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Travel Essay of Wickford Village, R.I.
Article and photos by Eric H.
Tucked away by the harbor in North
Kingstown, Wickford Village embodies everything that is good about New
England and what many people expect this region to look like. The
beautiful harbor views with boats and a sense of serenity, the
tree-lined streets with old homes from the 1700 and 1800s, stately
churches, outdoor waterfront cafes and an unassuming but wonderful mix
of shops make Wickford Village a perfect place to spend a day or
extended vacation. I found it to be a great walking town and a friendly
place where people stop to say "hello." If you took away the cars and a
few other examples of modern leanings, I feel like many aspects of
Wickford Village reflect what life was like 150 years ago. Not that I
was around then, but I do read books on New England history!
My plan for the day was to see as many Rhode Island towns as possible, but after feeling a sense coldness (not talking about the weather) in a nearby town, I decided to return to Wickford Village. I stayed here for the rest of my visit to coastal Rhode Island. When the feeling of quintessential New England resonates so strongly, it's best to stay put.
Let's take a little tour of Wickford Village...
From the bridge on Route 1A that leads into the Village, here is a "love at first sight" view of things to come. You can't get any more New England than this.
Near the municipal parking lot is a walkway
that hugs the scenic harbor.
At the end of West Main St., past all those great old homes, you'll find a peaceful waterfront oasis.
Here is an example of the charm of West Main St. It reminds me very much of one of America's great villages, Cooperstown, N.Y.
For quahog soup and clam cakes, the Wickford Diner is the place to go. They, of course, have many more selections for those with big appetites!
I sampled some great New England clam chowder and a tuna panini melt at the Beach Rose Cafe. This is a great dining spot for breakfast or lunch during the summer.
One more look at Wickford Village!
I strongly recommend visiting Wickford
Village if you love historic coastal New England destinations. In
addition to the great feel of the Village and the restaurants
mentioned, keep in mind that Wickford Village has around 25 retail
stores, including book stores, clothing shops, arts galleries and a few
ice cream/baked goods businesses. For a great seafood lunch or dinner, there's the
Tavern by the Sea with its outdoor patios overlooking Wickford Marina,
and if you'd like to stay overnight, check out the historic Haddie Pierce
House. You'll also find great
seasonal events like the Wickford Art Festival in July, the Festival of
Lights in December, and Daffodil Days in the spring.
We recommend logging onto the Wickford Village Web
Site for further information on this classic New England
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