I discovered this little gem called Goosewing Beach in Little Compton, RI by word-of-mouth from a friend. It is one of the most rewarding treks I’ve made in a long time. For me, it’s a little bit of a hike from where I live and off the beaten path but because of this, it tends to be less crowded (and more enjoyable). Goosewing Beach has rapidly become my favorite beach spot and, for a bonus trip, go there at night with a blanket and some snacks for an amazing, romantic date that is sure to make anyone swoon. We always make a pit stop at The Provender in Tiverton and grab dinner after at Evelyn’s Drive-In Restaurant on our way down.
Route 77 is the main stretch that connects the highway (Route 24) to Little Compton. It’s a beautiful, scenic road that takes you past lots of small town shops and farms.
The Provender is my favorite place to stop while en route to Goosewing Beach, it’s located in the historic district in Tiverton called Four Corners and is located right on Main Street (Rt 77).
The Provender is located here:
Stores like this are hard to find if you live close to the city, they’re a throwback to the old General Stores. They serve great sandwiches, have a large bakery selection and my favorite, great iced coffee where they actually make the ice cubes from coffee!
Get food now because there’s not much on or around the beach. Most importantly they have a portapotty in the parking lot, one of the few places you can stop for a bathroom.
For a quick add on, venture across the street and check out the Sakonnet Growers’ Market on Saturdays.
Another great little food stop is The Local Catch, also located along Route 77. I didn’t go there during this day trip but I have in the past, they’re primarily a fish market but they do serve sandwiches and soups. They close really early (I think as early as 1PM) and their food selection is limited. Between the two, I’d recommend The Provender.
Super Saver Tip:
Goosewing Beach Parking is expensive, $15 during the weekends! But as you’re driving down South Shore Road towards the beach, on your left hand side you will see a little pull-through. This is the P.T. Marvell Preserve. It’s a small parking lot but if you get there early (or if you’re lucky) you’ll find a spot and voila FREE PARKING FOR GOOSEWING BEACH
Look a little to the west on this map, you should see a small open field, this is the parking for P.T. Marvell Preserve:
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P.T. Marvell Preserve
This forest preserve is right near the beach and has an observation tower that looks out into the ocean. If you read the tip above you’ll see they have free parking, it’s a small lot but it’s within walking distance to the beach. I like to park here, go out to the tower and take in the sights and then head to the beach.
I shot this video the last time I was there, it’s got some beautiful views.
Off To The Beach!
There’s actually two beaches here, South Shore Beach and Goosewing Beach. The parking lot is on South Shore Beach, to get to Goosewing you need to walk past the parking lot and across a small (or large depending on where the tide is) stream. Be careful, the end of South Shore Beach is very rocky.
You can go camping and park your campers in the parking lot too if you’re looking for a little more adventure, however you do need to make a reservation beforehand with the town, here’s a listing of their rules: http://www.little-compton.com/docs/clerk/CamperPackage2014.pdf
For food, there is only a hotdog cart located in the parking lot and not much else around the beach. You will have to leave by car to find food elsewhere, so its recommended that you grab sandwiches and snacks at either The Provender or The Local Catch beforehand.
Goosewing Beach tends to be less crowded and stretches farther out than South Shore Beach, so I usually head there.
Here’s some footage I took during a quiet day. I’m standing at the edge of South Shore Beach, that tiny stream separates the two beaches:
Time For Some Fried Dinner
When you’re getting hungry and ready to enjoy a nice dinner, get in that car and head over to Evelyn’s Drive In in Tiverton. It’s a great seafood restaurant with outdoor seating right on the water.
After the beach I always get the hankering for fried seafood, maybe it’s all that sun and heat or maybe it’s from swimming around all day, but I get bad cravings for fried food!
My friend and I ordered mozzarella sticks and clam cakes for a starter. The mozzarella sticks were great, the clam cakes were just ok – a big dough ball with small bits of clam.
For the entree I ordered fish & chips and my friend got the combo plate of fried sea scallops and whole clams. The fish & chips was stellar! A nice big piece of fish that tasted very fresh, the portion of fish was so large that I wasn’t able to finish it. The combo plate was, again, just ok, it was pretty bland for being deep fried but the portion was large. So some hits and misses at Evelyn’s.
The Tiverton/Little Compton area of Rhode Island is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing, ocean side, day trip but without all the people of some of the more developed tourist destinations. With cute shops, secluded beaches, pristine nature preserves and amazingly fresh seafood, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more relaxing trip.
Many of these destinations are such hidden gems that they don’t even have websites! Here are the only official sites I could find:
The Provender: 3883 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI 02878
South Shore/Goosewing Beach: South Shore Rd, Little Compton, RI 02837
Evelyn’s Drive In: 2335 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI 02878