Jamestown (Rhode Island)

The Claiborne Pell Bridge, usually called the Newport Bridge

Jamestown is located on Conanicut Island, a small parcel of land that connects mainland Rhode Island to Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. Jamestown is 25 miles south of Providence and offers plenty of shopping, dining and recreation. Accessible by bridge, via car or bus, this small coastal gem is a great place to visit any time of the year.


Despite its tiny size - nine miles long and one mile wide - the island is packed with sights to see and things to do. Jamestown’s main commercial area is Narragansett Avenue, where there is an array of restaurants and shops. An attraction in Jamestown is that there are no chain restaurants or stores. There is only one gas station. Jamestown prides itself on its locally owned businesses.

The island town also has an interesting historical background. In the early 1300's Native American's made their home on Conanicut Island and were the lone settlers until the 1600's. English settlers began arrived after making arrangements with the Narragansett tribe to use the land for grazing their sheep. In 1775 during the Revolutionary War, the British Navy arrived in Newport and shortly after invaded Jamestown. They attacked Fort Getty and Fort Wetherill. The island's history as a strategic defense point is still visible in the remains of these fortifications and others dating from the 18th to the 20th century.

Get in

Jamestown is 20 minutes from Kingston train station and 25 minutes from T.F. Greene airport.

By plane

By car

Jamestown is an island that is accessible through two bridges.

By boat

Get around

A car is recommended because public transportation is extremely limited once you arrive on the island. However, much of the shopping and dining is located in a small radius close to hotels, so it is possible to take taxis from the business area out to the recreational spots.


The island is rich in open space and a tour around its rural roads reveals farms, salt marshes, and stunning water views. Jamestown is full of hidden treasures such as small beaches and winding trails. Beavertail Lighthouse juts dramatically into Rhode Island Sound from a rocky southern tip of the island.

Jamestown is home to three marinas and many residents and visitors are sailors. Narragansett Bay is ideal for sailing, fishing, and kayaking. The village center is Narragansett Ave. which runs from east to west with a marina at each end and is lined with restaurants and stores.

When you're not athe beach or on the water enjoying the ocean views, this small island town offers museums, art shows, concerts and sporting events.




The island is only 9 miles long by 1 mile wide and the parks, swimming and recreation are located at the tips of the island a bit away from the shopping and dining.


Jamestowners are not anxious to spoil the small town ambiance with big box stores and chain restaurants and most businesses are owned or run by locals. Except for gas stations, Jamestown does not host a single "chain" or non-local business. Don't expect to find a Wal-mart; every restaurant and property on the island is, if not owned directly by a local, probably run by one. Some things require a trip off island but there are many large chain stores within a short drive.


Jamestown offers a great variety of restaurants so whether you are in the mood to splurge or just grab a bite to eat, you will be satisfied. Keep in mind, you will not find a Burger King or Chilis on the island. Note that even the most up-scale restaurants accept casual clothing.






You will not find any chain hotels, or large resorts in Jamestown. Instead, the lodging locations are mostly comprised of cozy bed and breakfasts, and small condos. In the summer the hotels and inns tend to reach full capacity rather quickly, so don’t show up on the island intending to score an empty room without a reservation.

Go next

Newport makes a great day trip a ten minute drive across the bridge or by ferry in season. Providence is a 40 minute drive and offers a great cosmopolitan contrast.

North Kingstown is right across the Jamestown bridge, about 10-15 minutes away, offers historic landmarks such as Smith's Castle and the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace.

Routes through Jamestown

Voluntown North Kingstown  W  E  Newport Fall River

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, January 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.