The southernmost town in mainland Rhode Island, Westerly, is equal parts beach town and thriving city center. Known for its Italian culture, dining and abundance of live music and theatre venues, Westerly is also home to beach hamlets like Misquamicut, Weekapaug and Watch Hill.
A Taste of Italy
Westerly’s iconic food is “soupy,” a dry cured Italian pork sausage descended from the sopressata of the area’s Calabrian heritage. it’s made in basements all over town, and every family has its own recipe, but it’s also available to the public from Dippers Packing Co. Inc. (55 Ledward aver 401-596-3951, supri.com), Phil’s Market Place (116 Granite St. 401-637-4885, philsmarketplaceri.com) and Dunns Corners Market (5 Langworthy Rd. 401-322-1660, dunnscornersmarket.com).
Italian restaurants also abound in downtown Westerly, from the wise guy-inspired Trattoria Longo (12 Canal St. 401-315-2952, trattorialongo.com) to classic-Italian-meets-NY-pizza at Vetrano’s (130 Granite St. 401-348-5050, vetranosrestaurant.com) and Vittoria’s (224 Post Rd. 401-322-1901). Just over the line in Pawcatuck, Capizzano Olive Oils and Vinegars (5 Coggswell St. 860-495-2187) is a gourmet shop you can taste your way through.
Get Some Culture
Westerly has more on-stage entertainment than any other town in southern Rhode Island. The Chorus of Westerly performs a summer Pops concert in Wilcox Park on June 20. 119 High St. 401-596-8663, chorusofwesterly.org
Granite Theatre has comedies like Razzle Dazzle, A musical revue (through June 7) and Bermuda Avenue Triangle (July 24-august 23) on its summer schedule. 1 Granite St. 401-596-2341, granitetheatre.com
Colonial Theater stages free Shakespeare performances at Wilcox Park, including this summer’s production of Henry V (July 22-august 9). 3 Granite St. 401-596-7909, thecolonialtheater.org
The famed Knickerbocker Café is where the forever-touring, multi-Grammy award winning Roomful of Blues was formed in the 1960s and remains the house band. 35 Railroad Ave. 401-315-5070, theknickerbockercafe.com
The Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly has a new exhibit by local artists every month, and hosts the Westerly-Pawcatuck arts stroll the first Wednesday of every month. 7 Canal St., Westerly. 401-596-2221, westerlyarts.com
Get in the Spirit
Grey Sail Brewery opened in 2012 and has quickly garnered attention all over the state for their small-batch, high quality brews. 63 Canal St. 401-315-2533, greysailbrewing.com
The Malted Barley is a craft beer bar with a rotating, carefully curated selection of brews paired with gourmet pretzels and pretzel sandwiches. 42 High St. 401-315-2184, themaltedbarleyri.com
Langworthy Farm is South County’s only winery, pouring locally-inspired varietals and blends like Misquamicut Merlot and Weekapaug White. 308 Shore Rd. 401-322-7791, langworthyfarm.com
Get a Bite
Ella’s Fine Food and Drink: asian-fusion and French-inspired fine dining. 2 Tower St. 401-315-0606, ellasfinefoodanddrink.com
The Sea Goose: a raw bar and grill offering “dock to plate” seafood. 265 Post Rd. 401-315-0788, theseagoose.com
B&B Dockside: meaning burgers and breakfast, both of which are winners. 87 Oak St. 401-315-2520, oakstbnb.com
84 Tavern on Canal: Upscale comfort food with live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. 15 Canal St. 401-596-7871, 84tavern.com
Hit the Beach
Misquamicut refers to both the state beach and the neighborhood that surrounds it. this long strip of coastline, beach bars and hotels along atlantic avenue is the liveliest place in town during the summer months with hotels, restaurants, kids attractions and bars right in the sand. misquamicut.org