What makes for a favorite Rhode Island beach? Is it miles of rock-free sand or miles of ample parking? Is it the hottest snack shack french fries or the hottest bikinis? The biggest waves or the biggest sandcastles?
For me, it’s miles of sandy beaches and protected conservation area dotted with sea stars and the occasional sand dollar. Swim among the wild waves of the open ocean or float serenely in the calm bay. It’s piping plovers and wild turkeys (yes, wild turkeys!) playing in the miles of sandy dunes and lush vegetation. To date, my favorite Rhode Island beach is East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island.
How to Get There: Located in Ninigret Conservation Area off East Beach Rd. Charlestown Rhode Island 02813. Take Rte. 1 to East Beach Rd. Follow to end. State parking lot is at very end of dirt road. Caution: there may be severe potholes on dirt road!
Parking: State Beach Parking Fees Apply. During the busy summer season, parking spaces are very limited for this popular destination. Arrive early (before 9am) or late (after 3pm) to get a spot.
Bathing & swimming areas: Choose from the large sandy shore along the ocean or the narrow sand path along Ninigret salt pond.
Safety: Riptides are common along the ocean side. Abide by daily warnings and swim with caution.
Restrooms:4 Clivus Mostrum Composting Toilets (environmentally friendly!)
Camping: Sites for self-contained units only. No pets allowed. Two primitive areas with access by a sand trail requiring four-wheel drive and CRMC permit.
4WD Access: Permits available. Call for details
Food: Snack shack located in private parking area south of main parking lot. In addition, The Hitching Post is a road-side clam shack located a 5 minute drive from East Beach, off rte. 1 just north of East Beach Rd.
Pets: Not allowed any time April 30 – Sept. 1.
Contact: East Beach (seasonal) – (401) 322-0450