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18 Best Beaches in Rhode Island for Big Families

    With 40 miles of coastline, the Island State has plenty to offer beach-loving families. A vacation in Rhode Island is sure to be memorable and exciting. From gentle coastal ponds to invigorating surf, Rhode Island has beaches for everyone. Rhode Island is very popular with surfers and the waves can get very choppy at times, so keep an eye on the weather forecast. Most beaches have seasonal lifeguards but may not be patrolled all year round.

    Bristol Town Beach, Bristol, Rhode Island

    The Town Beach and Sports Complex is an expansive 47.15-acre park. The pebble beach with its choppy waves is ideal for surfing. Strong swimmers will enjoy the ocean here on calmer days and it’s a great spot for ocean sports. The Park has a large grassy area with a play area, picnic tables, a pavilion, and ample parking. There are a number of sports on offer, including beach volleyball, baseball/softball, tennis, basketball, and soccer. There are two Bocce Courts, a Horseshoe Court, and two big multipurpose sports fields. Fitness fans will love the five-mile cross-country trail, which boasts outdoor exercise equipment. There’s a skate park and a roller hockey arena. The park has restrooms, refreshments, and a seasonal concession stand. Lifeguards monitor the beach during the summer.

    Distant Light House

    Conimicut Point Beach, Warwick, Rhode Island

    This pleasant saltwater beach offers great views of the lighthouse and is popular with birdwatchers. The beach is quite rocky but there are sandy stretches that are fun to play on. The surf is calm enough for swimming and lively enough to make ocean sports fun — perfect for canoes and kayaks. Tides and unexpected currents mean that youngsters should be carefully supervised when in the water. There’s a play area for children, restrooms, and Porta-potties. There is a concession stand during the summer. The beach is guarded.

    Block Island

    Crescent Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island

    An inviting spot for families, Crescent Beach offers mild waves and a glorious stretch of soft white-gold sand. It’s ideal for strolls, sandcastles, and beach games. Families should head for The Frederick J. Benson Pavilion, known locally as the Town Beach. Here you’ll find restrooms, showers, and a concession stand. There’s a beach equipment rental outlet where you can pick up loungers, umbrellas, cabanas, and boogie boards. The beach is guarded during the summer.

    East Mutunuck Beach, South Kingstown, Rhode Island

    With its exciting surf, warmer waters, and ample amenities, East Mutunuck Beach is hugely popular with families. There are beach huts along the sandy shore, which are perfect for all kinds of beach games. You’ll see plenty of beachgoers engaged in popular ocean sports like surfing, kayaking, canoeing, boogie boarding, and paddle boarding. The best spots are near the pavilion, a strikingly futuristic building that houses concessions, restrooms, and other amenities. You’re also close to town, with lots of great food options for hungry kids. Equipment rentals are available. Parking is extensive, with RV facilities. There are lifeguards on duty in the summer.

    Easton’s Beach (First Beach), Newport, Rhode Island

    This 3/4-mile long stretch of sandy beach faces the Atlantic, offering lively surf that’s not too rough. Stroll along the boardwalk or enjoy beach games on the shore. Bring your kayaks, paddleboards, and surfboards to make the most of the ocean. Children will love the 50-year-old carousel and other boardwalk amusements. Snacks and concessions are available. The beach is monitored by lifeguards in the summer.

    Fogland Beach (Tiverton Town Beach), Tiverton, Rhode Island

    This quiet beach is a little rocky in places — bring your beach shoes. Fogland Beach is very family-friendly, with lifeguards on duty all summer, a fun play area for children, and easy parking nearby. You can enjoy all your favorite ocean sports here, with kayaking and windsurfing being popular pastimes. Fishing is permitted at the furthest end of the beach, away from the swimmers. There are restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. There are no concessions or snacks so pack a cooler if you’re planning to spend the day here.

    Goosewing-May-2012-001 4x6

    Goosewing Beach, Little Compton, Rhode Island

    Goosewing Beach is an unspoiled nature preserve. This beautiful scenic spot is popular with visitors all year round, who flock to get a glimpse of the rare Piping Plover and other wild birds. There are seasonal walks and special events. Don’t miss The Benjamin Family Environmental Center, which offers lots of fascinating information on the local ecosystem as well as providing great views of the dunes, beach, and coastal pond habitats. The adjacent South Shore beach is perfect for surfing, ocean sports, and swimming. There are Porta-potties here and there, while the Environmental Center has restrooms and snacks. Lifeguards patrol the beach.

    Newport, Rhode Island

    Mansion Beach, Block Island, Rhode Island

    A truly scenic spot, Mansion Beach is popular with young and old alike. The beach is rocky in places but has stretches of golden sand. Take a dip in the bracing surf, or hunt for shells and sea life along the water’s edge. It’s a great spot for ocean sports, although you will definitely have to bring your own equipment. Note that there are few amenities in the area and plan accordingly. You won’t find restrooms or concessions nearby so pack your cooler, your sunblock, and your beach umbrella (and some bug spray). Parking is free but the lot fills up fast. There are no lifeguards on Mansion Beach.


    Napatree Point Beach, Rhode Island

    Unspoiled and beautiful, Napatree Point Beach is a sandy peninsula extending 1 1/2 miles from Watch Hill. It’s a wildlife preserve with public access, perfect for long strolls and sightseeing. To access the beach, you will need to walk across the beautiful sand dunes with their wildflowers and maritime grasses. You can stroll barefoot on the soft sand, keeping your eyes open for sea turtles and pretty shells. The waves are boisterous enough to make surfing fun, but not too rough. There are few amenities, so bring anything you might need. There are no lifeguards but the beach is patrolled to ensure that visitors respect the local wildlife.

    Oakland Beach (Warwick, RI)

    Oakland Beach, Warwick, Rhode Island

    Oakland Beach has calm waves but rather a lot of seaweed, which might impede swimming and ocean sports. It’s a sandy beach and popular with families. There are good amenities, including restrooms. Stop by Iggy’s for fast food, snacks, and cold drinks. There are no lifeguards.

    Roger Wheeler State Beach, Narragansett, Rhode Island

    A great beach for younger kids, Roger Wheeler State Beach has gentle waves and soft sandy stretches. The clear water is better for swimming than for ocean sports. There are restrooms, concessions, and a play area. Lifeguards monitor the area.

    Shell hunter

    Salty Brine State Beach, Narragansett, Rhode Island

    This beach is popular with families, not least because of the fascinating rock pools that appear at low tide. The sea can get a little rough but is usually calm enough for swimming and paddling. Ocean sports are permitted but be careful as fishing boats use this area. Amenities are good, including a beach pavilion with restrooms, snack bars, and concessions. Lifeguards are on duty.

    Sandy Point

    Sandy Point Beach, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

    A quiet, shallow beach much loved by families. Sandy Point Beach is good for beginners who want to try a little kayaking or paddleboarding. Amenities are great, with restrooms, changing facilities, and concessions. Lifeguards patrol during the summer months.

    Scarborough State Beaches (North and South), Narragansett, Rhode Island

    With 2735 feet of beach frontage, Scarborough State Beach is Rhode Island’s most popular beach. Each beach (North and South) has its own large beachfront pavilion with free cold- and coin-operated hot-water showers, picnic tables, concrete boardwalks with gazebos and observation towers, restrooms, and food and drink stands Lifeguards are on duty from 9 AM – 6 PM. Check the event calendar to view the many special summer season events to help plan your stay.

    Third Beach, Middletown, Rhode Island

    Scenic dunes, lovely white sand, and plenty of amenities: Third Beach has it all. The sea is fairly gentle here so it’s better for swimming than surfing. There’s a boat ramp for small vessels, and you can rent a paddleboard and other equipment. Amenities are good but you’ll need to bring your own food and drink. There are picnic tables and even grills for a beach cookout. The beach is guarded.

    Warren Town Beach, Warren, Rhode Island

    A well-developed beach with gentle waves, Warren Town Beach is perfect for kids. Splash in the shallow water or visit the children’s play area. The beach adjoins Burr’s Hill Park, providing plenty of space for large family gatherings. It’s a good place for beginners to try kayaking or paddle boarding. There’s a fishing pier and picnic tables. Restrooms are available and the beach is guarded.

    Buttonwoods Cove

    Warwick City Park & Buttonwoods Beach, Warwick, Rhode Island

    An absolutely ideal spot for families with children of all ages, Buttonwoods Beach has gentle waves and soft sand. Bring your canoes, kayaks, or paddle boards for some fun ocean sports, or take a bike ride along the three miles of paved cycle paths. Restrooms are available. Snacks and concessions are available in the Park. Lifeguards monitor the beach.

    Watch Hill Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island

    A gorgeous beach in a historic location, Watch Hill Beach offers soft sand, mild waves, and plenty to do. The water is great for swimming and paddling, as well as being perfect for beginners to try out that new kayak. Amenities are good — there are restrooms, concessions, and amusements nearby. Don’t miss the lovely old carousel just off the beach. Lifeguards are on patrol.

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.