The southernmost town in Rhode Island is a popular landing spot for visitors, and it’s not hard to see why. Easy access to the ferries and proximity to the highway – plus a lot of city sophistication with a small-town feel – make Westerly a destination.
Bibliophiles, be sure to head to 10 Canal Street to the Savoy Bookshop & Café, an independent bookstore that feels like a trek back in time with handsome bookcases, high ceilings, and cozy reading nooks. The neighborhood bookstore was the brainchild of investor Charles “Chuck” Royce, best known for spearheading the revival of the Ocean House in nearby Watch Hill. Pro tip: Be on the lookout for fairy doors! Across the street, find Christina’s Ltd. (1 Canal St.), a boho-style clothing boutique. Check out OMO Jewels & Gifts (95 Watch Hill Rd.) and Compass Rose (271 Post Rd.), a fine jewelry and gift boutique in Spindrift Plaza.
Rivaling Providence and Newport, Westerly is a foodie’s dream town. A large Italian population has given the town its own iconic food: Soupy is a dry-cured Italian pork sausage descended from the sopressata of the area’s Calabrian heritage. Every family has its own recipe, but the sausage is available for sale at places like Dipper’s Packing Co. (55 Ledward Ave.) and Dunns Corners Market (5 Langworthy Rd.).
Additionally, Westerly is home to most any restaurant that fits your taste, from farm-to-bun offerings at Graze Burgers (127 Granite St.) to creative comfort food at The Shallows Kitchen + Bar (54R High St.) and Irish-American fare at Kelley’s Deli (116 Granite St. #8). Noodle Revolution (87 Oak St.) serves some of the best Asian street food around, and Koi (65 High St.) offers creative sushi. If you’re craving Italian food, Vetrano’s (130 Granite St.) offers homestyle pasta and pizza while Casa Della Luce (105 Franklin St.) puts a creative spin on the classics. Catch the game at CC O’Brien’s Sports Cafe (8 Mechanic St.) or grab breakfast or lunch with a water view at Mia’s Cafe (1 W Broad St.). For a light and refreshing treat, don’t miss Pompelmo Gelato (31 High St.).
Westerly has also become a beer lover’s haven. The town’s first brewery, Grey Sail Brewing (63 Canal St.), offers beers like their signature Flying Jenny extra pale ale, Captain’s Daughter imperial IPA, and Flagship cream ale at their tasting and taproom, and at restaurants all over Rhode Island. On the same campus, and co-owned by a Grey Sail founder, South County Distillers produces top-quality spirits in house. The Malted Barley (42 High St.) is a pub serving nearly 100 craft beers, along with gourmet pretzels and pretzel sandwiches, and normally offers live music on weekends.
Then there’s other sipping destinations, like Langworthy Farm Winery (308 Shore Rd.), which offers locally inspired bottles like Charlestown Cabernet Franc, Shelter Harbor Chardonnay, Weekapaug White, and Pawcatuck River Red. Tapped Apple Winery & Cidery (37 High St.) offers tastings and activities like shuffleboard.
Westerly has an emerging and exciting arts and entertainment scene, and it’s brimming during the summer. Granite Theatre (1 Granite St.) usually stages beloved Broadway shows, and is hard at work developing safe strategies to return for the season. For visual arts, explore The Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, which maintains a fine arts gallery in the town’s train station (14 Railroad Ave.) and typically offers a new exhibit each month, providing virtual tours in the interim.
The famed Knickerbocker Music Center (35 Railroad Ave.) is a great evening spot for live music and dancing. Vintage Cigar Lounge & Club (47 High St.) serves a full bar and over 375 varieties of cigars. Amigos Taqueria Y Tequila (2 Canal St.) is a lively spot with an impressive selection of authentic Mexican drinks. In need of a little R&R? Indulge in a facial at Pure Eco Spa (18 Franklin St.), plus other skin and body treatments.
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