Daytripping in Wickford, RI.
Narragansett Bay is dotted with little hamlets. Some are nothing more than low-key residential areas or centuries-old fishing outposts and some are the ultimate in swanky suburbs. Somewhere between low-key and ultra-swanky is Wickford, Rhode Island.
Wickford is just shy of a two-hour drive from the Cape. After exiting Route 195 and heading toward Middletown, RI, the local roads require a slower pace, slow enough to enjoy views of the occasional vineyard or historic home. Crossing over the bay on the sky-high Newport Bridge is a gorgeous experience, almost worth the trip itself, certainly worth the two-dollar toll.
Wickford is a really old town (or should that be olde?), established in 1663. The commercial area, just a couple of blocks, is filled with tightly packed shops, galleries, and eateries, and many of the buildings are clearly historic, well-maintained, but not overly renovated. Walk beyond the shopping district further out on Main Street toward the water, and there are several houses dating back to the mid-1700’s. Most are on the National Register.
All of the shopping and eating in Wickford is pretty much confined to Brown and Main Streets. Just about every building has a water view. Some of the best water views can be had from the ample (and free) public parking area on Brown Street, tucked behind the pharmacy. The town has even provided benches right along the water and public restrooms…this is one nice parking lot!