Cruising to Rhode Island’s Watch Hill

When navigating to Watch Hill, boaters coming from the east should keep an eye out for a dangerous reef stretching from Watch Hill Light to the east shore of Fishers Island. The safest passage from that direction is closest to the lighthouse through Watch Hill Passage. From the west, travel around the western breakwater in Stonington, past Stonington Point, and around the western tip of Sandy Point.

Slips are often available at Watch Hill Docks Marina (401-596-7807) on Watch Hill Cove. Also, the Watch Hill Yacht Club (www.whyc.net; 401-596-4986) offers moorings and launch service. Most boaters visiting the area anchor behind the long, sandy arm of Napatree Point, a mile-long sand spit that extends west of Watch Hill. It offers good protection and good holding ground, and boaters can use the dinghy dock at Watch Hill Docks. If you plan to spend several days in Watch Hill Harbor, plan ahead. The area doesn’t have any large grocery stores for provisions, and the harbor has no fuel. The nearest fuel is at the Watch Hill Boatyard (www.watchhillboatyard.com; 401-348-8148), just north of Watch Hill Cove.

No visit to Watch Hill is complete without a ride on the Flying Horse Carousel (www.watchhillbeachandcarousel.com), the oldest continually operating carousel in the country. The carousel is located at Flying Horse Beach. Lighthouse enthusiasts can visit Watch Hill Light (www.newenglandlighthouses.net/watch-hill.html) during the summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. And, if you’re feeling energetic, you can hike to Fort Mansfield, a Spanish-American War gun emplacement at the western end of Napatree Point that is now covered in vegetation.

For dinner, you can visit the Ocean House Resort (www.oceanhouseri.com; 401-584-7000), a luxury resort and restaurant with beautiful ocean views. The Olympia Tea Room and Bar (www.olympiatearoom.com; 401-348-8211) features contemporary American and European cuisine, and the Bay Street Deli (www.baystreetdeliwh.com; 401-596-6606) offers great sandwiches, including lobster rolls.

For more information on visiting Watch Hill, check out www.visitwatchhill.com or www.westerlychamber.org.

The village of Watch Hill, Rhode Island is the perfect weekend getaway. Popular among boaters for its long sand beach and protected anchorage, the village attracts visitors with its upscale boutiques and shops, fantastic restaurants, large mansions and beautiful scenery.