VisitingNewEngland Header Travel Site
  Find a Hotel in New England      Discover the Best Diners in New England      Explore Massachusetts Town Greens   

This is your place for travel planning...    Check out these feature stories on special small businesses in New England -- great reads for locals and travelers!

Little Compton, Rhode Island: A Peaceful Small New England Town That Hasn't Changed Much At All

Twlight at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, R.I.
Twilight at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, R.I.

by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on May 27, 2021

Share this New England travel article with your friends

Quaint New England towns with no traffic lights in the business district usually pique our interest, giving us the "green light" to explore the area.

In an increasingly developed commercial, residential and industrial New England, how refreshing it is to discover relatively unspoiled communities like Little Compton, R.I. With a pretty town common (rare in Rhode Island), cemetery, a few stores and fueled by peace and solitude, Little Compton never subscribed to the expanding suburban way of life.  It is very quiet here, a true small town wonder.

Quite, simply, it's a beautiful little place by the sea that has very little to do with a commercialized, industrialized, artificially gentrified, fast-paced society. Thank goodness!

Flowers, stone wall, cemetery, old homes in Little Compton, Rhode Island center.
Flowers, stone wall, cemetery, old homes in Little Compton, Rhode Island center.

Quaint downtown district in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

Quaint downtown district.

United Congregational Church of Little Compton, Rhode Island.

United Congregational Church of Little Compton.

As part of what is known as the FarmCoast region, Little Compton wonderfully combines the sea with farm land...

Sea and farm land come together in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Flowers, farm land at the coast.

The outskirts like Sakonnet Point, at the end of Route 77, afford beautiful views of the ocean...

Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, Rhode Island
Sakonnet Point in Little Compton.

A nice, off-the-beaten path swimming beach can be found at Little Compton Beach (125 South Shore Rd., and open to non-residents for a fee)...

South Shore Beach in Little Compton Ri is an off-the-beaten path beach.

Little Compton Beach.

Fishing on a cooler day at Little Compton Beach in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Fishing on a cooler day at Little Compton Beach..

Plant life perfectly co-exists with the sea...

Flowers and sea perfectly co-exist in Little Compton, RI
A beautiful scene near Sakonnet Point.

When visiting the blink-of-an-eye downtown,
we recommend getting out of your car and walking this charming small neighborhood. You'll find the old-fashioned C.W. Wilbur General Store (50 Commons, 401-635-2356) with a retail shop, supermarket and deli counter. A classic, historic New England general store, the Wilbur General Store dates back to 1893 and remains, to this very day, the "anchor store" of tiny yet beautiful Little Compton...

Wilbur General Store in Little Compton RI.
Wilbur General Store in Little Compton.

The Commons Lunch Restaurant (48 Commons 401-635-4388) is a local gem where everyone seems to know each other. The Commons — open for breakfast and lunch — is famous for its delicious johnnycakes. A Rhode Island culinary staple dating back to colonial New England, johnnycakes have a distant relation to pancakes but could be described better as a cornmeal flatbread.

The Commons Lunch in Little Compton, Rhode Island is a local legend specializing in Johnnycakes.
The Commons Lunch restaurant is a local landmark in Little Compton.

Johnnycakes with eggs and bacon from the Commons in Little Compton, Rhode Island
Johnnycakes with bacon and eggs from The Commons Lunch.

The Commons also offers an impressive full menu with sandwiches salads, soups, chowders and dinners that often feature fresh local seafood.

Scallops dinner at The Commons in Little Compton, R.I.

Scallops dinner at The Commons.

Also definitely worth checking out: Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards (162 West Main Road, 800-919-4637) has its business roots going back to 1975 and offers tours and daily tastings, as well as “international award-winning wines” for sale in an idyllic vineyard setting.

There might not be a lot to do in Little Compton, but that's the point. In this beautiful small town, you can get back to a way of life that we once knew before the bombast of expanding suburbia became commonplace. So, if you like virtually unchanged New England destinations, Little Compton comes up big!

Little Compton Beach.
A stretch of Little Compton Beach.

Rhode Island has few town commons, but this town green in Little Compton is a gem.

Town common in Little Compton.

Book a hotel at the lowest rate near Little Compton

Related articles:

How to enjoy a day trip in Warren, Rhode Island
Take in the scenic wonders of Ocean Blvd. in Newport
Wickford Village: A hidden, historic coastal village in Rhode Island
Visiting beautiful Bristol, R.I.
Riding a coastal bike path in Rhode Island

If you enjoyed this story on Little Compton, please share the graphic below on Pinterest. Thanks!
 One of the great hidden coastal towns of New England, Little Compton, Rhode Island combines a quintessential small town vibe with scenic water views.

If you enjoyed this article, please share through any of the social media buttons below -- thanks!

Books by Publisher Eric Hurwitz

Massachusetts Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons!

The Best Diners in New England -- If you love classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on 50 top local diners.

Stay connected with VisitingNewEngland at  Facebook Social Media Button Facebook  Twitter Social Media Button Twitter Social Media Pinterest Button Pinterest  Social Media Google+ Button Google+


Featuring our latest New England travel insider's news updates and stories, discounts and coupons!

Relax and stay for a while: Start with our navigation links and also our articles on the best New England towns and cities, hidden travel destinations, scenic drives, seafood restaurants and lobster shacks, lobster rolls, ice cream stands, and country stores, as well as our New England summer, fall, winter and spring sections. Then take a fun online journey on VisitingNewEngland to read the rest of our articles for your trip planning needs!

VisitingNewEngland's small business commitment to excellence: is a proud, small business based in New England. We love it when one of our articles helps you with your New England vacation and travel trip planning! That's what we are here for: to serve you in the most genuine, helpful way possible.

Old-fashioned New England work ethic: All articles, photos by Eric Hurwitz unless otherwise noted. Eric also manages the site's layout and design, social media, and public affairs.

All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

Home | Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont | Attractions | Dining Out | About Us | Press Room | Privacy | Contact Us