Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail
take you through tiny settlements where the sea captains of the 1840s had built the Mansard-roofed mansions that now share their frontage with antique shops, art galleries, farm stands, wine tasting vineyards, a donut shop ranked top ten in the country, and an ice-cream stand offering more than 210 flavors. Even with all this action you still find the mid-18th Century flavor and can almost imagine that you have returned to the age of sail.
On Rhode Island's Coastal Villages trail, Little Compton Commons gives a glimpse of a New England village forgotten by time. Retaining the flavor of the old New England seacoast whaling villages and farming communities that lived by the sea and endured by the grace of God, the common’s white clapboard church, the tallest building in town, looms over the center of the green surrounded by old gravestones wreathed in a patina of lichen beneath shading maples. Untroubled by civilization, the Commons is not unusual in this region deliberately out of step with the modern world.
Rhode Island's Coastal Villages Trail heads from there to Westport Harbor, an elegant beach community on the west branch of the Westport River and then north paralleling the river to Adamsville. Legend has it that rum runners once rowed up the estuary in the dark of night to deliver illegal whisky near the gristmill in an era that gave the town the scurrilous name, Valley of Sin.
Lamplights line the street where two general stores, the Barn Restaurant, and several gift shops surround the plaque to the crowing rights for Adamsville, the region’s development of the Rhode Island Red, a variety of rooster world renown commemorated with a bronze plaque in front of the baseball park.
Nearby, the Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery conducts a near clinic on wine making for nascent vintners that includes tours of the processing rooms and a tasting gathered around their herb garden.
Special events for cognoscenti and those aspiring include Chef Kerry’s demonstration of pairing of wines and foods that include a gourmet meal served with the appropriate wines. The demonstrations of viticulture fascinate in these rolling hills bathed in coastal mist where the climate akin to that of northern France produces some exceptional wines.
Rhode Island Coastal villages Trail shopping at Karla Young's Farm Stand
Herman Melville visited New Bedford's Seamen’s Bethel and gathered detail for his tales of Moby Dick, Ishmael, and Captain Ahab’s fateful revenge against the Great White Whale.
Allen “Pappy” Manley and wife Nancy run the Alderbrook farm, a family operation since 1898.
The eastern road leads to Padanaram, home since 1938 of the famous Concordia sailing yawls and a haven for small boat sailors.
Back in 1898, an event largely overlooked occurred near here when retired China Trade Sea Captain Joshua Slocum returned after a three-year solo circumnavigation of the globe in his 37-foot oyster sloop, Spray, the first ever solo voyage around the world. He wrote an ingenuous no-frills adventure yarn in vigorous prose sure to please.
To the west, Fall River attracts travelers with its factory outlets and the steel-hulled warships at the floating museum of Battleship Cove. There you can tour the Battleship Massachusetts, the Submarine Lionfish, the Destroyer J P Kennedy, two PT boats, and a Russian guided-missile cruiser.
The New England Sea Captains could have never imagined such ships of steel and speed. Their life was much slower and simpler. When they retired they used their treasures from the sea to build places of sanctuary on the Coastal Village Trail
On Rhode Islands coastal village Trail, Sea Captains like Joshua Slocum lived and worked during the mid 1800s. He was a former captain of the China trade who told in a book what forces drove him to sail alone around the world in a thirty seven foot sloop, the first ever to do so.
Courage and freedom exude from his book, Sailing Solo Around the World, A man near to obsession to taste life fully, to smell it, to live it springs from the pages.
While we might not be able to sail around the world like Slocum did we can still visit the seaports and fishing villages where Sea Captains like him lived and worked.
Cliffwalk Newport Rhode Island
Ice cream shops, antique galleries, and wineries and Horseneck Beach Stat Park on Rhode Island's Coastal Villages Trail
Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail
“ I was born in the breezes and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else.”
On the Coastal villages Trail Karla Young cuts flowers for her farm stand in Little Compton
Triverton’s Four Corners offers a cluster of 30 art and craft galleries, a gourmet bakery, ample parking, and Grays ice cream stand.
When summer brings the scent of fresh produce on the wind and you find just the right farm stand at just the right time it gets no better. Stop at Karla Young’s Family Farm on Route 71 in Little Compton and stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables from the 180 acre farm that she and husband Tyler manage. .
Former Whaling Village of Westport
Little Compton Commons
Sailing Narragansett Bay
Coastal Villages Trail
Home of painter Gilbert Stuart in Jamestown RI
Nearby in the fishing port of Westport Point Stephen Davis, 1770, once designed ship hulls, John Head, 1776, built colonial homes, and Gideon Davis in 1827 captained a whaling square rigger. The preserved homes of the 19th Century seafarers line the narrow main street terminating at the docks from where the whalers once sailed the world and now lobstermen and gill-netters coax a living from the sea.
Cape Cod Biking
Getting to The Coastal Villages Trail: Boston is the nearest large city to The area along Rhode Island Sound and the coastal Villages Trail.
Air service reaches Boston from other major hubs and cities. Rental cars are available at the airport. From Boston take Route 93 to Route 24. to Newport Rhode Island 73 miles.
From the south, New York City is a 130 mile drive on Route I-95 north to Providence.
Air service reaches Boston from other major hubs and cities. Rental cars are available at the airport.
Airlines serve Providence RI (Warwick RI. (PVD) TF Green Airport) and Hartford Conn. (BDL) Bradley International Airport, smaller cities closer to Newport than Boston or NY
Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail is a great place for gallery hopping.
While you shop for treasures of bone and stone brought back by the Sea Captains of the China Trade visit the Gilded Age mansions of Newport and the whaling Museum in New Bedford .
Rhode Island Sound
Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail is a great place for gallery hopping. Visit the Gilded Age mansions of Newport and the whaling Museum in New Bedford .
Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail offers Vineyards, antique shopping, and Fall River's Battleship Cove Museum.
Rhode Island Coastal Villages Trail offers antique shopping, art gallery hopping and visits to Battleship Cove Museum in Fall River MA.