I was surprised and excited to see Aquidneck Island listed in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards list for “The Best Islands in the U.S.” — so I decide a blog post was in order. After all, Tidepooler was named for those magical pools of water that dot the island’s rocky coastlines at low tide. How could I not offer an ode to my beloved hometown island? — the place I was born and where I lived for the first 18 years of my life before mustering the courage to actually cross a bridge (!) and go to college in the mainland town of Kingston.
While some of my fondest memories of Aquidneck Island involve trespassing on private beachfront property with cases of Coors Light and the makings for a bonfire, I assure you that the following activities will (mostly) be of a legal nature. Here are a few things we did last summer. You should do them too.
1. Find a friend with a boat (or rent your own). Thanks to social media, I was able to hook up with a good buddy from childhood who just happens to captain a boat. He took us out for a ride and it was the most fun thing I’ve done in a very long time. We anchored in a sheltered spot in Narragansett Bay called Mackerel Cove, just off the neighboring island of Jamestown, and swam in the beautiful Atlantic waters. It was heaven.
2. Go to the beach. Second Beach, officially known as Sachuest Town Beach is most everyone’s favorite. Stake out a spot on the wide sandy swath on the eastern side, or head to surfer’s end with your board and seek out the Del’s Lemonade truck in the parking lot. It’s tough to avoid the red tide in Rhode Island, but Second Beach usually has less than First Beach (Easton’s). However, if it’s carousels you’re after, head to the latter.
3. Enjoy an Awful Awful at Newport Creamery. Awful Big, Awful Good. Go on a Monday for the two-for-one special. Chocolate’s my favorite, but I had a taste of my husband’s “Choc o’ Nutter” and yes, it took the concept of an Awful Awful to a whole new level. While the Awful Awful (milkshake) is the star attraction this is a great spot for a family meal, lunch or dinner, and they have regular ice cream too, and by regular ice cream I mean banana splits.
4. Roll down the windows and cruise around Ocean Drive. For an enhanced experience, make it an “odbc.” Whatever you opt for, be sure to stop at Brenton Point for some tide pool exploring, sun bathing, or take a dip right off the rocks. It’s probably my most favorite place on Aquidneck Island, and while the photo features the sea wall, you’ll have to trust me when I say the view is spectacular.
5. Enjoy a night out in Newport. I haven’t done this in about 15 years, but I love sitting at the raw bar at Scales & Shells and dunking fresh cold shrimp into a bowl of cocktail sauce; the bar at the Clarke Cook House is nice for when you’re feeling fancy. And if it’s a Friday night I’d be at The Pier, where my cousin Ky the Movement spins 90s hip hop until closing.
Have you ever been to Aquidneck Island? What did you love about it? Stay tuned for “The Best Things to do on Aquidneck Island: Fall Edition” coming up next.