Eight reasons to visit Misquamicut State Beach before the end of summer

As summer comes to an end, spend some of your last free days on Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, Rhode Island. It’s close to a lot of Connecticut residents, and even if it’s a bit farther for you, this beach is definitely worth an hour drive for a full day of sand, sun and surf. If you’re not convinced, here’s a few reasons Misquamicut is worth it. 

1. The drive

Driving into the beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island, you’ll see the sights of summer: Little cottages lining the road, beach roses in bloom and tourists on bicycles pedaling through town. And that’s just on the way to the beach. When you leave, drive through the Watch Hill neighborhood to see some of the summer homes of the more well-to-do (hello, Taylor Swift). Or, take a walk through the main street to visit some shops, ride the carousel or see the outside of the Ocean House, an elegant hotel that overlooks the ocean.

2. The ocean 

Unlike Connecticut beaches, which are on Long Island Sound, Rhode Island beaches are on the Atlantic Ocean’s open waters. This means that you’ll get some waves that are perfect for boogie boarding or bodysurfing. Additionally, the water is usually pretty clear; and there isn’t too much seaweed. 

3. The sand

You won’t find too many rocks and pebbles on Misquamicut Beach. Of course, some areas as you enter the surf are going to be a little bit gravelly, but overall, the sand is soft and smooth. Even when you go into the ocean, the sand underfoot is smooth, so you won’t need water shoes to be able to enjoy the ocean. 

4. The facilities

Misquamicut State Beach has a nice, clean pavilion with bathrooms, changing rooms and warm showers. There’s also a snack bar and ice cream stand right in the parking lot. For a $12 parking fee (for out-of-state residents), it’s completely worth it to get some friends together and go to the beach for a day. 

5. The walk

Though the state beach itself is quite large, beachgoers can walk all the way down the beach to the Watch Hill neighborhood. It’s a long walk, but it will give you and a friend a chance to chat and exercise while seeing some of the fancy houses of the wealthy residents of Watch Hill. And guess whose big white mansion is at the end of the beach? That’s right: Taylor Swift’s. 

6. The stores

Just outside the parking lot of Misquamicut are several surf shops. Not only do they sell necessities like sunscreen and beach chairs, the stores sell knickknacks and apparel that you can buy to remind you of your great time at this particular beach. Sweatshirts, ankle bracelets and hermit crabs are all common offerings at these little stores. 

7. The ice cream

No trip to the beach is complete without ice cream. There’s an ice cream vendor right in the parking lot at Misquamicut, but there’s also other cute little ice cream and food stands along the beach and the main road, Atlantic Avenue. The Little Mermaid (which has picnic tables right on the beach) and Beach Bums (a roadside walk-up counter) are just some of the vendors that offer lunch and dessert to beachgoers. 

8. The beach vibes

Though it is sometimes crowded on a busy day, Misquamicut is a beautiful beach. The warm sun on your face is relaxing and the view of the crashing waves will definitely put you in a summer state of mind. Whether you’re soaking up the sun or sitting under the shade of your beach umbrella, you’ll feel both at ease and re-energized.


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.