Travel Destinations

Jamestown, RI

A picture perfect town for nature lovers and history buffs

New England
View of the Beavertail Lighthouse from the water, located in Jamestown, RI. The lighthouse sits atop a rocky coastline and overlooks the ocean.
Beavertail Light from the water |Credit Wikimedia Commons

The weather-beaten rock might be familiar to some as the set of Wes Anderson’s 2012 movie Moonrise Kingdom. Visitors to the island can see the striking Conanicut Island lighthouse but should not neglect the island’s other star, historic Jamestown.

Conanicut Island is a nine-mile-long formation at the mouth of Narragansett Bay, between Narragansett and Little Compton. Visiting Jamestown, RI, is like vacationing in a time warp. The main street is partitioned by a stop sign, and timeless cedar-shingled buildings dapple the island.

The southernmost state park is home to the country’s third oldest lighthouse, which was reconstructed after being burned during the American Revolution. Traversing the island’s roads are low stone walls, reminiscent of the island’s farming history. Working farms are open for tours in the Windmill Hill Historic District, named for a mill built in 1787 that is still standing today.

Locals list Beavertail Lighthouse and the World War II forts on the island as the top attractions for tourists. Fort Wetherill, made colorful by layers of spray paint, sits atop a hill at the eponymous state park. The facilities here were used during the war as a training camp and battery defense, and now offer trails to stunning cliff-top views of Newport Harbor. You can even explore the old buildings in the fort yourself.

Fort Getty is at a lower elevation and has waterfront campgrounds gazing out at Dutch Island Lighthouse. Heading south from Fort Wetherill to Fort Getty is Mackerel Cove. Another Anderson feature, this beach is very popular for its cliff jumping, scuba diving and calm waters. Continuing in the same direction, at the southernmost point of the island, is Beavertail State Park, home to the lighthouse, adjoining museum and coastal hiking trails. Other popular beaches include Head’s Beach and Sunset Beach, toward the northern end of the island.

Whatever your fancy, a day on the water, hiking or taking in the history of your surroundings, a visit to Jamestown will take you to main street to rent bikes and kayaks or sample delicious brews and seafood. A weekend visit to this island gem will leave you refreshed and eager to return for more.


A group of boats docked in Jamestown, RI. The boats are tied to the pier and surrounded by water, with other boats visible in the background.
Jamestown | credit stevegeer from Getty Images Signature

TPG Conanicut Marina


Located steps from the main street, this is a perfectly placed marina. Both slips and moorings are available along with shower and restroom facilities for a day trip or longer stays.

TPG Dutch Harbor Boatyard


On the opposite side of the island from TPG Conanicut, Dutch Harbor is a full-service boatyard with a large mooring field.

Safe Harbor Jamestown Boatyard


Nestled among scenic granite bluffs along Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, James- town Boatyard offers a large mooring field, amenities and a first-class service facility.


Zeek’s Creek Bait & Tackle


Serving the freshest seafood on the island and located in the marsh with the backdrop of the suspension bridge, Zeek’s is a humble but fulfilling shack and dining experience.

Slice of Heaven


Enjoy delicious baked goods in a sun-filled dining room. Slice of Heaven also has ample outdoor seating along main street for breakfast or lunch.

Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe


A friendly and homey bakery and pizza place a few blocks off main street. Savor your soups, sandwiches and pastries on their verdant patio.

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