Forbes.com has named Washington County, RI as twelfth in its list of 'America's Best Places To Raise A Family' on June 30th, 2008
- Westerly, Rhode Island
- Watch Hill, Rhode Island
- Misquamicut, Rhode Island
- Hopkinton, Rhode Island
- Richmond, Rhode Island
- Pawcatuck, Connecticut
- Southern Rhode Island, Washington County Rhode Island, South County Rhode Island
Watch Hill is a beautiful seaside village nestled on a peninsular point of land that is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, providing a spectacular view of the most beautiful sunsets in all of Rhode Island.
Watch Hill was originally settled by the Niantic Indians in the 1600s, whose Chief Ninigret is honored with a statue of his likeness that gazes out into the harbor. Colonists later moved in and the point earned it's current name for serving as a strategic lookout point during the French and Revolutionary Wars. This strategic importance continued, as in the early 1900's, the tip of Watch Hill's Napatree Point served as a military fortification, whose ruins still stand to this day.
Watch Hill now serves as home to fine shopping and dining, as well as hotel accomodations for those who wish to spend their vacation a stone's throw from the gentle shores of Napatree Point, which offers smaller waves and fine shore fishing.
Be sure to visit the historic Watch Hill Lighthouse (est 1806), as well as The Flying Horses Carousel which is touted as the oldest operating carousel in the United States. Explore the wonderfully unique shops that line this timeless snapshot of history and you too will realize why so many return here year after year.
Over the years, many notable celebrites have visited Watch Hill as it provides a perfect retreat from the fast-pace glitz of Hollywood life. Westerly's most famous resident is pop star Tylor Swift who purchased a 17.5 million dollar home, in cash, in 2012. Located just a few doors down from the world class Ocean House resort, Ms. Swift's expansive seaside residence abuts East Beach and is in plain view to the public and her adoring fans. Security officers guard the property 24/7. Despite these necessary security precautions, Ms. Swift can be seen regularly at local restaurants and ice cream parlors. She has consistently beend described as 'sweet' and 'gracious' in her interatctions with locals and fans in our community.
Misquamicut, Rhode Island
Indian for 'Red Salmon at this place,' the Misquamicut Beach is seven miles of sand and surf. The beach offers moderate surf and a little undertow, and has areas for body and board surfing with lifeguards on duty throughout the season. The sand varies from white fine powder for those of you who like a soft spot to suntan, to colored gravel - perfect for those seeking to add to their rock collections!
When the sun sets, Misquamicut's nightlife comes alive, offering fine dining, from gourmet Italian to native seafood, and activities that will keep both the kids and the young at heart entertained throughout the evening. The perfect end to a day at Misquamicut beach, is a moonlit stroll along the shore.
Parking at Misquamicut Beach is plentiful, with a capacity in upwards of 3,000 vehicles for a small daily fee.
Hopkinton, Rhode Island
This southwestern Rhode Island community sits along the Connecticut border and had a bucolic history which is now being challenged by new developments. Hopkinton is a community of forests, state parks and management areas. Hopkinton's growth should continue as the town is bisected by I-95 giving it easy access to the growing southeastern Connecticut market as well as an easy 40-minute drive into Providence.
Hopkinton was established in 1669 as a part of the Town of Westerly, as were Richmond and Charlestown. However, after the people petitioned the General Assembly to divide it, the Town of Hopkinton was incorporated on March 14, 1757. Hopkinton was named in honor of Stephen Hopkins, who was then Governor of Rhode Island, and also a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Similar to other Rhode Island cities and town, the early settlements in Hopkinton were centered around its rivers. For example, one of the early trades in Ashaway was blacksmithing. This village is also known throughout the world because here is located the Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., a manufacturer of top quality sport fishing lines and products.
Today, Hopkinton is still a rural town. Recreation is highlighted in Hopkinton with fresh water fishing facilities, parks, and numerous campgrounds. Hopkinton is one of the popular vacation areas of southern Rhode Island and convenient to miles of ocean front beaches.
The center of Hopkinton is the little hamlet of Hopkinton City, designed as a state and federal historic district. Antiquities in the center of town include the 1861 town hall, the 1790 meeting house and the 1836 First Baptist Church.
Antiques enthusiasts will relish discovering the many antique shops in town, and the Hopkinton Festival and the Swamp Yankee Days events take place each September.
Fenner Hill Golf Course is a picturesque course that compliments the lovely Lindhbrook, par 3 course. These modern facilities are two of the finest courses in the region.
Hope Valley, a village in the Town of Hopkinton, has a small quantity of shops, all of excellent quality. Bakeries, clothing and outdoor sports retailers, quaint restaurants and a handful of other businesses are nestled along Routes 3 & 138 in this historic village.
Some world renowned manufacturers are headquartered in Hopkinton, supporting the local tax base and employing hundreds of local workers.
Ashaway Line & Twine is best known for manufacturing world class racket strings used by man of the leading professional players. They are the US's only manufacturer of this product, and they are also a world leader in the production of bulk, non-sterile and non-absorbable medical threads and custom braided products.
Hi-Tech Profiles specializes in the extrusion of tubing, hollow rod, bushing stock, and custom shapes. With HTP-Meds having over 23 years of extrusion experience, it positions the company as one of the most versatile producers of close tolerance, precision polyimide tubing and coated wire for medical, electrical and electronics applications today.
Richmond, Rhode Island
The Town of Richmond, originally a part of Charlestown, was incorporated August 18, 1747. It was probably named in honor of Edward Richmond, the Attorney General of the colony from 1671 to 1680, who took an active part in the original settlement of the area. A large portion of the town was included in the Shannock Purchase, a tract of vacant land sold by the Commissioners of the General Assembly to a company of purchasers in 1709.
Like many other communities in Washington County, 17th Century Richmond was home for many early settlers. After purchasing land from the Indians, these wealthy Narragansett planters, who were educated, intelligent land gentry, settled in South County and brought an accumulated wealth to the area making it the wealthiest area in Rhode Island for many years.
The end of the plantation era also signaled the beginning of the early water-powered industry. The water power of Richmond's streams furnished the motive power for its sawmills and the textile industry.
Richmond is still a rural area. In fact, a large portion of the town (about 60 percent) is undeveloped woodland. It is still dotted with villages like Shannock, Kenyon, Hope Valley, and Hillsdale; however, many of the mills that once activated these villages are now closed. One major exception is the Old Grist Mill in Usquepaugh.
The Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association is an important resource in this community. Many of WPWA's activities are directed toward educating and informing residents, visitors, and public officials about the watershed's pristine lands, water resources and fishing opportunities.
Primarily a farming area, Richmond is known for its untainted rural beauty. Hiking, fishing and canoeing the Wood River are all popular activities. But it is the golf courses in Richmond that are increasingly gaining recognition throughout New England. Richmond Country Club, Beaver River, Laurel Lane and Wood River Golf Courses offer pristine, picuresque courses with excellent dining and banquet facilities.
Richmond hosts the annual Washington County Fair in mid-August at the fairgrounds on Route 112. This is the state's largest fair, complete with crafts, food, an amusement park, and performances by country music artists.
While the town prides itself on its rural charm, a business district on Route 138 has virtually everything one needs for modern, comfortable living. From financial institutions to grocery stores and retailers, residents have it all within reach. The Arcadia YMCA is also located conveniently on Route 138.
The Official Town of Richmond Website
Pawcatuck is a river village in the historic town of Stonington. The first business was the trading post on the Pawcatuck River built by Thomas Stanton in 1661. Shortly thereafter a grist mill and later a sawmill was erected on the west bank of the river. The oldest standing house in Stonington is the Stanton-Davis Homestead in Lower Pawcatuck built in 1680.
King Charles II set the eastern boundary of Connecticut at the Pawcatuck River in 1662, which explains why Westerly and Pawcatuck are in different states while still being entwined in many business and recreational enterprises.
Pawcatuck has retained its neighborhoods and sense of community. Citizens take great pride in their schools. The Town of Stonington has made investments in beautifying their downtown with trees and flowers and with a pleasant park on the river. Marinas are busy launching and servicing boats for sportfishing in the Atlantic. Downtown retail shops feature unique gifts, trendy clothing and a pottery studio.
Today Pawcatuck is the home of such modern enterprises as the Davis-Standard Corporation which makes extruders for the plastics industry and Cottrell Brewery which is known for its Yankee Ale.
Westerly / Pawcatuck two towns, one fabulous destination!
The Official Town of Stonington Website
Southern Rhode Island Region
Washington County Rhode Island is a county located in the southwestern part of the state of Rhode Island. Washington County borders Kent County to the north, New London County in Connecticut to the west, Suffolk County in New York to the southwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Newport County, Rhode Island, to the east. As of 2010, the population was 126,979. Formed as King's County in 1729 from the southern portion of Providence County, its name was changed to Washington County in 1781. Washington County is the largest county in Rhode Island, and the smallest county in the US that is a state's largest county. Rhode Island counties, including Washington County, have no governmental functions, other than as court administrative and sheriff corrections boundaries which are part of state government. Washington County consist of the following towns: Block Island/New Shoreham, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown , Richmond , South Kingstown and Westerly.
Southern Rhode Island refers to a specific geographic region of Rhode Island that is marketed by the United Chambers of Southern Rhode Island, a coalition of 5 independent southern Rhode Island chambers of commerce that work in unison to advance the business interests and economy of the region. Southern Rhode Island chambers of commerce that partner in this coalition promote events, beaches, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses in the towns of Block Island/New Shoreham, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown and Westerly. With over 2,300 businesses represented, this organization is the definitive voice of business for southern Rhode Island and also has members from the towns of East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Pawcatuck, CT and beyond.
South County Rhode Island is a marketing brand that refers to a specific geographic region of Rhode Island. That brand is promoted by the State of Rhode Island Department of Economic Development and the South County Tourism Council with funds that are generated through state hotel taxes. Marketing of South County promotes the following Rhode Island Towns: Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, West Greenwich and Westerly.
All these different names for one special region may seem confusing, but we can help. To obtain the most accurate and comprehensive vacation information and business information for Southern Rhode Island, South County and/or Washington County visit Unitedchambersri.com.