Westerly Community

Westerly is located on the Southwestern tip of Rhode Island, bordering the Southeastern corner of Connecticut. The Town has a unique history and the atmosphere of an old New England village. The Indian name for Westerly was Misquamicut—”a place for taking salmon.” Westerly was the first town incorporated in the King’s Province on May 13, 1669, and the fifth town in the colony.

Between 1980 and 1990 Westerly experienced a 14.05% population growth. Currently, Westerly supports a population of over 23,000, although it nearly doubles during the summer due to the large number of vacationers and seasonal residences. Encompassing an area of 33 square miles, Westerly includes the villages of Bradford, White Rock and Potter Hill, as well as the resorts of Misquamicut, Watch Hill and Weekapaug.

In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Westerly as one of the 12 Most Distinctive Destinations in the country. The unique, well-preserved architecture downtown includes the superb Wilcox Park, created by the firm that was founded by famed landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. His signature property is New York Central Park. The distinction of Wilcox Park, along with 55 additional historic sites such as the Babcock-Smith House and Flying Horse Carousel, makes it no surprise that Westerly received this outstanding designation.

The Westerly Chamber of Commerce Rhode Island Division of Tourism
The Town of Westerly

Beaches & Boating

Westerly is located next door to Stonington, CT, and is bounded by Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its beautiful beaches.

Westerly’s seven miles of sandy beaches are a mecca for tourism. The seven-mile strip is composed of the Misquamicut State beach, Westerly Town beach, public and many private beaches. The State Beach is open year-round, while other beaches are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The area also boasts several private beach clubs with full cabana service, extensive social calendars and broad stretches of beach.

Watch Hill is a well-known waterfront resort community. Napatree Point is a popular spot for hiking, fishing, bathing, and boating. You’ll see some spectacular yachts in this harbor, as well as hundreds of sailboats and powerboats.

Misquamicut State Beach Westerly Town Beach
Burlingame State Park Mystic Aquarium

Sports & Recreation

Southern Rhode Island is something of a golf mecca. By a recent count, there are at least fourteen public and six private courses within 20 miles of Winnapaug Cottages, including the adjacent Winnapaug Golf Club—a public, Donald-Ross designed 18-hole championship circuit—and the Lake of Isles golf resort at Foxwoods Resort Casino in nearby North Stonington, CT. But that’s not all. Westerly also features tremendous resources for tennis, kayaking, camping, canoeing, and a host of other recreational activities. Hikers can even explore the numerous nature trails located within the Westerly Land Trust and Audubon land preserves that surround Winnapaug Cottages.

Westerly Land Trust Nature Trails Winnapaug Golf & Country Club
Kayaking Lake of Isles at Foxwoods Resort Casino
Weekapaug Golf Club

Casinos & Nightlife

The Westerly area boasts numerous opportunities for gaming and nightlife, including Foxwoods (20 minutes), the largest casino in North America, and Mohegan Sun (30 minutes). In addition to gaming, these facilities are both venues for major entertainment, excellent restaurants, sporting events, concerts and world championship boxing. During summer months, the Misquamicut beach front hums with nighttime activity. The nearby tourist magnets of Newport and Mystic, CT, also feature extensive nightclub and dancing venues open year-round. An eight-screen theater five minutes from downtown Westerly features first-run movies year-round.

Foxwoods Resort Casino Mohegan Sun Casino
Twin River Casino Newport, Rhode Island
Mystic, Connecticut

Shopping & Dining

As you might expect, the shopping and dining in Westerly is superb, particularly during summer months when our population doubles. In addition to scores of restaurants offering everything from Mediterranean fare to seafood, Italian, Chinese, American, Mexican and Greek food, Westerly has a number of quaint New England inns with terrific indoor and outdoor dining rooms. Our beautiful downtown streets are dotted with interesting shops and boutiques.

Westerly Chamber of Commerce Restaurants in Westerly

Enjoy the cultural activities of Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Participate in recreational and sporting activities such as walking, boating, fishing, kayaking, tennis, golfing, playing in the surf and on the sand.
Live the life you really want to live.

Art & Culture

Westerly and the surrounding area is full of opportunities to enjoy the arts. Our cultural events calendar includes an annual Summer Pops concert in Wilcox Park; the Colonial Theater’s annual Shakespeare Festival; and the Virtu Arts Festival. Charlestown’s Rhythm & Roots Festival attracts major Cajun and bluegrass performers from around the country every year, and The Granite Theater stages plays year-round. And, of course, Westerly is close to Newport, site of the world-famous Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, as well as the Newport Music Festival, the highlight of classical music’s annual calendar.

Tunes on the Dunes The Chorus of Westerly
The Granite Theatre Rhythm & Roots Festival
The Artists’ Collaborative Gallery Seafood Festival
RI State Council on the Arts Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Newport Music Festival Newport Jazz Festival & Folk Festival