"Jamestown- home base" Jamestown by tapit123
Jamestown Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 47 photos
I moved to Jamestown over four years ago. It's a small island in the middle of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. That's on the North East Coast.
Right from the moment you get off the Jamestown Bridge onto this island, you know you’re in a different world. There are no chain stores here, no fast food joints. Except for the banks and the gas station/convenience stores, the island is an independent oasis. And the islanders like it that way!
Visitors arriving from the mainland side immediately drive past green farms and the Jamestown Windmill which stands as it has since 1787 on Windmill Hill, overlooking the Marsh Meadow with its abundance of bird life, and the Quaker Meeting House, originally built in 1709, but rebuilt in the 1780’s, one of the oldest in the state.
The small island, only 9 miles long by 1 mile wide is, for the most part, rural. It’s divided by Mackerel Cove, a narrow neck of land that connects the main island and the scenic south bulge known as Beavertail. The views from Mackerel Cove are beautiful and soothing. It’s a lively beach in the summertime for visitors and residents alike.
The Bay Voyage Hotel near the island’s East Ferry was originally sited across the bay in Middletown in the 1860’s. But on a clear day in 1889, it was barged across Narragansett Bay to its present site. But the Bay Voyage isn’t the only place to stay on this small island. Jamestown sports a number of unique bed and breakfasts around town as well.
The town itself has always had a lively restaurant life. In 1701 alone, four tavern licenses were issued. Today, the tradition is carried on by such hotspots as Tricia’s Tropi-Grille, the Oyster Bar, Trattoria Simpatico, the House of Pizza, and the ever-popular Chopmist Charlie’s.
Even going to the drug store isn’t the humdrum affair it is in the rest of the state. No chain pharmacies here! The independently-owned and operated Baker’s Pharmacy is housed in a charming two storey building that’s typical of island architecture. Inside, it carries everything from ace bandages to magazines, including a selection of locally produced books and travel guides.
Way back in 1730, the East Ferry had a thriving candle-making business.
For dedicated foodies, Grapes and Gourmet at East Ferry offers a fabulous selection of wines and cheeses as well as other delicacies, while the Village Hearth Bakery offers a complete line of artisan breads and seductive pastries.
But there’s lots more to do than shop here.
For the historically curious, Jamestown has three museums.
The tiny and intimate Jamestown Museum on Narragansett Avenue features intriguing exhibits of various aspects of the town’s history including a wealth of information regarding the ferry services that served the town until the 1940’s. The Sydney Wright Memorial Museum which is housed in the Library, includes a fascinating collection of Native American artifacts, while the Fire Department Museum which was established in 1959 tells the story of the town’s Fire Department complete with antique fire engines.
Hiking and biking trails are all over the island, and biking around the island is a popular summer activity.
The Conanicut Island Wildlife Sanctuary just off the second exit of the Jamestown Bridge, leads through a short section of woods to a platform that overlooks the Marsh Meadow, a paradise of birdlife. Bordering the golf course, it’s a quiet spot to experience the dense growth native to the island.
In addition to Marsh Meadow, other birding hotspots are Sheffield Cove Marsh, across the road from Mackerel Cove, and the Fox Hill Salt Marsh.
At the other end of the Island, ancient Beavertail Lighthouse guards the south end as it has since 1856 when the present structure was built, one of several that have stood there since 1749. Beavertail Park offers various trails along the cliffs, and a measured walking road around the perimeter. Passing by the lighthouse and along the rugged cliffs, the park has plenty of room for picnickers and the ubiquitous artists who set up their easels to capture the grand vistas of the Bay.
One place to combine both a relaxing walk in the country and a love of history is the Conanicut Battery, just off Battery Lane. Following the well-marked path around the site leads visitors to various artifacts of different wars, from the earthworks of the Revolution to the bunkers of WWII. It’s a great place to spend a quiet day and muse on the history of the island.
Another historic site on the east side of the island is Ft. Weatherill which is a popular scuba diving site, attracting divers from all over the northeast.
- Pros:Rural. Historic.
- Cons:You must have your own transportation. Little nightlife.
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