Pedal or paddle the scenic island with rentals from Jamestown Outdoors (35 Narragansett Ave.) and shop their lines of apparel and swimsuits for the whole family. (Pro-tip: visit online at JamestownOutdoors.com for Sunset and Full Moon Kayak Tour dates and details.) Swing by Latitude Custom Apparel (61 Conanicus Ave.) for printed T-shirts and crew gear, Fuller Art & Frame Gallery (42 Narragansett Ave.) for fine art and gifts along with custom framing, Conanicut Gift Shop (20 Narragansett Ave.) for a token to remember your Jamestown outing, and Curiosity & Co (14 Narragansett Ave.), a gathering space where literary and culinary sensibilities converge.
For an island with a little over 5,000 residents, Jamestown has plenty of impressive dining. New to the scene this season are Beech (13 Narragansett Ave.), opened by a born-and-raised Jamestownian serving upscale casual fare, from fresh-cut pasta to local seafood; Our Table (53 Narragansett Ave.), a meal delivery service turned restaurant cooking up familiar dishes with a culinary twist; and coming soon, JB’s on the Water (150 Conanicus Ave.) for fans of Wickford on the Water. J22 Tap and Table (22 Narragansett Ave.) is a great example of keeping things small and doing them right; the restaurant is cozy, the small menu changes often, but ingredients are local and at the peak of freshness, and everything – down to the cocktail sauce – is housemade. Tallulah’s Taqueria (35 Narragansett Ave.) brings Providence cult-favorite counterserve tacos, nachos, and burritos, plus an outdoor patio.
If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, Slice of Heaven (32 Narragansett Ave. #1166) is a European-style bakery that serves breakfast and lunch, plus coffee, pastries, and cocktails. Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe (2 Watson Ave.) cooks up wood-fired artisan breads and pizzas made from scratch and baked on-site in their rustic, cozy cafe (with a pop-up restaurant at Curiosity & Co through September 25). East Ferry Deli (47 Conanicus Ave.), open for breakfast and lunch daily, is known for their specialty sandwiches and sweeping waterfront views.
The Narragansett Cafe (25 Narragansett Ave.) hosts some of the area’s best live music during the summer. Bands range from jazz and blues to rock, and are always danceable. Find familiar pub fare staples and plenty on draft, along with a brunch menu of signature Benedict varieties, Blood Marys, and mimosas.
Beavertail State Park (Beavertail Rd.) is notably one of the most beautiful pieces of scenery in New England. The rocky coastline offers views of Newport and the Atlantic Ocean from any of its four overlooks and from the hiking trails throughout. The park is also home to Beavertail Lighthouse & Museum and a small aquarium with exhibits on local sea life. Director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums) was so taken with Beavertail that he filmed scenes from Moonrise Kingdom there. Spend an afternoon exploring, or enjoy their environmental interpretive program with guided excursions.
Jamestown is only nine miles long and one mile wide, but there’s a lot of history on the island. Fort Wetherill (3 Fort Wetherill Rd.), an abandoned military fort, is a must-see destination. Besides the fort itself, which has become something of a graffiti art museum, the views from the cliffs of this 100-foot vantage are stunning. It’s also a popular spot for scuba divers.
Conanicut Battery National Historic Park (Battery Ln.) is home to several earthen fortifications dating back to the Revolutionary War, built by both colonists and the British. Explore the trails, which have information on the park’s history. Fort Getty Park !1050 Fort Getty Rd.), another piece of Jamestown’s military history, has fishing areas and a campground.
Watson Farm (455 North Rd.) has been in operation since 1796, and offers self-guided tours of livestock, wildlife, and farm history. The Jamestown Historical Society (92 Narragansett Ave.) is a hub for all of the island’s historic preservation, including the Jamestown Museum, Meetinghouse, and Jamestown Philomenian Library. Be sure to see the windmill, located on North Road near Weeden Land, open weekends or by appointment (JamestownHistoricalSociety.org).
Skip the Newport traffic by parking in Jamestown and then taking the Jamestown Newport Ferry (1 East Ferry Wharf Unit 2) across the harbor. Hop aboard a Coastal Queen Cruise (1 East Ferry Wharf) for a leisurely voyage around Narragansett Bay and the Newport Harbor while enjoying live music ranging from jazz tunes to sea shanties or a beer tasting from The General’s Crossing Brewery August 2 (visit online at CoastalQueenCruises.com for a full line-up). For landlubbers, be on the lookout for the Jamestown Arts Center’s (18 Valley St.) special Outdoor Arts Experience: Passages, with installations across the island July through October.
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