Foliage drives are the perfect way to enjoy all the splendor of a New England fall, welcoming the kaleidoscope of color into your vehicle, as you marvel at the fleeting beauty that surrounds you.
Here is one of our favorite fall drives in Rhode Island.
Ocean State Coastal Route — Stretching from Westerly, in the southwest corner of the state, to North Kingstown, just south of Providence, this stretch of Route 1A along the coastline of the Ocean State is a drive that will immerse motorists not only in the beauty of the season at seaside, but also provide a glimpse into the communities and aura of this special corner of New England. Here, you’ll swing by Point Judith and watch the ferries sail out to Block Island. You’ll spend some time at one of handful of pristine beach spots where you can feel the chill of the season make its presence. You’ll encounter many classic, locally-sourced seafood options in Narragansett and can check out the wildlife refuge at Charlestown’s Ninigret Pond, one of the largest saltwater ponds in the state. Accessible from several points along Route 1, 1A can feel like a different world, a true Rhode Island experience that meanders along coves and countryside.
Points of interest —Dive into the history of the local rural and coastal life at the South County Museum (115 Strathmore St., Narragansett, southcountymuseum.com), which features a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and marked walking trails throughout the grounds. Shop for unique gifts at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory (4820 Old Post Road, Charlestown, fantasticumbrellafactory.com). This spot started as a penny candy and gift shop in the early 1800s, and has today morphed into a series of individual shops selling artistry, clothing, and plants. The Watch Hill Lighthouse and Museum (14 Lighthouse Road, Westerly, www.watchhilllighthousekeepers.org) can be accessed by foot via a private road. At the museum, you’ll discover letters, bills, and journals that offer insight on how the lighthouse keepers lived and worked there.