The wonderful little Rhode Island’s wealthiest community, East Greenwich, is also a former state capital. The coastal, historic East Greenwich on the Narragansett Bay is Rhode Island’s eighth oldest town and is home to not only three historic districts but also a host of gorgeous, historic cottages, homes, and even a mill site and farm! Sitting at the geographical centre of RI, East Greenwich has a plethora of things to do for every kind of traveller, including museums, quaint architecture, and parks and beaches - and is indeed one of New England’s finest. Here are the best things to do in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
1. Explore East Greenwich's history at Varnum House Museum
The 1773-built Varnum House, which was purchased for a mere sum of $90, features architecture of gold standard in the late 18th century. The Georgian-styled mansion features a columned porch, a central, pedimented doorway, modillioned cornices, and a hipped roof. In 1939, Varnum House was converted into a top-notch house museum featuring various historical artefacts belonging to the period between the late-17th century and mid-19th century. Today, Varnum House Museum focusses on early American living and is also featured on the National Register of Historic Places.
Varnum House Museum
Address: 57 Peirce St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Varnum House Museum
Opening hours: Sun: 1pm - 3pm (closed Mon - Sat)
2. Hike the Briggs Boesch Farm
Nature lovers will find solace in the 1.9 km-long (1.2 mi) hike at the Briggs Boesch Farm, the trailhead for which is at a small parking lot across from the farm on South Road. The 17th-century-built farm, its farmhouse and the barn are classic examples of 17th-century New England farmstead. The Briggs-Boesch Farm today is the southern anchor of East Greenwich’s greenway system, filled with varied woodland and farm fields and provides publicly accessible trails across the forests and fields on the property. Since 2003, this historic farmstead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Briggs Boesch Farm
Address: 830 S Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Briggs Boesch Farm
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. Enjoy an evening out in Scalloptown Park
On the banks of the Greenwich Cove at the end of Rocky Hollow Road lies this small but beautiful Scalloptown Park overlooking the Greenwich Bay. Offering just less than a mile of walking trails in a serene setting, the park is a great place to spend the evening since there are benches to sit and catch gorgeous views of the bay. What’s more, you can even bring your furry friend along to the park. Once one of the best shell fishing locations on RI, Greenwich Bay housed a lot of scallops, leading to the area becoming known as Scalloptown. At present, the park has a canoe and kayak dock as well.
Address: East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Scalloptown Park
4. Drink up artisanal craft beers at LineSider Brewing
Head to LineSider Brewing, which has made about 10 beers to date, including a stout, a lager, 2 New England-style IPAs, and even 2 West Coast IPAs, and is East Greenwich’s very first brewery. The 4,200-sq. ft (390 sqm) destination beer and taproom features a massive tasting room and a gorgeous outdoor courtyard. LineSider makes up to 1,000 beer barrels every year, specialising in local handcrafted small-batch beers and has exciting and interesting tasting events every Friday and Saturday. Zythophiles, look out!
Address: 1485 S County Trail, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: LineSider Brewing
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 12pm - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 6pm (closed from Mon - Thu)
5. Catch a performance at the Greenwich Odeum
Built at the end of vaudeville’s heyday in 1926, the Greenwich Odeum, located in the heart of historic East Greenwich, reopened in the fall of 1994, establishing itself among RI’s premier performing arts venues. It has played host to all kinds of music and theatre performances, including musicals, rock n’ roll shows, musical tributes by bands, screenings of iconic, cult movies and classics, music concerts, theatrical comedies, live shows, Halloween screenings, and more. Check the event calendar and don’t miss watching a show here when you’re in East Greenwich.
Address: 59 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Greenwich Odeum
6. Delve into the history of Windmill Cottage
When famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow attached an actual windmill to a house and gifted it to his friend Geroge Washington Greene, Windmill Cottage was born. The late 18th-century-built structure had the windmill attached only in 1870, after which it apparently inspired Longfellow’s poem “The Windmill.” Around a decade after the attachment of the windmill, Greene received a letter from Longfellow a copy of the poem and speculated that he thought that the poem was the “first-ever poem on the subject”. Today, the Windmill Cottage is on the National Register of Historic Places listing.
Address: 144 Division St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Windmill Cottage
7. Watch working steam engines at the New England Wireless & Steam Museum
Have fun watching working steam engines and exploring an early wireless station at the New England Wireless and Steam Museum, a mechanical and electrical engineering museum. Founded in 1964, the museum features five buildings - a meeting house, the Mayes building housing the Mechanical Engineering library, the stationary steam engine collection, the Massie Wireless Station, and the building with the wireless collection. What’s also interesting is that the meeting house is part of the Tillinghast Road Historic District. Don’t miss!
New England Wireless & Steam
Address: 1300 Frenchtown Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: New England Wireless & Steam
8. Visit the Armory of the Kentish Guard
Visit the historic Armoury of the Kentish Guards which currently houses historic state militia organization of the Kentish Guards and which is also on the list of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Kentish Guards received a public grant of USD 1,000 for their assistance in the 1842 Dorr Rebellion from the Rhode Island General Assembly, which was employed to build the Greek Revival Armoury building in 1843. The Armoury features the original charter of the Kentish Guards as a memorial and lasting reminder of the founding members of the Kentish Guard and even houses a picture gallery which features previous members of the Guard.
Armory of the Kentish Guard
Address: 1774 Armory St, East Greenwich, RI 02818,
Website: Armory of the Kentish Guard
9. Unearth the mysteries of Varnum Memorial Armory
The 1914-built red-brick medieval architectural style building, that is the Varnum Memorial Armoury, is not only the headquarter of Varnum Continental but also houses within its premises an extensive Military & Naval Museum. The structure itself features a chartered unit of the RI Militia, the headquarters for “Vernum’s Regiment”, a drill hall, and a respected collection of militaria, historical artefacts, uniforms, and weaponry. The Varnum Armoury is also one of the very few non-State-owned armouries to have housed a National Guard unit.
Varnum Memorial Armory
Address: 6 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Varnum Memorial Armory
10. Immerse yourselves in art at YJ Contemporary Fine Art
Located in Warwick and featuring wall space of more than 30,000 sq. feet (2,787 sq. metres), the YJ Contemporary Fine Art is Rhode Island’s largest modern art gallery and features some of the best artists in the U.S. This premier RI gallery has handpicked the best artists from North America such as the likes of Anne Packard Katherine Wood, Joseph Kote and more, and has displayed their exhibits in the gallery space.
YJ Contemporary Fine Art
Address: 42 Ladd St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: YJ Contemporary Fine Art
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sun)
11. Admire the stunning views at East Greenwich Marina
Sea nuts and ‘boataholics’ in East Greenwich will absolutely love the East Greenwich Marina, which occupies an enviable location in Greenwich Cove. Not only is it a great location to dock your boat, but the marina is also home to a whole lot of excellent waterfront restaurants and offers spectacular views of the protected Greenwich Cove. The state-of-the-art mahogany docks feature a relaxed, laidback atmosphere where you can grab a bite or a cold one while watching the pretty boats docked in the marina.
East Greenwich Marina
Address: 28 Water St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: East Greenwich Marina
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed Sat - Sun)
12. Grab a latte-based martini at MainStreet Coffee
Step into Italy at MainStreet Coffee and Toscana Lounge, a laidback cafe and a martini lounge complete with gorgeous, white-paned glass windows and beautiful, cosy sidewalk alfresco seating. The place features sofa seating with a very social sidewalk seating and an intimate bar for cosy conversations. Lounge by the fireplace if you’re on a date and dig into latte- and espresso-based martinis, bacon, chicken, pesto, pizza, paninis, and more, before ending the night with delectable desserts such as apple pie and cheesecake.
Address: 137 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: MainStreet Coffee
Opening hours: 6am - 1am (daily)
13. Drop by the Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar on the Rhode Island Oyster Trail
Indulge in an evening of sinful seafood eating by dining at the Greenwich Oyster Bar, a dining hotspot boasting of a succulent, scrumptious selection of raw seafood. At the same time, don’t miss digging into their delectable baked stuffed oysters which are an absolute delight to the taste buds. East Greenwich has some of the best waters for fishing in RI, and the Greenwich Oyster Bar capitalizes on it. The welcoming, friendly, and cosy place features a fantastic selection of local oysters and must-try dishes include Lobster Bisque, Tuna Tartare, Clams Casino. Sticky Calamari, Filet Mignon Gnocchi, the Swordfish Special, and the Lobster Mac N’ Cheese!
Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar
Address: 240 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Greenwich Bay Oyster Bar
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4pm - 9pm; Fri: 4pm - 10pm; Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm
14. Relish Japanese cuisine at Kon Asian Bistro & Hibachi Grill
With a modern and fresh look that includes Japanese Hibachi grill tables, the Kon Asian Bistro & Hibachi Grill serves up excellent Japanese Sushi, fusion kitchen, and Japanese Hibachi that leaves you wanting for more. Rated as the “Best Asian Restaurant” in the entirety of Rhode Island for seven years in a row, Asian Bistro and Hibachi Grill is where you head for a glass of wine or cocktail with must-try dishes including Sweet Potato Sushi, Crab Rangoons, Wonton Wrappers, scallops and steaks, and more.
Kon Asian Bistro & Hibachi Grill
Address: 553 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Kon Asian Bistro & Hibachi Grill
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 11:30pm; Sun: 1pm - 9:30pm
15. Dine at Besos Kitchen & Cocktails
Casual with a high-end feel and atmosphere, Besos Kitchen & Cocktails is housed in a ‘tavern’ building built way back in 1880, with rumours rife of a yet-undiscovered slave escape tunnel leading to the East Greenwich waterfront. Today, Besos serves a menu featuring modern American as well as international meals. Must-eats include the Studded Roasted Red Peppers, Fish Tacos, and Pomodoro Grilled Pizza, and desserts such as the Mascarpone Cheesecake, the Chocolate Lava Cake, and the Creme Brulee, and the liquid dessert of Joe Chill Cocktail. Besos also features an extensive beer menu including draft and local craft ones.
Besos Kitchen & Cocktails
Address: 378 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Besos Kitchen & Cocktails
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 3pm
16. Circle the horse trails at Goddard Memorial State Park
RI’s most popular metropolitan park - Goddard Park is all about sprawling forested areas, fields, and gardens with a variety of trees from the world over, including 19 evergreen and 62 deciduous species. Goddard Park also features a performing arts centre for picnics, concerts, weddings and special events, 11 game fields, and 355 picnic tables, making it a perfect place for a day out in East Greenwich. Goddard Park also features an equestrian show area and 18 miles (29 km) of bridle trails, where hippophiles can rent horses and ride them along.
Goddard Memorial State Park
Address: 1095 Ives Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Goddard Memorial State Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
17. Have a picnic at Barbara Tufts Memorial Park
Stunning panoramic views of the blue Greenwich Cove and the verdant Goddard Memorial Park make Barbare Tufts Memorial Park perfect to have a picnic by the waterfront in East Greenwich. The park not only has park benches but also picnic tables, picnic shelters, and a beautiful playground for children, along with access to the waterfront. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day out on East Greenwich’s gorgeous waterfront.
Barbara Tufts Memorial Park
Address: 74 London St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Barbara Tufts Memorial Park
18. Engage in a game of baseball at Cragan Field
Cragan Field is a slice of baseball heaven in the quaint New England town of East Greenwich. The beautifully kept field is located close to Bleachery pond and features a well-equipped Little League field, a concession stand, restrooms, and parking facilities. If you’re visiting East Greenwich with family or friends, you could head down to Cragan Field for a game.
Address: 50 Reilly Ave, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Cragan Field
19. Go on a hike to Frenchtown Park and Frye Nature Preserve
The quiet little gem, Frenchtown Park and Frye Nature Preserve is a beautiful place to go hiking. The 125-acres (50.6. hectares) area features the three trail parcels of Frenchtown park Laurel Wood, and Fry Family Nature Preserve, totalling 2.5 miles (4 km). The trailhead begins in the parking lot behind the East Greenwich Parks and Recreation Department building, coming to a small pond before forking north, west, and east. Do you have a dog? Take them along too!
Frenchtown Park and Frye Nature Preserve
Address: 1127 Frenchtown Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
20. Wander around the Fry Brook Recreation Area
Editor’s note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing
Hikers and walk lovers will love to explore the lush Fry Brook Recreation Area, where they can engage in a lovely hike on well-maintained trails. The hiking trails are gravel/dirt roads and are easy to walk on, with the trailhead beginning at the end of the field’s access road. There are two loop trails - one is the bigger 3.1-mile (5 km) hiking loop trail, while the other is a shorter loop trail beginning 0.5 miles (0.8 km) into the hiking trail and making a second loop.
Fry Brook Recreation Area
Address: 300 Avenger Dr, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Fry Brook Recreation Area
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
21. Trek into the woods at Hunt River Preserve
Posted a photo of Hunt River, North Kingstown, Rhode Island Paddling on the Hunt River in East Greenwich, I came across...Posted by Shawn Boyle on Sunday, 19 October 2014
The stunning Hunt River forms in East Greenwich with the confluence of an unnamed stream and Scrabbletown Brook. The Hunt River Preserve lies all along the Hunt River, with the trailhead beginning from the end of a private drive just off the South County Trail in East Greenwich. The trail begins at the beginning of the gated dirt service road, then goes through a wooded area before turning right. The trail is along a few power lines and reaches a dead-end before you have to return. Spot some bird species while walking here, including the red-tailed hawk.
Hunt River Preserve
Address: East Greenwich, Rhode Islands, RI 02818
Website: Hunt River Preserve
22. Break out of monotony at Shovlin Field
On the east side of the town of East Greenwich, the Shovlin Field is a great place to break out the sports equipment and play a game for unlimited fun. Located at the junction of Lenihan Lane and Middle Road, Shovlin Field is a nice green field with a beautiful playground perfect for kids. What’s more, Shovlin Field was also voted the second-best favourite playground or park in East Greenwich.
Address: 10 Lenihan Ln, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Shovlin Field
23. Immerse yourself in nature at Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge
Nestled between Route 4 that abuts the Hunt River and Davisville Road, the Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful green space full of wetlands and woods, making it perfect for hiking and walking. The refuge, through which the Hunt River flows, also offers opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Animal and bird lovers will particularly love spotting birds such as the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Wood Duck, and fauna such as the Fox, Muskrat, Frog, Painted Turtle, Otter, and Beaver. In Springtime, the Trailing Arbutus flower lends a lovely fragrance to the forest.
Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge
Address: Davisville Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Davis Memorial Wildlife Refuge
24. Ride a horse at C and L Stables
If you’re a hippophile and totally love horses, visit the C and L Stables at Goddard Park which offers affordable horseback riding in the lovely green environs of the historical Goddard Park, making it an activity that is fun for the whole family. Goodard Park features 18 miles (29 km) of scenic trails overlooking the azure waters of the East Greenwich Bay. What’s more, you can even indulge in beach bayside rides with their friendly and experienced trail guides.
C and L Stables
Address: 1095 Ives Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: C and L Stables
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
25. Spend a peaceful day at End of the World beach
If you want to spend a perfect day at the beach, then the End of the World beach is where you need to go. Located on the Potowomut Peninsula, the End of the World beach lies at the very edge of the peninsula, around 7 miles (11 km) from the centre of East Greenwich, which is where the Greenwich Bay meets the Narragansett Bay. Pack a swimsuit and a picnic lunch and head out to this peaceful, clean beach where you can spy stunning views of Jamestown, Hope Island, Prudence Island, Patience Island, Warnick Nec, Oakland Beach and Buttonwoods.
End of the World beach
Address: 21 Charlotte Dr, East Greenwich, RI 0281
Website: End of the World beach
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
26. Fly RC aircrafts at Beattie Field
Located conveniently on the north side north of Division Road West Greenwich, the fantastic Beattie Field is one of the best radio-controlled flying fields in Rhode Island. The flying field features two well-manicured, elevated grass runways, plenty of parking and picnic tables, safety box, windsock, workbenches and stands, and even a pit area. For those who are enthusiasts, Beattie Field is a great place to spend time flying radio-controlled aircraft.
Address: 174-204 Division Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Beattie Field
27. Go swimming at Sandy Point Beach
On the other side of the End of the World beach, the rocky shores turn into sandy ones, transforming into the Sandy Point Beach, which is a hidden gem for relaxing, fishing, sun-bathing, and shell gathering. This natural, shallow beach lies on the Sakonnet River at the end of Sandy Point Avenue in Potowomut and features picnic tables, restrooms and changing rooms, making it a great place for family fun.
Sandy Point Beach
Address: 20 Ives Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Sandy Point Beach
28. Have a lovely time at Meritage Restaurant
Sip on some delicious margaritas and carefully chosen wines at Meritage Restaurant, which is an elegant yet casual-vibe restaurant serving up eclectic, new-American cuisine. The contemporary, chic venue has some particularly amazing margaritas, of which you must try the Mango Margarita and Fish Bowl Margaritas particularly. When it comes to food, do try the Seafood Risotto, Lobster Cardinale, BBQ Chicken Nachos, Fig and Arugula Pizza, Chicken Parm Meatball, Wedge Salad, Veal Chop, Tuna Napoleon, Kebab Trio, Grilled Meat Loaf with Portabello Demi-Glace, and mouth-watering desserts such as the Peanut Butter & Chocolate Torte and the unique, one-of-a-kind Dessert Pizza. Yum!
Address: 5454 Post Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Meritage Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4:30pm - 10pm; Fri: 4pm - 11pm; Sat: 4:30pm - 11pm; Sun: 2pm - 9pm
29. Savor a delicious breakfast at Jiggers Diner
The vintage, unique Jiggers has been a fixture of the Main Street of East Greenwich since the ‘50s. With a menu featuring awesome fare with a stylish twist, and a gently-curving roof akin to a railroad dining car, Jiggers is the perfect place to dig into a delicious breakfast the first thing in the morning. Try the eggs benedict, omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, gingerbread pancakes, and 'Johnny Cakes’ (after all, it’s Rhode Island), and a special dish which features a huge chilli and cornbread pile-up with poached eggs and hollandaise on top. Polish off your meal with a drink of coffee-milk, the official state beverage, which is coffee-flavoured chocolate milk.
Address: 145 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Jiggers Diner
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 6am - 2:30pm (closed on Tue)
30. Plan to explore the Chepiwanoxet Point
Head to Chepiwanoxet, a neighbourhood in Warwick, an island peninsula in Greenwich Bay, and make a day of it. Deriving from a Narragansett word, Chepiwanoxet could have been derived from ‘chepi’ (separated), 'wan’ (particle), 'ok’ (small), and 'sett’ (place), the entire thing translating to 'small separated place’ or 'Little Place in the Northeast’. The highlight of Chepiwanoxet is the Chepiwanoxet Point, where Native Americans are said to have fished off of when it was still a small island in Greenwich Bay. It is also said that this is where Chepiwanoxet was named, with one translation of it also meaning 'devil’s island’!.
Address: East Greenwich, RI 02818
Website: Chepiwanoxet Point
Have a great holiday at effervescent East Greenwich
East Greenwich might appear small in size, but there’s enough stuff to do and see to keep you occupied for a long holiday in this beautiful town. While visiting, do indulge in these many amazing things to do in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
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