Picture this: it’s a gorgeous sunny day and you have the day off but don’t know what to do or where to go. You could take the ferry out to Block Island or you could drive to Boston but why not enjoy the beautiful seaside community right here?
There’s rarely traffic coming into Westerly from either direction and there’s plenty to do. Between the beaches and the lively downtown food/drink scene and the town’s adorable stores, there’s pretty much something for everyone. I might be a little biased but I really think you should come to Westerly for the day.
I’ve included an informal itinerary/to-do list if you’re unfamiliar with the area or want some ideas for things to do and places to eat and drink right now. This list is good if you have a couple kids or if it’s just you and your significant other, spouse or friend.
Let’s start with a few things to do…Although it’s gorgeous outside and I’d highly suggest a walk on the beach, I’d say the water is a bit too chilly for swimming so save some time and don’t worry about packing the bathing suits and towels.
- 10am – Westerly Land Trust – with seven trails throughout town, the land trust does a great job of making sure their preserves are in tip-top shape. Trail maps and any advisories can be found online. A short walk is a perfect thing to do in the late morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t too high. I’d highly suggest going to either the Avondale Farm Preserve or the Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park.
- 11:30am – Misquamicut Beach or Watch Hill – Both of the aforementioned trails are close to local beaches so I’d suggest taking a walk along the beach. Most of the restaurants and stores are still closed for the season but that’s ok because I’ve got you covered for food – just wait. Or if you want to take matters into your own hands, bring a picnic lunch or stop at Pick Pockets for some delicious Mediterranean take-out or Joyce’s Everyday Gourmet for the legendary green bean focaccia sandwich.
- 12:30pm – If you didn’t bring a picnic lunch to the beach, you’re probably a bit hungry by now so head over to B&B Dockside to enjoy one of their award-winning burgers by the beautiful Pawcatuck River. It’s hard to pick just one burger to recommend but I’d have to say either Gyro or the Elvis or the Pilgrim.
- 1:30 pm – If the weather’s good, you can head across the river into Mystic to visit the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center or maybe to Mystic Seaport to see what life was like in a 19th century seafaring village. If there’s rain in the forecast, stay in Westerly and hit up Alley Katz Bowling or visit the Babcock Smith House. Or wander the downtown area to find a variety of boutique shops for clothing, health food, books, etc.
- 3pm – If you’re getting a little thirsty, head to Grey Sail Tap Room and sip on a Captain’s Daughter or Hazy Day. With rotating guest taps, there are options for every beer drinker. If it’s sunny, challenge your friends to a round of bocce.
- 5pm – There’s so many good restaurants for dinner, so let’s split the meal up into drinks and appetizers and dinner. For drinks and appetizers, start at the Twisted Vine. The nachos, kale and vegetable dumplings and coconut shrimp are all delicious for appetizers. Their robust wine/beer/cocktail list appeals to just about anyone.
- 7pm – Dinner time! Drive or walk down to Bridge Restaurant & Raw Bar on the Pawcatuck River. If I had to pick a few of my favorite dishes at Bridge, I’d say the roasted beet salad, the grilled fish tacos, the fried eggplant sandwich or the Buddha bowl. My favorite part about Bridge is that there’s a good selection of meat and vegetarian plates – something for everyone.
- 9pm – If you’re interested in an after-dinner drink or a digestif, head over to Perks and Corks for specialty martini, a glass of sparkling wine or a spiked coffee beverage. On most nights, there’s live music to enjoy.
Hope you enjoyed your day in Westerly! Stay tuned for a second installment next week about how to spend a perfect date night in Westerly.