North Kingstown is a small town in Rhode Island and has lots of historic charm and bay breezes to make your day off special. Home to several museums and restored plantations (Casey Farm is a must), there’s plenty of options to choose from, but the following are just a few of our personal favorites.
Gilbert Stuart Museum – If you’ve ever glanced at a $1 bill, then you’re already familiar with the work of Gilbert Stuart, a Rhode Island artist from the mid-1700s who painted the portrait of George Washington that has been used on our currency for more than a century. Stuart also produced portraits of over a thousand other people, including the five presidents to follow Washington, and his work can be found at art museums in New York City, Washington DC, Boston, and London. His historic home, complete with a working gristmill and beautiful acres of gardens and trails, is now known as the Gilbert Stuart Museum and is nestled away in North Kingstown just waiting to be explored. Take a few steps back in time as you take in the sights of the period antiques and furnishings, the snuff mill, the fish ladder, the colonial herb garden, and plentiful local birds and wildlife. If you decide to join the museum as an official member, you can even rent a boat to experience Carr Pond in its pristine state. It’s a great learning experience and a truly lovely place to spend a day outdoors.
The Kayak Centre – The Kayak Centre is Rhode Island’s only full-service paddle shop and is my suggestion of where to go if you’re itching to get out on the water. Originally opened in 1995, the owners and staff have created a welcoming environment for customers to return to season after season, whether they’re in need of high-quality gear or interested in learning a new trick from one of their expert instructors. Always mindful of your budget, your skill level, and your goals, the Kayak Centre is known for its customer service and personal attention to ensure you have the best possible day on the water. They offer equipment rentals and guided tours and instructional programs, so it’s really the ultimate recreation destination.
Rhode Island Bay Cruises – If you would rather have someone else steer for you, you can count on Rhode Island Bay Cruises to make your day on the water special. Sign up to climb aboard their fast ferry Ava Pearl and enjoy a narrated cruise past ten Rhode Island lighthouses and islands in Narragansett Bay and tour Newport Harbor, taking in the sights of Fort Adams, mansions, and the Jamestown and Newport Bridges! A family-owned business, Rhode Island Bay Cruises is proud to provide high-quality and reliable marine transportation, staffed by the same friendly, experienced people year after year who look forward to welcoming you whether this is your first bay cruise or your hundredth.
Gooseneck Vineyards – If you’re looking for an even more mellow way to spend your time in NK, you can relax at Gooseneck Vineyards. Liana and Paul are cousins and the co-founders of this little treasure of a winery tucked away in the tiny village of Wickford. Originally a part of the corporate world, the two decided to lean into their love of cuisine and fine wine and start curating their own best versions themselves. Built on a foundation of authenticity, quality, and passion, their team seeks out the best grape-growing regions in the world to bring their favorite varietals to your glass. This is always done with grace and style, wrapped in the fabric of New England culture, and is intended to enhance life’s everyday moments. They are available for private events or you can call or visit their website to arrange a tasting, which includes five wines and a souvenir glass – you can choose from three reds or six lighter, whiter varieties, including two styles of rose.