By Katy Killilea
Is there any place better in summer, the world over, than Second Beach in Middletown? On our recent trip there, I started a list of the reasons we love it so much.
1. Width. You know how, at some beaches, strangers wind up sitting on top of one another as the tide comes in? Although very popular, Second Beach is wide enough at any tide to accommodate the crowd.
2. The sea floor slopes down gradually. This means even the short of body and limited of swimming skills can wade out quite a distance to play in the waves.
3. Waves! Every time we have visited this beach, the boogie-boarding conditions have been excellent. We all know kids can have fun on a boogie board even in stagnant water, but these waves start far out, and are easy to ride all the way to shore.
4. Bathrooms and showers. A must for some.
5. Playground. Just in case you need to mix it up a little. It’s small, with swings and monkey bars, but it’s plenty.
6. Comprehensive snack bar. We stick to the ice cream novelties (Choco-Taco, $3. Two Ball Screw Ball, $2.50), but if you find yourself in need of real food, you can get it. (Grilled cheese, $3. Barbecued chicken sandwich, $6.50. Bacon cheeseburger, $6.50.)
7. It’s just right for people of all ages. Babies splash by the water’s edge. Off-duty grandparents sun themselves on lounges. Belly-button pierced twenty-year-olds read magazines and chew gum together. Teenagers surf and play football, while schoolchildren swim, build castles, and ride the waves.
8. Soft sand. The powdery kind, perfect for building a castle or burying your brother, and gentle on the feet for those who are sensitive to grit and rocks.
9. The drive. From Providence, it’s a longish ride (only by Rhode Island standards–it’s well under an hour), but it is a very pretty ride. And a long(ish) ride at the end of a day spent at the beach can be a fine and relaxing thing. You’ll pass lots of pizzerias and casual restaurants (i.e., flip-flops and messy hair welcome) in Middletown and Portsmouth, so you can easily roll dinner into your return trip.
Second Beach (Sachuset Beach) – 305 Sachuset Point Rd., Middletown, RI 02842
Phone (401) 849-2822
Parking for one day $10
Season parking pass $90 (also works at Third Beach in Middletown)
What’s your favorite beach? Check out Beach of the Week for more sandy ideas.
Photo credits: Katy Killilea