts, memorabilia, food and drink, but also for our residents who really love where they live.”
The town also features many recreational opportunities, including tennis, bocce and pickleball courts, movies on the beach, concerts, an amusement park, a number of town-maintained parks and playgrounds, fireworks displays, road races, festivals, museums, historical sites and tours and summer camps. “Narragansett” is taken from the Narragansett Indian Tribe, who settled the land before English colonists purchased it in 1658 and 1659. “Narragansett” roughly translates to “people of the small point.”
“Narragansett’s quaint small-town feel is greatly enhanced by the beautiful, historic architecture and expansive open spaces that remain,” said Shirley Eastham, Narragansett Historical Society President. “The wonderful beaches and scenic beauty are a delight to the senses. The history of Narragansett is as vivid and varied as any place we know of — more so, we believe. For centuries it was the home of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. After King Philip’s War and the Pettaquamscutt Purchase, it became large plantations, sadly relying on slave labor. The Narragansett Pacer horse and Narragansett cheese were major products produced here and shipped around the world. After slavery was abolished, it became smaller farms and fishing villages. but still prosperous.”
To read the full Big 7 Travel “50 best coastal towns in the U.S.” list, please visit bigseventravel.com/best-coastal-towns-united-states/.
Photo courtesy Narragansett.gov