Watch Hill

Top choice in Rhode Island

A 5-mile drive southwest of Westerly town center, you'll come to the cloistered community known as Watch Hill, where New York's rich and/or famous have lavish and beautiful cliff-top mansions overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean. Parking here is tricky, but the best thing to do is find a spot for your chariot, then stroll the hilly streets and lanes, respectfully taking a peek at how the other half live: a good place to start is around the Ocean House hotel.

At the base of the steep hill you'll find the compact Watch Hill Beach, beside which is the lovely, kids-only, Flying Horses Carousel, but if you're walking, remember, what goes down, must go back up again.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rhode Island attractions

1. Flying Horses Carousel


This antique merry-go-round has been in this location since 1883. It boasts a unique design: its horses are suspended on chains so that they really do …

2. Watch Hill Beach

0.57 MILES

This small, calm beach adjacent to the Flying Horses Carousel has lovely change facilities and is suited to families with small children.

3. East Beach

0.73 MILES

This fine beach is in front of the Ocean House hotel. It stretches for several miles from the Watch Hill lighthouse all the way to Misquamicut, with the…

4. Napatree Point Conservation Area

1.82 MILES

For a leisurely beach walk, the half-mile stroll to the westernmost tip of Watch Hill is unbeatable. With the Atlantic on one side and the yacht-studded…

5. Barn Island Wildlife Management Area

1.93 MILES

Canoeists, kayakers, hikers and birders enjoy over 300 acres of salt- and freshwater marshes at Barn Island. Inhabited by hundreds of species of bird (it…

6. Bricks & Murals

2.49 MILES

An international artists' collective created this series of 15 murals depicting the shared history of Pawcatuck and cross-river Westerly, from sporting…

7. Misquamicut State Beach


With good surf and close proximity to the Connecticut state line, Misquamicut draws huge crowds. It offers families low prices and convenient facilities…

8. Velvet Mill

2.98 MILES

This community arts center hosts a weekend farmers market (10am to 1pm Saturday, October to May) and an artisan/vendor market (10am to 4pm Saturday and…