Scarborough Beach - Narragansett - Rhode Island

7 of the Friendliest Towns in Rhode Island

Admitted to the Union in 1790, the state of Rhode Island is an integral part of the famed New England region of America. The smallest state by area, the historic intrigue and natural splendor of Rhode Island is however very big in scope and any traveller looking to discover some of the very of the USA will not want to pass by. Indeed many of the State’s splendid and friendly towns are full of stunning coastal views, fascinating histories, and loads of small town charm. This treasure of the northeastern United States is always a fun place to experience and when in these towns a desire to return will surely be present.


Mill Pond in Harrisville, Rhode Island
Mill Pond in Harrisville, Rhode Island

Listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places, the small town of Harrisville is the home of just under 1,800 inhabitants. Indeed a visit to this splendid and friendly place will bring back visitors through several centuries worth of architectural styles. Explore the many 18th, 19th, and early 20th century buildings, all while enjoying the quaint feeling of small town America. And with a great assortment of tasty local restaurants, family run businesses, and several fascinating regional museums, Harrisville is indeed a most pleasant stopover. In addition, outdoor lovers can enjoy such fun activities like hiking and biking at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor for a perfect weekend escapade.


Street view in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, via Jimmy Emerson on Flickr
Street view in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, via Jimmy Emerson on Flickr

Founded in 1757, Hopkinton is another great historic Rhode Island town where fascinating stories of the past meet with splendid natural surroundings. Home to just over 8,000 residents, much of the town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and tourists will never be short on interesting locales to explore. Visit such sites like the 18th century Black Farm, or the Bradford Village Historic District amongst many others. Meanwhile awesome opportunities for biking, camping, and hiking can be enjoyed at the Arcadia Management Area State Park, while some of the striking and scenic vistas are the norm at the Narragansett Trail Trailhead. Indeed whether it is appreciating the natural views or learning more about early American history, the town of Hopkinton never disappoints.


 Bell School Richmond Historical Society, By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
 Bell School Richmond Historical Society, By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, File:Richmond Historical Society, Bell School, Richmond RI.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

From historic landmarks to charming small town amenities, and wonderful natural vistas, the town of Richmond is undoubtedly one of Rhode Island’s most splendid places. Situated in Washington County and home to just over 8,000 residents, visitors will never find a shortage of great local restaurants, boutique shops, and intriguing museums here while its nearby green spaces and lakes guarantee a good time. In addition the history lover will most certainly appreciate Richmond and its series of historic villages which include Arcadia, Tug Hollow and Hillsdale. Here a genuine step back in time sheds insight into the foundational years of one of the original Thirteen Colonies, all while in a most stunning lakeside and forested area.


Aerial view of Jamestown
Aerial view of Jamestown

Established in the mid 17th century, Jamestown is one of Rhode Island’s oldest colonial settlements. Today the home of nearly 6,000 inhabitants, the historic town is truly one of the State’s most fascinating and beautiful places. Located on Conanicut Island (which forms part of Narragansett Bay) and including the smaller islands of Dutch and Gould, a number of intriguing and historically significant landmarks can be explored.

Visit the Beavertail Lighthouse (1856), the Conanicut Battery, Fort Getty, the Jamestown Archeological District, or the Windmill Hill Historic District, amongst many others for a veritable feeling of time travel. In addition as an island town, truly stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean are always in full supply, while charming structures like the aforementioned Beavertail Lighthouse create a most beautiful frame.

New Shoreham

Block Island North Light Lighthouse in New Shoreham Rhode Island
Block Island North Light Lighthouse in New Shoreham Rhode Island

New Shoreham was incorporated in the year 1672 and remains Rhode Island’s southernmost settlement. Indeed with its totally splendid ocean panoramas (including Block Island), New Shoreham is a small piece of paradise in the heart of New England. Explore such landmarks like the South East Lighthouse and the Mohegan Bluffs Lookout, where beautiful green rolling hills and brilliant Atlantic Ocean waters sparkle. Meanwhile trips to the several beach areas in town are always popular, where swimming, sailing, and even just simple sunbathing can all be enjoyed in a most friendly and welcoming atmosphere.


coastline beaches scenes at narragansett rhode island
Coastline scenes in Narragansett, Rhode Island

Situated along a narrow strip of the Pettaquamscutt River, the charming town of Narragansett was first incorporated in the year 1901. Today home to a population of nearly 14,500, this popular tourist destination is indeed one of Rhode Island’s prettiest and friendliest places. With its famed golden sandy beaches thousand of visitors descend on this town every year. Here wonderful opportunities for fun on the water including swimming and sailing make sure Narragansett is always in high demand.

Meanwhile the history afficionado will also enjoy a visit here, where an assortment of places are included on the National Register of Historic Places. These include the Point Judith Lighthouse (constructed in 1857) and The Towers, a castle resembling gate that was completed in 1883. And of course many great park areas (including Fishermen’s Memorial State Park), tasty local eateries, and great shopping outlets round out this Rhode Island treasure of a town.


Kirch–Ford House in Warren, By Zeete - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Kirch–Ford House in Warren, By Zeete - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, File:1 Reinman Road, Warren Township, NJ - area view.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

With a foundational history dating back to 1680, the historic town of Warren is indeed a most special place of intrigue and natural beauty. Home to a modern population of just over 11,000 inhabitants, the town is situated on the Warren River’s eastern bank and is truly ideal for quiet encounters with nature and slow strolls along the water. Enjoy the East Bay Bike Path that beautifully crosses a section of town and then make your way down to the Waterfront Historic District, where a range of 18th and 18th century edifices populate the landscape.

And naturally with a charming assortment of local shops, tasty eatery options, and fascinating galleries and small museums, Warren never really disappoints. Whether it is exploring some colonial history or simply taking in the sights and sounds of pristine nature, this friendly and welcoming Rhode Island is always a place to return to.

What the State of Rhode Island may lack in size it makes up for with plenty of heart, stunning natural geography, and loads of fascinating American history. For the young and old, for the adventuresome tourist, or for the traveller looking to take it easy, these friendly and beautiful Rhode Island towns should not be missed. From the beaches of Narragansett to the very historic Jamestown, time spent in these towns is not only a close encounter with the beautiful “Ocean State”, but an authentic experience of genuine Americana.

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