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#63023 - 03/09/03 09:13 PM Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 1075
Loc: Bel Air, MD
It's been a long, long winter and I'm getting the itch. If the school board doesn't take spring break away from the kids to make up snow days and if we can find cheap enough lodging to make the trip affordable, I'm dreaming of a road trip to Rhode Island. Why Rhode Island? Because it looks like it has a large concentration of lights in a small area (lots of bang for the buck), and I can get there in about 5 1/2 hours. But have have some questions.

I figure we'll leave on a Thursday morning and we can arrive at Watch Hill by early afternoon. After that I figure we'd head to Point Judith. So I'd be looking for a night's lodging near Point Judith, because I hope to take the ferry to Block Island from the on Friday morning (shortest ferry ride). I think I've found a reasonable Holiday Inn in South Kingstown. Sound good so far?

On Friday, I figured we'd take the 9am ferry to Block Island. Should we take the car? Or is there transportation that I can get on the island? Bikes, cabs, tour buses? We'd come back to the mainland on the 3pm or 5pm return ferry.

Saturday and Sunday I figure could be used to do the other RI lights and this is where I need the help. Which ones are easy to get to and see? What can I see out in the water from dry land on our way to or from other land based lights?

Any help that any one can provide will be greatly appreciated. I guess I'm really looking for is Block Island help. I know that I can search the 'net for lots of info and maps (and I have and will some more), but what I would really like is some feedback from people with genuine hands-on experience. The do's nad don't's, the what to look fors, and any other suggestions.

Thanks!

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#63024 - 03/09/03 10:20 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Webmaster Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 13047
Loc: Arizona
Not sure of what route you'll take to Watch Hill, but a stop south of there in Stonington CT is well worth it - probably 30-45 minutes from Watch Hill.

If you don't have MS Streets and Trips software, it is worth the minimal cost. You can plan your trip, travel, get lodging, dining, etc.
_________________________
Webmaster@LighthouseKeepers.com

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#63025 - 03/09/03 10:35 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 1075
Loc: Bel Air, MD
We went to Stonington when we went to Maine a couple years ago. You're right....maybe we could swing back there again. We loved it.

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#63026 - 03/10/03 01:52 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7826
Loc: Kokomo, IN
Not far from Stonington is New London & Mystic. Have you done the Long Island lights? Could take the ferry from Block Island (if you had the car with you - and if it runs this part of the year). Or, you could take the ferry over from New London. You can do a good chunk of LI lights in a day if you want to. They are well worth the visit, and could be on the way for you.

From Point Judith, it isn't that far to Beavertail. Plus there are a number of lights in the Newport area if you have not visited them.

Dave

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#63027 - 03/10/03 03:35 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Larry I'd check these two sites for info, if you haven't already:

http://www.lighthouse.cc/ri.html

(Start with Watch Hill and you can proceed in order northward by clicking at the bottom.)

http://www.lighthousefriends.com/pull-state.asp?state=RI&Submit=Go

(This one's alphabetical. Not as much historical info but looks like it has good directions and some current photos.)

You can check the lights out and see which ones you are most interested in seeing. I think one mistake folks make is trying to see too many lights in a given time. Only you can be the judge of what works for you, allowing for the interests of family, etc.

The only RI light I've been to so far is Watch Hill. I'd think at the time of year you're going you should be able to drive down the road to the light before the summer folks arrive? We went in the fall and had no problem. I'd say we were there a half hour or so, only because I had to walk around on the rocks trying to get photos from all angles. If you don't do that and you can't get inside the gate it should be a fairly quick stop.

I'm sure you'll get more feedback from others more knowledgable on the RI lights.

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#63028 - 03/10/03 06:45 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
wheland Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 08/22/99
Posts: 3866
Loc: Trenton, NJ USA
Larry,

Watch Hill is a hard place to find. You can drive by the little road several times before you realize that it's not a driveway.

Just wake up the Security guard sitting at the end and let him know your're just going down to see the Lighthouse.

There's a nice little area to park the car. There's a grerat big sign telling you not to enter the fenced in area- it's private property.

If your're lucky and have a good set of binoculars or a camera with a good lens you'll be able to see Stonington across the way.

If you get to the Pt Judith area with some time to spare you can get a view of Plum Beach Light one of two ways- you can see it on the way to Jamestown Island on the bridge or you can go down Rt 138 North to the Rt 1A (Scenic 1) Exit North and go to Plum Beach Rd turn right and go to the end to Rip Tide RD.

This road is a little loop road that gives you a view of Plum Beach Lighthouse. there are signs there that say No Parking so keep the car running and someone in the driver's seat.

The Holiday Inn in South Kiongston is not a bad place to stay. We stayed there a couple of times while visiting our daughter at the University of RI in Kingston.

There's also a very nice (and cheaper) Best Western just up the road on US 1 in north Kingston. It's about 15-20 minutes from the Ferry Dock and they have a little cafe that has a great (and inexpensive) breakfast.

As for Block Island- there are scooters you can rent, good taxi service, bikes but unless your family is used to riding distances on bikes the North Light is a long ride on a bike followed by a walk of almost a mile out to the light.

South East Block is not too far out of town so a bike ride there is more doable and the light is right on the road. I'm not sure what the schedule is for tours in the Spring.

You would probably be best served by leaving your car on the Mainland and taking taxis on the Island. Just my opinion.

As for the other lights when you leave the Pt Judith/ Kingston area you have a number of options.

Option one- go over the Jamestown Bridge and go to the end of the Island and you get Beavertail. They have a nice little Museum there as well as a touch me type of exhibit for the kids (of all ages). You will be able (hopefully) to see Catle Hill across the water as you leave from Beavertail.

There is also a view of what's left of Dutch Island from the Campground on the other side of Jamestown Island.

At the opposite tip of Jamestown Island from Beavertail there is the Conanicut Light- or what's left of it. You can get a view of this, but it's better seen from the water. The lantern room has been removed.

Leaving Jamestown Island you go over the Newport Bridge. while on the bridge you get a view of Rose Island. This light has been painstakingly rebuilt to it's former glory.

You can take a boat out to this light , again I'm not sure of the schedule in the Spring. It leaves from either Newport Harbor or from Jamestown Island. It's a loop water taxi.

If you find you can't get out to it there are places you can view it in Newport. You can also go onto the grounds of the Hyatt in Newport Harbor to get a look at Goat Island (Newport Harbor) Light.

This one is also seen when taking the Water Taxi from Rose Island to Newport Harbor.

Continuing on into Newport you can get a glimpse of Lime Rock from Ft Adams Park.

You can then go out towards the Mansions of Newport and take the Ocean Dr loop. This will take you by the Mansions- new and old and will take you around to Castle Hill Lightouse.

When you leave Newport you can go towards Bristol. At the end of Ferry st you can get a view of the Bristol Ferry Lighthouse.

There is also the Prudence Island Lighthouse- this requires taking a ferry and walking about a mile to the light.

Here's wher you have an option- you can cross over to tiverton and then go south the the end of the road to get a view of Sakkonnet Light or you can continue north.

If you go north you take RI 114 to RI 103 to the Barrington area. When 114/103 turn to the right you'll go left on Rumstick Rd for a bit until you get to Nayatt Rd then turn left and follow it out to the Nayatt Point Lighthouse. This one is also best seen by water or from the other side by Coniminicut Light

You can then go north on Washington Rd which chasnges to Salisbury Rd to RI 103 to East Providenc eto the bike path off of where you can get a view of Ponham Rocks.

Continue on up to Providence get onto Veteran's Memorial Pky to I-195 to I-95 south to SR 37 to US 1 South turn left on Airport Rd and continue and it will become RI 117 south continue on this road until you get to Symonds Ave turn left and go to Point Ave and turn right. this will take you out to a small park where you will get a close up view of Conanimicut Light. With good binoculars or camera you will be able to see Nayatt Point across the water.

Then retrace your path back out to RI 117 and continue south to Warwick Neck Rd. turn left. follow this to the end and you will get a view of the back of Warwick Light. It is also one better seen from the water, but this one you can get close to either way.

This will bring you to the end of the line in RI on this option. Retrace your track to West Shore Rd (RI 117) and go south and you will intersect with I-95.

Sorry for the length. hope it helps.

Dennis

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#63029 - 03/10/03 07:08 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
eastpoint Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 168
Loc: millville, nj
Larry

I Agree with Dennis about Watch Hill, we went in October and I went by that drive way 3 times before I asked at a Real Estate office for directions and still almost missed it. We parked on the street and I walked down the road to the lighthouse since the sign said residents only.

I also didn't see a lot of signs for Point Judith light either.

Hank

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#63030 - 03/10/03 10:26 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Wow, Dennis that sounds like good info to save for whenever I want to take that trip!

I was reading up on Prudence Island last night and couldn't find that the ferry ran earlier than sometime in June.

I don't recall that we had any problem finding the road to Watch Hill. We used instructions from the "Atlantic Coast Lighthouses" book (Kochel). That book's maps are a bit hard to figure out until you get the hang of them but the written instructions are ok. For Watch Hill it says:

In Avondale on RI Scenic 1A turn south into Watch Hill Road.

Then continue south on Watch Hill Rd & Everett Ave.

Bear right into Wauwinett Road.

Bear left into connecting Bay Street.

Left at Larkin Road.

Just before Bluff Rd. on the right is Lighthouse Rd. a paved lane that heads downhill to the station's main gate and then up to the fenced visitors' section.

(There was no security guard when we were there. This road is very narrow and twisty so you must be careful to avoid other vehicles and pedestrians.)

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#63031 - 03/10/03 11:36 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
seagirt Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 3298
Loc: Central New Jersey
Streets and Trips is ABSOLUTELY the BEST product of its kind ANYWHERE. I don't know what i'd do without it. There are others out there, but S&T is the BEST.
_________________________
Greg
www.gregfitzgerald.net

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#63032 - 03/11/03 02:25 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
wheland Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 08/22/99
Posts: 3866
Loc: Trenton, NJ USA
It's not that the road is hard to find you just may think it's a driveway not a road.

I drove by it 3 times before I knew it was what I was looking for.

I did the directions by memory- with some aid from my Street Atlas program. It's a great aid along with things like the Kochel book and courtney thompson's books if you adventuring in Maine , Massachucetts and I imagine the Atlantic Provinces.

Dennis

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#63033 - 03/11/03 02:49 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 1075
Loc: Bel Air, MD
eek WOW, Dennis, thanks. eek Although we are just now in the "maybe we'll do this" stage for this year, I will be printing your directions for either this year or some other.

Donna mentioned Long Island tonight....maybe I'll be getting everyone's take on that in a few days.

lighthouse.cc and lighthousefriends are awesome resources, and I was poking around them yesterday, but nothing beats getting real life hands on accounts.

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#63034 - 03/11/03 06:23 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
wheland Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 08/22/99
Posts: 3866
Loc: Trenton, NJ USA
Larry,

Sorry. sometimes you just get on a roll and go with it. Just so happened I could do much of it off the cuff.

I wouldn't use the directions I gave you without taking a little time to make sure they were exactly right.

If you want info on Long Island Lightouse adventures here's one of the best places to go-

http://www.scroope.net/

Bob tells a mean tale.

Dennis

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#63035 - 03/11/03 09:19 PM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
rscroope Offline
Saint

Registered: 01/01/70
Posts: 6801
Loc: Long Island, New York, USA
Larry,
Here's part of a Rhode Island trip. RI Trip Block Island you don't need a car. There's a ferry from New London to Block Island as well as Orient Point, Long Island. You can also go to Block Island from Montauk. Stay in Newport area to do those lights and take the ferry to Providence and back to see additional lights. Get Kochel's book. Best list of the lhs and close directions. Watch Hill you can drive down to but you can't park there for long. You can also see the lighthouse from the two beaches on each side. See my other itineraries for LI Lights. wink
have fun,
Bob
_________________________
LONG ISLAND BOB

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#63036 - 03/12/03 01:55 AM Re: Possible Spring Break trip to Rhode Island...HELP!
Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 1075
Loc: Bel Air, MD
Thanks Bob!

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