location: Jamestown, RI
good for: All Ages
Rhode Island really does have a lot to offer when it comes to outdoor fun for families. My favorite place to explore in the Ocean State is Jamestown, also known as, Conanicut Island is situated between Narragansett and Newport in the Narragansett Bay. The landscape in Jamestown is breathtaking. It is neat to see the kids’ faces as they take in the majestic landscape that it has to offer.
We started off by paddle boarding in Potters Cove. Potters cove is pretty protected from the wind so it’s a nice spot to take the kids on the board. It’s also a great place to take the kids kayaking or just let them swim. It is not a crowded area filled with tourists so you can let your guard down. If you’ve never taken your kids paddle boarding please try it. I let the kids sit on the front of the paddle board while I cruise them around. The kids were allowed to paddle solo but only parallel to the coast with me close behind. Paddle boards are great family fun. It allows the children to use their balance and it lets them experience almost walking on water. What I love most about paddle boarding is that it builds confidence and core strength. There were lots of big smiles.
After we were done paddling it was time to go check out what I think is the best spot in Rhode Island, Ft. Wetherill. Ft. Wetherill is a former coast artillery fort. It is located on top of awesome cliffs. If you are a thrill seeker/adventurer type of family there are tiny dirt paths behind the Fort that will lead you to cliffs. Please be super careful as a child could easily fall off of a cliff here. Unfortunately, the Fort has become somewhat of a place for young kids causing some trouble and lots of graffiti. Even so, if you decide to go it is pretty spectacular.
Aside from the actual Fort itself, the park offers much more exploration for the kids. The view from cliffs are amazing. It’s a treat for the senses. You hear the wave’s crash, smell the salt water, feel the sun on your skin and just get lost in how tiny you are amongst the Earth. The kids were awestruck. They were climbing up and down the cliffs (in safe spots). They were standing still with their arms wide opened letting the wind go through their hair. It is refreshing to see children run free and be filled with excitement and wonder for the natural elements.
When I was younger I did jump off the cliffs but now there are signs posted that it is prohibited.
Then it was soon time to grab a bite to eat. We had a party of 9 including 5 kids. We tried this fun little place called Spinnakers Cafe. Can you say kid friendly! Their menu is anything from the ordinary. They had simple meals like PB &J and hot dogs but then they also had unique burgers like a Peanut Butter & Bacon Cheeseburger Burger. I had the clam cakes and chowder with a stuffie. The clam cakes were shaped more like a crab cake but were delicious. The stuffie was actually one of the best ones I’ve ever had. The kids went more for the usual hotdog and chips. Of course, it ended with an ice cream treat. The service was fast and with a smile! I peeked around the back of the restaurant which offered this neat enclosed glass area and a back deck. Spinnakers Cafe just seemed so perfectly placed amongst the boardwalk of the marina with a perfect view of the Verrazanno Bridge.
You can find out more information about Spinnakers Café on their website.
Beavertail light house is the third oldest lighthouse in the US. It is on the southernmost point of the Island and when you look out all you see is ocean. It is yet another spectacular sight. It’s even cooler at night when the light circulates around the land. Families can go fishing at the shoreline or just climb and explore the cliffs there. Beavertail is a wonderful spot to fly a kite, or have a picnic. If you are a history buff the light house is a museum that is open at certain times.
After a long day of salt water and sun we headed home. The kids had a fantastic day of new adventures. I want them to be adventurers at heart. I want them to use the Earth as their playground. I want them to have no boundaries and feel as though the sky is the limit.
We jump for Jamestown.
photo credit: Nicole Estrella