10 Narragansett Bay Boater’s Beaches
June 7, 2019
10 Narragansett Bay Boater’s Beaches
The lowdown on some lovely strands on which to spend a summer’s day on Narragansett Bay. By Tom Richardson; Photography Cate Brown
Jamestown: Mackerel Cove
This narrow, finger-like cove on the southern end of Conanicut Island makes a great anchorage, and the coarse-sand beach at its head is a popular spot for beachgoing families. Boaters can drop the hook before rowing or paddling to shore. And don’t forget your snorkeling gear, as the cove’s clear waters are ideal for underwater exploration!
Jamestown: Potter’s Cove
This somewhat rocky beach can be found on Conanicut Island’s eastern shore, just north of the bridge and tucked in behind Taylor Point. It offers easy access and is well protected from the prevailing summer southwesterlies. Bring a rod, because the deeper edges of the cove and the rocks off Taylor Point offer excellent fishing for fluke, bluefish and striped bass.
North Kingstown: Town Beach
A portion of this beach just south of Wickford Cove and Poplar Point is roped off for swimming, but you can beach a skiff or dinghy at the northern end. The wonderfully sandy, shallow-sloping beach is perfect for small kids.
North Kingstown: Tibbets Creek
This awesome little spot at the mouth of Tibbets Creek is ideal for a family daytrip. There is sand on either side of the creek mouth, but the best spot to beach a small boat is along the shore a few hundred feet south of the point, where the water is deeper.
East Greenwich: Goddard State Park
You can anchor in deep water off the long swimming beach that runs along the northern edge of Goddard Sate Park and wade, swim or paddle ashore. This beach is well protected from southerly winds, and affords access to the park’s walking trails, picnic areas and carousel. If you’re feeling hungry, several dock-and-dine eateries await in nearby Greenwich Cove.
Prudence Island: Jenny’s Creek This long barrier beach extending west of the Jenny’s Creek inlet on the south-facing shore of Prudence Island can only be reached by boat (unless you live on Prudence). Note that summer southwesterlies can make the water a bit rough in the afternoon, but it’s no problem in northerly breezes. Kids can have a blast exploring the winding, shallow tidal creek that runs behind the beach.
The channel that cuts between Patience and Prudence Islands features a grey-sand beach along the western edge that makes a terrific anchorage, especially in westerly winds. The beach is extremely popular among boaters, given its centralized location, and offers a steeply sloping bottom that allows anchoring close to shore.
Prudence Island: Potter Cove
The sand-rimmed peninsula of Gull Point, which forms a sheltering arm around Potter Cove, on the eastern side of Prudence Island, bustles with boating families and sometimes raucous raft-ups on hot summer days, and offers a calm anchorage in all winds. It makes a great daytrip destination for boaters launching out of Bristol and Warren.
Newport: Third Beach
If you’re looking for fine sand and calm water, this is your beach! Located at the mouth of the Sakonnet River (technically part of Narragansett Bay), Third Beach is protected by Sachuest Point from southwesterly breezes. It’s a great spot for paddleboarding, sunbathing and swimming, and you can stretch your legs in the Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge or on a short stroll to Second Beach.
Portsmouth: Sandy Point Beach
This lesser-known spot on the Sakonnet River, halfway along Aquidneck Island, is worth a mention. The beach sits on a knuckle of land facing east. The south side is rocky, while the north side features soft sand and is a good place to anchor.