By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. The long, sandy beaches are a large – not the only – part of the story of Rhode Island’s South County. Start with the big guns: Scarborough, Misquamicut, Narragansett, Charlestown, and Matunuck beaches, featuring lots of open sand, some surfing, equipment rentals, and pavilions with plenty of summer food. Sea captains stand at alert to take visitors on a variety of fishing, diving, sightseeing, and nature charters and cruises.
Ninigret Pond is a starkly beautiful inland saltwater pond with a breachway to the ocean; Burlingame State Park offers forested campsites around Watchaug Pond. Visitors who can pull themselves away from the beaches should make a visit to stroll the wonderful pathways and gardens of the Victorian-era Wilcox Park in the southern town of Westerly, where open-air concerts and Shakespeare plays are a staple of summer offerings. Area museums include South County Museum; the birthplace of Gilbert Stuart, the portrait painter who produced one of the most famous images of George Washington; and Smith's Castle, the waterfront Colonial-era home of one of the state’s earliest traders.
It is also good fun to roam around the towns of Galilee and Point Judith, to watch busy, active fishing ports at work. Seasonal events include the popular Charlestown Seafood Festival and the Washington County Fair. Lodgings in this area range from bed-and-breakfasts to campgrounds and waterfront motels.