A popular boating destination for boaters from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York is the anchorage at Napatree Point, a stretch of sandy land stretching west a mile from Watch Hill, Rhode Island, an opulent travel destination of a day or weekend for those who want to indulge in exclusive shopping, exceptional dining, picturesque ocean views at a slow, laid-back, laid-back and informal pace.
Filling the anchorage behind Napatree Point to the northeast is the Pawcatuck River which empties into Little Narragansett Bay, an estuary of approximately 320 square miles, running at an average depth of approximately seven feet; a perfect anchor for boats of most sizes. Some of the boats under thirty feet prefer to back aft to shore for easy access to the calm waters of the north side of the bay or the throbbing surf of the opposite south shore. And there is plenty of beach for everyone, even during the busiest boating months.
In 1938, Napatree Point, Rhode Island was separated from Sandy Point, Connecticut, in a hurricane that devastated the area, washing the houses off their foundations in what is now the anchorage. There are still vestiges of that storm at the bottom of the sea, without the compromise of salt water and marine life, parts of cast iron stoves, stainless steel refrigerators and metal pipes, hence the nickname “the kitchen.”
The Naptree – Watch Hill connection is a boater’s paradise, combining a peaceful anchorage, a world-class beach, and an exclusive town just a short boat ride away. You can take a casual stroll down Bay Street across from the Watch Hill harbor, stopping to visit any of the small shops, bistros, and specialty boutiques. For breakfast or lunch, there is St. Claire’s Annex for traditional American-style dinners or Bay Street Deli for the best sandwiches from oversized deli, such as Bay Street Reuben, The Mooring or Misquamicut Club. A couple of doors down you will find Bruna’s Cafe and a variety of hot and cold gourmet drinks, yogurts, granola, sandwich rolls, salads, smoothies, sorbet and homemade gelato.
If you’re looking for something a little more formal for lunch or dinner, there are indoor / outdoor dining at the Olympia Bar & Tea Room and the well-known landmark, the yellow Ocean House on Bluff Avenue on a hill overlooking the Watch Hill Harbor to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
Kids will love the chance to grab the silver ring on the Flying Horse Carousel, the oldest working carousel in the country. For your convenience, there are public restrooms adjacent to the carousel at Flying Horse Beach, and you can get ice for your cooler at Bay Street Deli or Watch Hill Dock. All of this and more are within a quarter mile walk.
Napatree Beach is a mile-long stretch of sandy shoreline with the scenic Watch Hill Light on the eastern end and Fort Mansfield, a now heavily vegetated Spanish American War weapons site, on the western end. Napatree is shaped like a crescent with soft sand and a view of Fisher’s Island to the southwest and on a clear day, Block Island – Rhode Island to the southeast and Montauk Point – Long Island in a straight line.
A dangerous reef stretches from Watch Hill Light to the east coast of Fisher’s Island. The safest passage from the east is the closest to the lighthouse via Watch Hill Passage, between G-1 (gong) and R-21 (flashing red – six o’clock bell). From the west, the best route is to go around the western breakwater in Stonington, CT, past Stonington Point following the buoys north, and past the G-5 (flashing green) around the west end of Sandy Point. Stay in channel and do not cut south to Napatree Point until you have passed Seal Rock and RN “22” unless you have a shallow draft.
If you’re looking for a boating destination with a prime beach, a quiet anchorage, a place to entertain the kids, great food, and a casual, friendly atmosphere, you’ll find it at Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and Napatree Point. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.