Logo   Watch Hill, Rhode Island Travel Guide
Visitors flock to Rhode Island's wonderful South County beaches, ignoring picturesque Watch Hill, a graceful Victorian town with fine beaches, a lighthouse, an antique carousel, a grand hotel and...Taylor Swift.


Watch Hill, a genteel late-19th-century Rhode Island town at the end of a peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pawcatuck River (map), is a sort of Newport-in-miniature: stately old homes (grand, but not palatial), yachts in the harbor (expensive, but not priceless), and a quiet gentility.

Then there's singer Taylor Swift, who owns an 11,000-square-foot (1022-square-meter), 8-bedroom "summer cottage" in the town.

Most visitors in search of a fine South County beach in Rhode Island rush to the better-known state beaches at Misquamicut, Point Judith and Narragansett Pier.

Watch Hill has several fine beaches, a historic lighthouse, an antique carousel, decent restaurants, a restored grand hotel, and a quiet, refined ambience.

What it doesn't have is...parking. Its 19th-century streets and lanes are narrow, real estate is expensive, and the general feeling is one of exclusivity: if you don't own a home here or rent a villa or apartment longer-term, well, there's not enough room for you.

(Of course, if you're Taylor Swift, you can scoop up a fine hilltop mansion for just under $18 million and use it on weekends.)

Except for the wonderful but expensive Ocean House, there are few lodgings for those wishing to stay a night or two. More...

Parking in Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Bay Street in Watch Hill RI.

But it is precisely these limits and prohibitions to discourage visitors that help to preserve Watch Hill's special atmosphere.

Watch Hill's things to see and do are limited, but enjoyable.

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do

Watch Hill Hotels

Watch Hill Restaurants

Watch Hill Transportation

Point Judith & Port Galilee

About South County RI

Newport RI

Connecticut Shoreline

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Lighthouse, Watch Hill  RI

Above, Watch Hill Lighthouse RI.

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