North Kingstown

North Kingstown is in Washington County, Rhode Island in the United States of America. It has 30 miles of coastline on Narragansett Bay and covers almost 58 square miles. As of the census of 2000, the population was approximately 26,320. The town is 60 miles south of Boston, Massachusetts, 20 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island, and 12 miles northwest of Newport, Rhode Island. The 143rd Wing of the RI Air National Guard is based at the Quonset airport. Wickford, a quaint touristic village renowned for its history and its festivals, is technically part of North Kingstown but is covered in its own separate article. North Kingstown also encompasses the villages of Allenton, Hamilton, Davisville, Quidnessett, Lafayette, Slocum, Belleville and Saunderstown.


The history of the town dates back to 1637, when theologian Roger Williams established a trading post between two major Native American thoroughfares. In 1674, “Kings Towne” was founded by the colonial government and included several present-day towns. Kings Towne was the center of the King Philip's War fought from 1675 to 1676. At the start of the 18th century, settlement increased so quickly that in 1722 the colonial government divided Kings Towne into North and South, with North Kingstown being the area of earliest settlement. The seaport and colonial fishing village of Wickford was also established in the early 18th century.

The town's population grew during the second World War, when Quonset Naval Base was in full operation. During this time, Quonset consisted largely of airplane hangars, barracks and other functional buildings. After the base ceased to be full-functioning, many of these buildings were converted to house businesses and factories. Over the past two decades the business park has become more developed and has brought industry to North Kingstown from all over the world. Through use of its port, Quonset receives automobiles from across the world, including Germany and Japan. Recently, the Quonset Gateway project has promoted the growth of the area by providing space for local retailers and high-tech industrial and commercial businesses. To accommodate for these businesses and to improve the area, many of the WWII era-buildings have been destroyed or are currently in the process of being deconstructed. However, adventurous visitors can still see some of the WWII-era buildings by simply driving or biking around the area. Several Quonset Huts (named for the Native-American structure design they were inspired by) can be found near Alan's Harbor.

Get in

Get around


There is much history in North Kingstown, let alone all of Rhode Island. From colonial battles, and early-American life to Quonset Point's modern military use and the wildlife refuge found here, there is much to see and do in North Kingstown.


Gilbert Stuart birthplace in Saunderstown, RI.
The Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, RI.




As is everywhere else in New England what there is to do in North Kingstown varies by the season, but you will always find something.



If you just need to buy something simple, like a forgotten toiletry item or a bag of chips, there are a couple “big” stores in North Kingstown, outside of Wickford, that will help to fulfill your basic needs.


North Kingstown isn't a foodie haven, but you will be able to find something to satisfy your hunger.


Bars and Pubs



Not many chain hotels are to be found in North Kingstown.


Go next

Given the uniquely small size of Rhode Island, any in-state destination is always just a short drive away (usually an hour or less). As such, almost any Rhode Islander will lament over a drive greater than 15 minutes or so. Also keep in mind that, if asking for directions on your way out, Rhode Islanders have a nasty habit of imparting directions based on landmarks that used to be there but no longer are.

In Massachusetts:

Routes through North Kingstown

Providence East Greenwich  N  S  Wakefield New Haven
Voluntown South Kingstown  W  E  Jamestown Newport
Providence Warwick  N  S  END

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.