Rhode Island beaches offer a full range of options, including sandy, ocean surf beaches; surf-free family beaches and unique, rocky beaches with towering cliffs. Rhode Island also hosts a range of surf spots with both sandy, beach breaks and rocky point breaks.

Rhode Island's three most popular beaches sit on the Atlantic Ocean west of Narragansett Bay. They are:

  • Scarborough Beach - a state beach in Narragansett, north of Point Judith
  • Misquamicut Beach - a state beach in Westerly
  • Narragansett Town Beach - a town beach in Narragansett (access restricted)

Newport's beaches lie on Aquidneck Island's southwestern corner and are commonly referred to numerically:

  • First Beach (Easton's Beach) - ocean surf 
  • Second Beach - ocean surf
  • Third Beach - cove-protected

Other popular beaches, some preferred by locals, include:

  • East Matunuck State Beach - a family-oriented beach in South Kingstown
  • Salty Brine Beach - a surf-protected, family-oriented beach in Narragansett
  • Goose Wing Beach - a town beach in Little Compton (open access, pay to park)
  • Horseneck Beach - a state beach in nearby Westport, MA

Some, especially those with young children, prefer surf-free beaches. Most are on Narragansett Bay, but some are protected by jetties on the Atlantic coast. These include:

  • Colt State Park - a state beach in Bristol
  • Buttonwoods - a beach in Warwick Town Park
  • Sandy Point - Warwick
  • Calf Pasture Beach - North Kingstown
  • Salty Brine Beach - Narragansett; protected by jetties

Rhode Island also offers unique coastal areas that feature cliffs and other non-traditional beachscapes:

  • Point Judith (surfing only)
  • Fort Wetherill - boat ramp, scuba, cliffs, coves, surf-casting from rocks