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William's Grant Inn Reflects the Historical Charm of Bristol, R.I.

William's Grant Inn, Bristol, Rhode Island

William's Grant Inn, Bristol, R.I.

by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 11/30/16

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William's Grant Inn fits in quite nicely with the historical, quaint tree-lined streets of the central district in coastal Bristol, R.I.

Built in 1808, this well-maintained Colonial Federal style home resonates with unique charm and ambiance. The five bay B&B features seven fireplaces, thematic guest rooms and a very pleasant dining room off the sunny kitchen. In the backyard, you'll find a patio and Koi pond.


We found our stay at the William's Grant's Inn to be fantastic. Innkeeper Warren Poehler, a former engineer and teacher, greeted and conversed with the many guests here as if they were family. With his wife Diane away on travel, Warren manned the helm quite well keeping us all happy and filled with a delicious, free breakfast -- including a tasty English muffin and French toast with a mixed fruit topping.

Our "Nautical Room" reflected the feeling of coastal Bristol with antique nautical decor, furnishings and handmade oriental carpets. With a comfy bed, updated bathroom (including a whirlpool tub), ceiling fan, fireplace and imperfect, crooked wooden floors, we felt like we had out own oasis. So relaxing and with a personality opposite to chain lodging! Other "theme" rooms at the William's Grant Inn: the Blithewold, Sturbridge, Middleburg and Garden.

After that wonderful breakfast, we walked a few minutes past many well-kept older homes to beautiful tree-lined downtown Bristol with its myriad restaurants, mom and pop shops, galleries, boutiques, historic homes and municipal buildings, and scenic harbor area with walking paths and benches. Being lifelong New Englanders, this experience begged the question, Why hadn't we previously discovered -- and paid more attention to -- Bristol? We have no logical answer. This is truly a beautiful town! To us, the quaint feel and coastal location puts Bristol in a "A" list category with other notable waterfront towns and cities like Kennebunkport, Maine, Mystic, Conn., Plymouth, Mass., Camden, Maine, Portsmouth, N.H., Newburyport, Mass., York Beach, Maine, and yes, Newport, R.I. (20 minutes away).

Waterviiew in downtown Bristol Rhode Island
Side street in downtown Bristol leading to the water.

An added advantage is that Bristol is not quite yet fully aware of itself as a tourist destination. That means more parking, fewer souvenir shops and overpriced restaurants, for starters. You also have the advantage of being close to Colt State Park, a beautiful 464-acre Bristol with incredible panoramic Narragansett Bay views, four miles of bike paths along the bay (part of the 14-mile East Bay Bike Path spanning from Bristol to Providence), more than 400 picnic tables at six groves, 10 playing fields, abundant groomed fruit trees and other colorful plant life, and an open-air chapel-by-the-sea -- perfect for an ideal coastal New England wedding.

Colt State Park, Bristol Rhode Island
Colt State Park, Bristol

Additionally, the Bristol 4th of July parade stands as the oldest of its kind in the United States, starting in 1785 and continuing to this very day with an amazing array of parade floats and other entertaining and education July 4th related events. Year-round, the median strip in painted red, white and blue! The patriotic spirit in Bristol is truly prominent.

Bristol feels like the ultimate coastal New England travel getaway town; the William's Grant Inn makes for the nearly perfect starting point!

William's Grant Inn
154 High St.
Bristol RI
Tel. 1-800-596-4222
Book a room at the William's Grant Inn

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