Summer Guide – Day Trips

North Kingstown: Soak in the History

Much more than just a summer destination

The Bay Magazine ·

Go Antiquing
To antique pros, North Kingstown is a must-visit destination. The concentration of antique and estate shops around Post Road is unmatched in the state. Spend your morning turning old things into new home decorations at stores like Re Antiques and Interiors, Antique Furnishings and Once in a Blue Moon Antiques. Each shop has its own personality: Re offers a small, highly curated inventory from estate sales, whereas Antique Furnishings does authentic restorations of period furnishings. Re: 7512 Post Road. 401-667-5996, Blue Moon: 7535 Post Road. 401-295-9085, Antique Furnishings: 355 Compass Circle. 401-667-2646,

Seafaring Fare
When you’re looking for small town charm, head to Wickford, a village of North Kingstown, which is so perfectly New England that John Updike used it as inspiration for The Witches of Eastwick. Here, stop for lunch at Tavern by the Sea, which has New England cuisine by way of the Mediterranean, and expansive waterfront decks to enjoy it on. 16 West Main Street. 401-294-5771,

Explore Wickford
The main area of Wickford, centered on Main Street and Brown Street, is ideal for spending an afternoon strolling and shopping. Pamper yourself at Beauty and the Bath, get unique home touches at Blue Hydrangea, stock up on natural, locally made skincare at JAVA Skin Care, find fun jewelry and handmade art at J.W. Graham and Yes! Gallery. Gossip sells stylish boho women’s clothing and accessories. Green Ink has been selling unique women’s clothing and accessories since 1972. If you’d rather burn off lunch in a more active way, The Kayak Centre offers kayak instruction and guided group tours around Wickford Harbor and beyond. Beauty and the Bath: 11 West Main Street. 401-294-3576, Blue Hydrangea: 2 Main Street. 401-295-2583, JAVA: 14 Main Street. 866-609-3258, J.W. Graham: 26 Brown Street. 401-295-0757, Gossip: 16 Brown Street. 401-294-7333, Green Ink: 89 Brown Street. 401-294-6266, Kayak Centre: 9 Phillips Street. 401-295-4400,

Visit History
If you’d rather explore some of the state’s history, North Kingstown has a lot to offer. Smith’s Castle is one of the oldest homes in the state, and houses 400 years of New England history. Costumed interpreters give tours of the place, and they host regular events like their Strawberry Festival (June 18) and cannon demonstrations. The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum (in Saunderstown, another nearby village in North Kingstown) is a time capsule of Rhode Island in 1750, and commemorates the life of the man who painted the portrait of George Washington that’s on the $1 bill. Smith: 55 Richard Smith Drive. 401-294-3521, Stuart: 815 Gilbert Stuart Road, Saunderstown. 401-294-3001,

Stay for the Evening
For dinner, check out Tate’s Italian Kitchen in Wickford, one of the most buzzed about new restaurants to open in the past year. The small restaurant turns out impeccable Italian food, made from scratch, using family recipes. 64 Brown Street. 401-294-0000,

Try to arrange your day in North Kingstown on a Tuesday, so you can make the most of your evening. Tuesday nights during the summer bring free concerts to North Kingstown Town Beach. Starting on June 14, bring your beach chairs to hear live local bands as the sun goes down. Concerts start at 7pm, and are free (though donations are accepted). 10 Beach Street.


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