My parents vacation on the southwestern portion of Rhode Island right along the border of Connecticut every summer. This year while I was road tripping along the coast I decided to stop and see what it’s all about, checking out all of their favorite spots and adding in a bit of my own flair. Quaint, laid back, and quirky – I can definitely see the appeal to the area.
Fantastic Umbrella Factory, 4820 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813
I did see a bamboo maze, three emus, and a make your own sand art station. I did not see one umbrella. This is a strange and wonderful menagerie. There are a collection of funky shops to browse.
A café. The garden is sporadically scattered with interesting sculptures.
Chickens run amuck and if you make your way to the petting zoo you’ll see goats, and the emus – including one male named Lily.
Listen for the bizarre tapping noise they make. Nearby is the entrance to that mystical bamboo maze, which is dark even if it is sunny, and holds treasures just waiting to be discovered.
Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, 50 Bend Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813
The song remains the same of this summer season is, buggy. Put on some spray to enjoy the day. The quiet woodsy trail was full of singing birds and bunnies as the sun was starting to set. There are just under 5 miles of trails in the preserve, but we only had time for the Foster Cover Nature Trail, just under 1 mile – an easy and tranquil walk.
Misquamacut Beach, 257 Atlantic Ave, Westerly, RI 02891
The beach was clean, water was warm enough to swim, and waves were mild perfect for body surfing. It was a bit more crowded than I am used to and the entrance fee was a bit pricey on the weekend, but I am always happy to add a salty element to the day.
Malted Barley, 42 High St, Westerly, RI 02891
Craft beer and soft pretzels are the name of the game. The ambiance is lively, but casual. You can find salads with pretzel croutons, pretzel sandwiches, and dessert pretzels.
You know what you really want, though, is a true soft pretzel. They come in all kind of variations including mozz & tomato stuffed with pesto on the side and chipotle pepper & smoked gouda stuffed. We went with the jalapeno & cheddar stuffed.
The dips are a whole other topic. On two completely different ends of the spectrum we went for spinach & artichoke dip + apricot butter. They were both impeccable. There is also a location in Providence, RI. Be prepared to wait at prime time!