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The Ultimate Beach Weekend: Watch Hill, Rhode Island

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Escaping the city for the sand is a necessity in the summer. While New Yorkers have no problem bearing crowds for brunch, it's best to avoid the herd when taking a trip to the beach. Instead of heading the Hamptons or Montauk, follow the road (somewhat) less travelled to the pristine sands of Rhode Island. Surrounded by water on three sides, the historic town of Watch Hill features numerous uninterrupted stretches of sand and easy ocean access for everything from surfing to fishing or just taking a dip. From dockside lobster joints to historic seaside beach clubs, there's no shortage of summer eats on this essential NYC getaway.

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Prime 16 Tap House + Burgers

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A pitstop is essential to enjoy the ride along Long Island Sound. Make a stop around the halfway point in New Haven and head to this cozy New American joint that’s a stone’s throw from the historic Yale campus. The unofficial burger champion of Connecticut, Prime 16 uses only the best non-GMO all natural beef. Keep an eye out for daily specials and seasonal offerings.

Ford's Lobsters

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When it comes to lobsters, it doesn’t get much closer to the source than this dockside no non-sense eatery. Down a quiet back road in the small town of Groton, CT Ford’s Lobsters is a summer staple. Lobstering boats drop off the day’s catch just a few feet from the tables. The lobster roll is a must, but the unique lobster ruben is recommended for more adventurous eaters. Be sure to thank the chef and lobstermen on your way out.

The Treehouse at Oyster Club

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The seafaring town of Mystic, CT is ripe with history for the nautically inclined. Home to dozens of historic ships and the country’s largest maritime museum, this quaint town is a worthy stop on your way to the beach. Situated above the casual fine dining atmosphere of the Oyster Club Restaurant & Bar, The Treehouse is a leafy hideaway with sunset views of the Mystic River. Order a round of local oysters pulled fresh from the water each day.

Napatree Point

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Just off the historic harbor side Bay Street in Watch Hill, this 1.5 mile sandy spit peninsula is the perfect place to roam on a sunny day. With views of the boat-filled Watch Cove on one side and the open Atlantic on the other, at Napatree Point you’re always surrounded by natural beauty. Now a wildlife and nature conservancy, the pristine beaches are home to a rich population of seabirds. Venture out to the end of the point for crystal clear waters and uncrowded sands.

Olympia Tea Room

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The unofficial town hall of historic Watch Hill, this family owned establishment blends upscale and casual fare with a relaxed beachside ease. Across from the harbor, enjoy local seafood and bistro dishes as early evening sun filters in through sailboat masts and the gulls settle in for the night. Celebrating its 99th year, this establishment is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

Ocean House

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Near the top of the eponymous hill that gives the town its name, the Ocean House is a living relic of a bygone era of luxury and grace. The grand Victorian hotel was built 1868 and recently underwent major renovations to restore its glory. Offering both sweeping multi-level views of the Atlantic and world class fine dining, the Ocean House makes for a memorable luxury experience in quintessentially Watch Hill style.

St. Claire Annex

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Sometimes the best restaurants are the one that evoke the deepest memories. A few steps away from the town’s century-plus old carousel, the St. Clair Annex has changed as little as possible since it opened over 125 years ago. Serving the best ice cream in town with a summer comfort food menu that beckons for a nap on the beach after lunch, expect a line on a summer Saturday. It’s worth it.

Hope And Sundries

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Looking to stock up on beach snacks? Stop by the town general store Hope & Sundries. Offering a wide selection of local snacks as well as some of the region’s finest artisan-made nosh, you’re sure to run into something new to discover here. You can also pick up all your beach accessories and gifts for your friends sweating it out in the city.

Matunuck Oyster Bar

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A short drive from Watch Hill (this is Rhode Island after all, there aren’t too many long drives) in South Kingston, RI, the Matunuck Oyster Bar offers an exceptional experience for seafood lovers. The restaurant overlooks Point Judith Pond where the restaurant gets its oysters from. Tours of the pond and oyster farm are available for interested diners with tastings included. Along with oysters, the Matunick Oyster Bar serves chef inspired takes on locally sourced seasonal seafood with vegetables from their own nearby farm.

Watch Hill Point

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Opposite from Napatree Point, Watch Hill Point offers an uninhibited view of the Atlantic and wide sandy shores. Take in the sunset and stroll on the seemingly endless expanse of sand with the water on one side and picturesque homes on the other. At the tip of the point stands the Watch Hill Light that first stood in 1808.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Prime 16 Tap House + Burgers

A pitstop is essential to enjoy the ride along Long Island Sound. Make a stop around the halfway point in New Haven and head to this cozy New American joint that’s a stone’s throw from the historic Yale campus. The unofficial burger champion of Connecticut, Prime 16 uses only the best non-GMO all natural beef. Keep an eye out for daily specials and seasonal offerings.

Ford's Lobsters

When it comes to lobsters, it doesn’t get much closer to the source than this dockside no non-sense eatery. Down a quiet back road in the small town of Groton, CT Ford’s Lobsters is a summer staple. Lobstering boats drop off the day’s catch just a few feet from the tables. The lobster roll is a must, but the unique lobster ruben is recommended for more adventurous eaters. Be sure to thank the chef and lobstermen on your way out.

The Treehouse at Oyster Club

The seafaring town of Mystic, CT is ripe with history for the nautically inclined. Home to dozens of historic ships and the country’s largest maritime museum, this quaint town is a worthy stop on your way to the beach. Situated above the casual fine dining atmosphere of the Oyster Club Restaurant & Bar, The Treehouse is a leafy hideaway with sunset views of the Mystic River. Order a round of local oysters pulled fresh from the water each day.

Napatree Point

Just off the historic harbor side Bay Street in Watch Hill, this 1.5 mile sandy spit peninsula is the perfect place to roam on a sunny day. With views of the boat-filled Watch Cove on one side and the open Atlantic on the other, at Napatree Point you’re always surrounded by natural beauty. Now a wildlife and nature conservancy, the pristine beaches are home to a rich population of seabirds. Venture out to the end of the point for crystal clear waters and uncrowded sands.

Olympia Tea Room

The unofficial town hall of historic Watch Hill, this family owned establishment blends upscale and casual fare with a relaxed beachside ease. Across from the harbor, enjoy local seafood and bistro dishes as early evening sun filters in through sailboat masts and the gulls settle in for the night. Celebrating its 99th year, this establishment is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

Ocean House

Near the top of the eponymous hill that gives the town its name, the Ocean House is a living relic of a bygone era of luxury and grace. The grand Victorian hotel was built 1868 and recently underwent major renovations to restore its glory. Offering both sweeping multi-level views of the Atlantic and world class fine dining, the Ocean House makes for a memorable luxury experience in quintessentially Watch Hill style.

St. Claire Annex

Sometimes the best restaurants are the one that evoke the deepest memories. A few steps away from the town’s century-plus old carousel, the St. Clair Annex has changed as little as possible since it opened over 125 years ago. Serving the best ice cream in town with a summer comfort food menu that beckons for a nap on the beach after lunch, expect a line on a summer Saturday. It’s worth it.

Hope And Sundries

Looking to stock up on beach snacks? Stop by the town general store Hope & Sundries. Offering a wide selection of local snacks as well as some of the region’s finest artisan-made nosh, you’re sure to run into something new to discover here. You can also pick up all your beach accessories and gifts for your friends sweating it out in the city.

Matunuck Oyster Bar

A short drive from Watch Hill (this is Rhode Island after all, there aren’t too many long drives) in South Kingston, RI, the Matunuck Oyster Bar offers an exceptional experience for seafood lovers. The restaurant overlooks Point Judith Pond where the restaurant gets its oysters from. Tours of the pond and oyster farm are available for interested diners with tastings included. Along with oysters, the Matunick Oyster Bar serves chef inspired takes on locally sourced seasonal seafood with vegetables from their own nearby farm.

Watch Hill Point

Opposite from Napatree Point, Watch Hill Point offers an uninhibited view of the Atlantic and wide sandy shores. Take in the sunset and stroll on the seemingly endless expanse of sand with the water on one side and picturesque homes on the other. At the tip of the point stands the Watch Hill Light that first stood in 1808.

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