So Summer

South Kingstown

The Hub of South County

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People don’t often consider South Kingstown a destination unto itself, but that’s because the sprawling town encompasses so much: namely, the villages of Wakefield, Peace Dale, Kingston and Matunuck. Those historic names are used much more commonly in conversation than the proper municipality. Taken as a whole, South Kingstown has a lot to offer.


Peace Dale

A district on the national Register of Historic Places, Peace Dale has beautiful open spaces and a handful of stores and restaurants. South County’s oldest museum is, fittingly, the Museum of Primitive art and Culture, which houses more than 15,000 archaeological artifacts from around the world. 1058 Kingstown Rd. 401-783-5711, primitiveartmuseum.org

Matunuck

A classic New England beach scene, Matunuck is home to several beaches and oceanfront watering holes where you can go directly from the sand, namely the Ocean Mist. Known for great food and live music, it’s one of only two Rhode island locations included in Esquire magazine’s “America’s Best Bars.” 895 Matunuck Beach Rd. 401-782-3740, oceanmist.net

Matunuck Oyster Bar serves up delicious, locally-sourced seafood inside or on their expansive outdoor patio and bar. The main attraction, though, are the Matunuck oysters, raised just outside the restaurant at its own farm. The restaurant also maintains its own vegetable farm nearby. 629 Succotash Rd. 401-783-4202, rhodyoysters.com

Rhode island’s summerstock happens at Theatre By The Sea, a historic barn-cum-theatre that has seen the likes of Marlon Brando and Mae West cross its stage. See big-ticket musicals all summer long. 364 Cards Pond Rd. 401-782-8587, theatrebythesea.biz

Kingston

Home to an Amtrak station and historic destinations like the Fayerweather Craft Guild (1859 Mooresfield Rd. 401-789-9072, fayerweathercraftguild.com), Kingston is best known as the home to the University of Rhode Island. Its major concerts at the Ryan Center, Division 1 NCAA athletics (namely the men’s basketball Rhody Rams), Master Gardeners program and performing arts all regularly draw crowds. uri.edu

The Old Washington County Jail is preserved as a museum, but also serves as the home of the Pettaquamscutt Historical society, with collections documenting early Rhode Island and Native American life. 2636 Kingstown Rd. 401-783-1328, pettaquamscutt.org

Also in South Kingstown

South County Commons is a major shopping destination that also has a movie theatre, gym, spa and several restaurants like Shogun for hibachi and sushi and Trattoria Romana for impeccable Italian. Route 1. southcountycommons.com

South County’s only distillery, Sons of Liberty, has made a big splash with its Uprising American Whiskey. Visit the distillery to taste their new releases (like Cucumber Mint Vodka) or to barrel-age your own Manhattans and take them home with you. 1425 Kingstown Rd. 401-284-4006, solspirits.com

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