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Overview

Westerly's fame and fortune was built on granite – literally, for a rich source of it lies under the town. Quarry holes remain from the glory days of this industry, and the city’s impressive public buildings reflect its citizens’ reverence for fine stone, especially their own “Westerly Red.” In Riverbend Cemetery are granite monuments carved by the Italian master stonecutters who worked in the area. Westerly is the commercial center for an area of beaches and shore villages that are filled with vacationers in the summer, enjoying its broad sandy beaches backed by dunes, fishing, sailing and other water sports. Spring and fall are the ...

Westerly's fame and fortune was built on granite – literally, for a rich source of it lies under the town. Quarry holes remain from the glory days of this industry, and the city’s impressive public buildings reflect its citizens’ reverence for fine stone, especially their own “Westerly Red.” In Riverbend Cemetery are granite monuments carved by the Italian master stonecutters who worked in the area. Westerly is the commercial center for an area of beaches and shore villages that are filled with vacationers in the summer, enjoying its broad sandy beaches backed by dunes, fishing, sailing and other water sports. Spring and fall are the favorites for walkers who enjoy the solitude of its miles of sea-washed beaches, and birders who flock to the saltponds and marshes to view migrating birds at the numerous wildlife refuges. Wilcox Park, a "Victorian strolling park," is the center of summer cultural activities, including concerts and "Shakespeare in the Park," and parks and gardens throughout Westerly are filled with well-kept flower beds and blossoming trees. Watch Hill, on a narrow spit of land below Westerly, was a summer retreat of the wealthy, slightly less opulent than Newport. Its beach is a long stretch of fine sand punctuated by a lighthouse, and the rare 1876 Flying Horse Carousel is open for rides in the summer.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer for beaches, spring and fall for walking and birding