Known for: beaches and beach houses, music, restaurants and bars, historic downtown, Italian food
Good for: families, singles, foodies, surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, fishermen
The southernmost town in the state, 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 sopressata, an Italian sausage known in its local iteration as “soupy.” 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 Ave. 401-596-3951), Phil’s Market Place (116 Granite St. 401-637-4885) and Dunns Corners Market (5 Langworthy Rd. 401-322-1660).
Italian restaurants also abound in downtown Westerly, from the wise guy-inspired Cafe Longo (12 Canal St. 401-315- 2952) to classic Italian at Vetrano’s (130 Granite St. 401-348-5050) to delicious prepared meals at Fra’s italian Gourmet (57 Shore Rd. 401-596-2888).
Get Some Culture
Westerly has more on-stage entertainment than any other town in southern Rhode Island. It’s home to the Chorus of Westerly, which performs Summer Pops concerts in Wilcox Park; the Granite Theatre and the Colonial Theater, which hosts an annual Shakespeare in the Park; and the famed Knickerbocker Café, where the forever-touring, multi-Grammy award winning roomful of Blues was formed in the 1960s and remains the house band.
Get in the Spirit
Grey Sail Brewery opened last year and has quickly garnered attention all over the state for their small-batch, high quality brews. 63 Canal St. 401-315-2533.
The Malted Barley is a craft beer bar with a rotating, carefully curated selection of brews on tap and by the bottle. They also offer live music every weekend. 42 High St. 401-315-2184.
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.
Get a Bite
Ella’s Fine Food and Drink: Asian-fusion and French-inspired fine dining. 2 Tower St. 401-315-0606.
84 Tavern on Canal: Mediterranean-influenced cuisine with a big cocktail list. 15 Canal St. 401-596-7871.
The Twisted Vine: European style wine bar with tapas and sandwiches. 3 Canal St. 401- 596-4600.
Women’s Fashion: Woodees Downtown 33 Broad St. 401-596-0200.
Books: The Other Tiger 90 High St. 401-596-2200.
Lingerie: Zoe & Co 69 High St. 401-596-8050.
Hit the Beach
Misquamicut refers to both the state beach and the neighborhood that surrounds it, and this long strip of coastline, beach bars and hotels along atlantic avenue is the liveliest place in town during the summer months. It was also the area of Rhode Island that was hit hardest during Superstorm Sandy last October, with sand dunes leveled and structures washed away. However, the recovery effort is already underway and the area is springing back to life. You’ll find more dining, shopping and attractions than we have room to discuss here, but highlights include Water Wizz waterslide park (328 Atlantic Ave. 401-322-0520), Paddy’s Beach Bar (159 Atlantic Ave. 401-596-2610), and Atlantic Beach Park (321 Atlantic Ave. 401-322-0504), which offers dining, amusement rides and live music. Many of the local businesses and attractions are still in various stages of recovery, so check misquamicut.org for info and updates.