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Rhode Island Beaches

Image of Narragansett beach

It’s summer time in Rhode Island and the Legal Beagle is ready to hit the beach with a picnic, iced coffee, and a beach chair! The Beagle may be found in said chair, in a few inches of water with a legal thriller in hand.  

Rhode Island’s nickname is the Ocean State--there are over 400 miles of coastline on Narragansett Bay. With all that coastline comes a lot of beaches and the “best” beach is a hot debate.  

Many Rhode Island beaches are open to the public, run by the State or the city/town where the beach is located. State beaches are free to walk on all year but require parking passes in summer. The State operates eight beaches throughout Rhode Island--all on the west bay – Narragansett south to Westerly. These beaches all have lifeguards and amenities such as snack bars, showers and bathrooms. If you plan to go a few times or check out all eight, a season pass will save you money. Please note that while season passes can be bought online, they can only be purchased in person at Scarborough in Narragansett.  

Town and city beaches are all over Rhode Island, with wide ranging personalities and ecosystems. Warren, Bristol, Portsmouth, Middletown, Little Compton all have beaches - and many more do too! Costs vary so make sure to check it out before you go.  

Here are a few of the Legal Beagle’s favorites to get you started!  

East Matunuck State Beach is a sandy crescent perfect for a long walk and boat watching. The beach is one of the most beautiful with soft sand and a long coastline, it features a modern pavilion powered by wind and solar. Most days there are plenty of waves for body surfing (Tip: Stop at Job Lot and grab a boogie board). 

Narragansett Town Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches with sweeping views over the bay. Next to the beach is a long beach wall with plenty of people watching. Narragansett Beach is another great place to body surf and if the waves line up right, the surfers will be out. Daily surf lessons are available in the south parking lot.  The beach has lots of evening events (movies, music, food trucks). (Tip: Take the walk down to the narrow river – you will know you are there because the beach will end. There you will find warmer water and current to ride.) 

Easton’t Beach (First Beach)  is Newport’s largest beach and is at the start of the Cliff Walk. This beach has every amenity you could want, including an aquarium.  

Rhode Island also has “secret” beaches, a great way to explore and cool off. Finally, many beaches offer yoga – generally the beach entry is free, but the class is not. Here are a few around Newport and Middletown.

Happy Beaching and don’t forget the sunscreen!  

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