Contrary to its name, the Fantastic Umbrella Factory (4820 Old Post Rd.) does not make, or even sell, umbrellas. This whimsical destination defies description, but is a great place to spend a few hours. Since 1968, the 19th century farmyard has been a sort of artist collective and international bazaar where you’ll find everything from penny candy to local art. The expansive property, reopened with restrictions, is filled with flowers, sculptures, and places to sit and take everything in. The Umbrella Factory Gardens is an on-site greenhouse that sells unique plants and florals. There’s a bamboo maze and a barnyard filled with emus, goats, and chickens.
The Breachway Grill (1 Charlestown Beach Rd.) offers a huge menu – pizza, burgers, steaks, and day-fresh seafood in a casual patio environment. Next door, the Breachway Gourmet has a large prepared food section, as well as made-to-order deli sandwiches with imported deli meats and cheeses. Gemelli’s Bistro also offers prepared food and Italian cuisine, and the restaurant offers another unique convenience – a drive thru. The Cove (3963 Old Post Rd.) is a family-friendly restaurant with a huge menu filled with pasta, seafood specialities, burgers, and more. The Nordic (178 East Pasquiset Trl.) is a lakeside restaurant known for their legendary all-you-can-eat seafood and more – be sure to make reservations before you go. Dave’s Coffee serves their own roasted coffee in their cafe, and also sells its beans by the bag. The gourmet shop also makes and sells its own coffee syrup – used for making Little Rhody’s official state drink – coffee milk!
Ninigret Park (5 Park Ln.) is a 227-acre park with a playground, ball fields, a bike path, tennis and basketball courts, picnic areas, and a freshwater pond with a beach. Inside the park, Frosty Drew Observatory & Science Center offers Friday night stargazing at their Sky Theater – weather-permitting and with social distancing restrictions (FrostyDrew.org). The Charlestown Art Gallery (5000 South County Trl.) is a must-stop for Contemporary American art.
The Watchaug Pond Trail is a favorite among birders for its many migrating, resting, and nesting songbirds. Note that many parks are closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, so make sure to check RIDEM.gov for updates before venturing out. After some R&R at full-service, upscale hair salon Jennifer’s (4259 Old Post Rd.), pamper your pet with acupuncture services from Atlantic Animal Hospital (5001B South County Trl.).