The Claiborne Pell and Verrazano Bridges stand as icons connecting Narragansett to Newport, but have you ever stopped between the two stately landmarks? Jamestown is safely nestled between mainland and the historic Newport in Narragansett Bay. With 2,359 households on the island, 16 restaurants and 14 national, historic and notable places to go there is a surprising amount do to on such a small Island.
Such as: Visiting Fort Wetherill State Park, which originally was a fort behind Dumpling Rock, overlooking the east passage towards Newport to protect the city in the Revolutionary War. Not only was it once called Fort Brown, but also was once occupied by the French, British and the Americans all during the Revolutionary War era.
The Jamestown Windmill is another site to see as it was originally used to grind corn in 1787. This small windmill is a nice place to relax and get a taste of history in the 18 century. Another great place to relax is Beavertail Light located in Beavertail State Park. It is the perfect place to take pictures, fish on the rocks or even just take a relaxing stroll. Beavertail Light also has the Beavertail museum (opening again in May) where one can learn about Jamestown’s history, the fishing industry and the Narragansett Bay. When you are tired of sightseeing and learning about our local history, try grabbing a fresh lobster roll or a bit of homemade ice cream in town at Spinnaker’s CafÃ© and enjoy the waterfront views.
Spinnaker’s isn’t the only reason to check out Jamestown. Several movies have been filmed in Jamestown including, “Moonrise Kingdom” with Bruce Willis and Bill Murray in 2012, “Me, Myself & Irene” starring Jim Carey in 2000 and “Dan in Real Life” starring Steve Carell filmed in 2007. If you’re looking for a weekend scavenger hunt, watch the movies Friday night and try and find the spots where scenes were filmed on Saturday!
If none of those movies get you to stop off Rt. 138 on your way to Newport, than maybe the two other lighthouses will motivate you. The Conanicut Island Light is located on the northern tip and is where “Moonrise Kingdom” was also filmed. The Dutch Island Lighthouse is actually located on an even smaller island off the coast of Jamestown. The only way to get here is via the water, so break out your kayak or paddleboard. This lighthouse is particularly interesting as New Amsterdam (now New York) used the island as a safe trade place for goods in the 1630s. Soon after this, the island was used as grassland for sheep to graze, so don’t be surprised if you find wool lying around. If you are sick and tired of the same old day-to-day life in South County, try crossing the Verrazano bridge and discovering the rich history of Jamestown!