I had visited Watch Hill, Rhode Island, once before, but that trip was on someone else's time. I was hired help for a family with four kids and what seemed to be a lot of money. We took their yacht to Watch Hill to see the town and try to assess whether it measured up to their standards. To Watch Hill's credit, it took only half an hour before the lady of the family was in front of a real estate office scanning images of multi-million dollar homes and pointing out her favorites.
Watch Hill is most certainly an affluent town, but it maintains a residential, familiar feel. Located in the southwest corner of Rhode Island, Watch Hill seems to be Newport's less ostentatious cousin. It has the same family money in the bank, but it uses the wealth differently. Newport's mansions are absolutely huge estates set back from the road and cut off from reality by tall walls and high gates. Those mansions have been traded for some merely generously sized, nicely manicured homes in Watch Hill.
- East Beach
- Flying Horse Carousel
- Fort Mansfield, the remains of
- Ocean House
- Olympia Tea Room
- Watch Hill Lighthouse
On my recent visit I came in (by car) on scenic route 1A and passed golf, racquet, and country clubs on the way. The New England-style shingled homes, neat hedges, and low stone walls set the visual tone for the afternoon. Even if there aren't mega yachts in the marina across the street from where I park, I can tell this isn't the kind of place anyone would dare litter or ask why there's no McDonald's.