Happy Labor Day! This usually indicts the end of summer. I have to mention one of my favorite places to go during summer - Watch Hill, Rhode Island. It may be known as the location of Taylor Swift’s summer home where she has her 4th of July parties.
Watch Hill is a coastal village in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island. It’s small so it’s perfect for day trippers or those who wants a quiet weekend getaway. During summers, it can get crazy because parking isn’t fun! There is street parking with 2 hours limit so that’s the only downside. If you do want to spend the entire day without worrying about parking - there are paid lots which range from $20-$30.
So what’s there to do in Watch Hill? There’s the beautiful Napatree Point beach. I have walked on that beach several times over the years. It has to be one of my favorite beaches. Stunning views of the water and you can see the Watch Hill Lighthouse. It’s definitely a place that I go to at least few times every summer! The best part about the beach is that dogs are allowed (with restrictions during summers when they aren’t allowed from 8am-5pm). During off season they are allowed anytime which is when I usually take my pup to enjoy the beach! Another bonus about Napatree Point beach: there are no admission fees (which makes the parking hassle little better, right?!).
There are MANY boutique shops in Watch Hill. There’s a variety of women’s clothing, kids clothing, home goods and kitchen wares, jewelry and accessories, bags and many more. A few of my long time favorites includes Jan’s Boutique of Watch Hill, Bay Breeze Interiors and Rochelle’s Boutiques. Jan Boutique’s is the place to get your Watch Hill t-shirts. It’s the perfect touristy shop with an impressive selections of t-shirts and sweatshirts. Bay Breeze Interiors is packed with nautical home decor items! I always have to check in every time I come to Watch Hill. There are also Watch Hill souvenirs for the home! Rochelle’s Boutiques has several locations in Mystic, Newport and Watch Hill that carries women’s clothing. It’s the best shop for the fashion lovers! The clothes are beautiful and trendy - many different styles for all kinds! The girls are amazingly helpful too - if you want fashion help, they’re there for you!
Newer shops to Watch Hill includes Sea Bags, Charlotte Julienne, Coco and Lala and Lilly Pulitzer. Sea Bags is a retail shop that sells nautical tote bags made from recycled sails. I’ve been obsessed with this store since I visited one in Maine. I was excited when they brought storefronts to Mystic AND Watch Hill! Charlotte Julienne is the place to go for unique home goods! There are so many good potential gifts if you are shopping for someone else. My favorite item were the signal flags dominoes (cough, perfect Christmas gift for me Mom & Dad, cough). Coco and Lala is probably the most attractive storefront with their colorful neon signs and pink painted doors. They have two shops - one for women’s clothing and one for kiddos. The women’s clothing store has the best long flowy summer dresses and they have the best Watch Hill sweaters (see the picture)! Lilly Pulitzer is a chain store that sells resort and beachwear clothing for women, men & kids. Lilly Pulitzer is known to be super colorful and artistic looking - those who knows me can tell you that they have seen me in several Lilly pieces over the years! Ocean House used to have their gift shop there but transformed it into Lilly Pulitzer retail shop few summers ago.
Ocean House is a well known landmark of Watch Hill! The huge yellow New England resort that is perched on the highest elevation in Watch Hill. Ocean House is the ultimate New England resort - a luxury hotel with restaurants and spa. They host several events throughout the year which are announced on their social media pages. You can’t leave Watch Hill without seeing the Ocean House. Treat yourself for a day at the spa or eat at their Sunday brunch in the restaurant! There is another public beach behind Ocean House called the East Beach. If you spend the day on East Beach, you definitely will have an amazing view of the Ocean House in the background as well as better view of Taylor Swift’s mansion.
Surrounding the Ocean House are many Victorian style cottages that are summer homes to many wealthy families. It’s fun to take a stroll around to enjoy the beautiful designs of those New England homes. You would be amazed at how empty Watch Hill is in the winter time! It’s like a ghost town if you ever go there in January or February but it’s still beautiful. Be sure to take the walk down to Watch Hill Light - it is accessed via a private road as long you are on foot (with expectation for the handicapped who can drive on the road). The lighthouse museum is opened Tuesdays-Thursdays in July and August. I have yet to see the museum but it is on my bucket list!
All of the walking and exploring in Watch Hill will make you hungry. So where to go eat in Watch Hill? I like to stop in at Sift , of course! As you may recall I blogged about Sift in Mystic, they have a second location in Watch Hill. They offer mostly the same items that you see in their Downtown Mystic shop. St. Clair Annex is a popular eatery in Watch Hill for most. It is a long time family operated stand offering sandwiches and ice cream. Their lobster roll and ice cream are the most raved about. It’s located right next to the flying horse carousel which is the oldest continuously operated carousel in the United States. The carousel is a must stop for those with kiddos!
Watch Hill is one of my favorite New England places to go because it’s so beautiful during all seasons. In the fall, the Ocean House is decorated with hundreds of pumpkins on their steps. During winters, it’s peaceful to have the snowy coastal village to yourself. Dogs comes out of winter hibernation in the spring when you see many returning to the beach. Summer is the perfect time to shop local in those amazing shops. The stunning waterfront views in Watch Hill will never get old!
This blog is not sponsored. All opinions in this blog are my own.