A Tank Away

Jamestown, R.I., offers great dining and outdoor adventures

Above: fishing at Potter Cove near the Newport Pell Bridge. Below: Zeek’s Creek Bait & Tackle.
Photos by Paul E. Kandarian for The Boston Globe
Above: fishing at Potter Cove near the Newport Pell Bridge. Below: Zeek’s Creek Bait & Tackle.

Don’t make the mistake of calling Jamestown an island because it’s not. It is, however, the town that takes up the 9-by-1-mile Conanicut Island, connected by bridge on the west to North Kingstown and on the east to Newport. Jamestown is home to spectacular oceanscapes, an abundance of open space, and some great retail, dining, and lodging options in its quaint village area. In fact, this island town offers much of what Newport does — with lower prices and much easier parking.


Killer views of the Newport Pell Bridge and Jamestown Harbor are major selling points for The Bay Voyage (150 Conanicus Ave., 401-423-2100, www.bay, rates from $143) in a historic building dating to 1889. Go small at the four-room East Bay Bed & Breakfast (14 Union St., 401-423-0330,, rates from $99) in a 125-year-old building a half block from the village, winner of a Certificate of Excellence this year from Trip­Advisor. The Lionel Champlin House (20 Lincoln St., 401-423-7469, www.lionelchamplin, rates from $100) is a guest house once known as Vinecroft, a Victorian tea room in the 1920s.


Looking for something different for breakfast? Try the Denmark omelet at Slice of Heaven (32 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-9866,, breakfast from $5.99), a marvelous mix of smoked salmon, onion, tomato, zucchini, and sour cream. Or if you’re in the mood for more familiar morning flavors, like blueberry pancakes, you’ll find those here, too. In need of a midday pick-me-up? Grab some local Richardson’s Dairy ice cream at Spinnaker’s Café (3 East Ferry Wharf, 401-423-3077, www.spinnakerscafe
.com), sit outside, and watch boats bob in the harbor. Seafood aficionados will want to check out Jamestown Fish (14 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-3474,, entrees from $23), which opened in December and won R.I. Monthly’s 2012 Best Seafood Restaurant award. The menu runs from hearty — the fish cookpot is loaded with lobster, clams, scallops, mussels, and more — to fun, such as the zucchini flower and ricotta pizza, fired in the outdoor patio pizza oven by a bar boasting Rhode Island’s only wine on tap. Best view in the house: Upstairs at the Bridge Bar and Deck. Fresh shellfish abounds at old-school Jamestown Oyster Bar (22 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-3380, entrees from $15), with local oysters, steamers, mussels, and little neck clams, or sample the fish and chips or bouillabaisse from a varied menu that doubles as a pretty good fan — the downstairs bar-dining area has no air conditioning. Seeking a break from treasures of the deep? Get terrific al fresco and indoor Italian at Trattoria Simpatico (13 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-3731, www.trattoriasimpatico
.com, entrees from $22) with year-round outdoor dining (heated tented patio in winter) under a giant copper beech tree; sit close to the front of the latticed patio for best harbor views and enjoy pasta, seafood, steaks, and live jazz.



Gorgeous ocean vistas await at 153-acre Beavertail State Park (Beavertail Road, 401-423-9941,, free), a great place to sit on rocky outcrops and look over the east and west passages of Narragansett Bay. Fans of “Moonrise Kingdom” may sense something familiar about Fort Wetherill State Park (Fort Wetherill Road, 401-423-1771,
weth.htm, free): Scenes of the movie were shot there. The park sits on 100-foot-high granite cliffs across from Fort Adams in Newport and is very popular with scuba divers, hikers, and picnic lovers. If all this whets your appetite for outdoor adventure, keep Jamestown Outdoors (401- 924-2885, www.james, rentals from $25 a day) in mind. The folks there will bring you paddleboards, bikes, and kayaks wherever you are on the island. Shoppers should check out Conanicut Marine (20 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-1556, www.conanicut, a ship store loaded with everything nautical to ride and wear, from outboard engines to the British line of Henry Lloyd clothing. Another spot to check out is the fun and funky Purple Door Bead Shop (47 Conanicus Ave., 401-423-1231,
DoorBeadShop), for all things beaded, including beads and beaded jewelry. Seeking physical or spiritual revival? Chill at The Island Heron (42 Narragansett Ave., 401-560-0411, www.theis, a studio offering yoga classes (including stand-up paddleboard yoga training on the water), massage, local art, clothing, jewelry, free community meditation sessions, and “Spanda Beats” on the first Friday of the month, a jam where folks sit in a circle and play drums, bongo, harmonica, or whatever they bring.


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Known for great music and food is The Ganny, officially known as the Narragansett Cafe (25 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-2150, www.narragansettcafe
.com), which took this year’s R.I. Monthly’s Best Neighborhood Bar and Best Place for Live Music prizes. Here you’ll find jazz (Duke Robillard has graced the stage), dance, rock, reggae, and never a cover charge. It’s a classic bar, with cheap drafts, 25-cent pool table, and a sawdust-coated shuffleboard game. Artists from Rhode Island and beyond show their work at Jamestown Art Center (18 Valley St., 401-560-0979, www, where there are also regular showings in the evening of art-house films. Check out the classic cars and bikes at “Cruise Night Wednesdays” at the Jamestown Tavern (138 Narragansett Ave., 401-423-9909, www.jamestowntav, where they also have acoustic music on weekends.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at kandarian@globe