With three beaches, the village of Matunuck, six miles east of Charlestown, is known for its surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing. The best waves are found at Deep Hole and there is neither a parking fee nor amenities. The surf at nearby East Matunuck State Beach has smaller, less forceful waves, and is a better option for families. It has lifeguards, changing rooms, bathrooms, showers and a snack shack. The parking fees are $12 to $14, depending on the day, and seniors pay half price. A third option just down the road from Deep Hole is South Kingstown Town Beach. Parking is $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends.
After a day in the water, stop for drinks, dinner or live music at The Pub or Ocean Mist restaurants. Both overlook the water; The Pub has a rooftop bar while the Ocean Mist has a wooden deck with waves rolling beneath it.
For finer dining, try the farm-to-table Matunuck Oyster Bar. The owner Perry Raso, an oyster farmer with degrees in aquaculture and fisheries technology, started “digging wild shellfish with a bull rack at age 12.” He also created the Matunuck Oyster Farm that visitors can tour. It’s a quick jaunt on nearby Potter Pond via a pontoon boat.
“We do a brief introduction about aquaculture on a global and local scale and then ride out to the farm to see the oysters growing,” Mr. Raso said.
Mr. Raso serves vegetables at his restaurant grown on his certified organic farm. What food he doesn’t farm he procures locally, so guests can sample a variety of fresh seafood and shellfish.
Be sure to try the Rhode Island clam chowder, made with broth instead of cream (New England) or tomatoes (Manhattan), and the calamari prepared Rhode Island- style with hot cherry peppers.
Caryn B. Davis is a photographer and journalist whose images and articles have appeared in more than 60 publications worldwide.