Charlestown is the most rural of Rhode Island’s beach towns. The sleepy villages and picturesque idylls offer residents tranquility and easy access to natural resources. Charlestown is composed of distinct villages, each with its own charm and privileges, such as private beach access. The southern shore is a continuous string of white sand barrier beaches, behind which are a series of nine salt ponds.
Charlestown’s sheltered salt ponds, coves, and tributaries provide wonderful settings with a variety of conditions for canoeists and kayakers. Extensive trails and conservation areas provide entertainment for hikers, campers, and birding enthusiasts alike. The darkest sky between New York and Boston can be found here, and residents can enjoy it every Friday night at the Frosty Drew Observatory when it opens to the public.
Once an important location for the Narragansett and Niantic tribes, Charlestown is home to many historic and prehistoric landmarks. With the arrival of European settlers, farming, industry, and ultimately tourism came to the region. Charlestown thrives on this sense of history and place. Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the Charlestown Land Trust, development has been limited. Open spaces have been preserved and the seasonal farmers market is a mainstay of the Charlestown community.