South County, RI is celebrated for its natural beauty and its manmade landmarks as well. The 10 iconic lighthouses which ring the coast of Narragansett Bay, are known as the “Jewels of the Bay.”
The Millennium Ferry, a luxurious sightseeing catamaran, departs from Quonset Point, North Kingstown and glides past 10 lighthouses, 10 islands, and under both the Jamestown and Newport Bridges. Experienced guide and historian Arthur Strauss entertains and educates throughout the tour.
Cruises are scheduled regularly through the spring and summer months into early autumn. For more information, call 401-295-4040.
For those who prefer to stay on land, the South County Tourism Council has many offerings to suit everyone.
Broadway comes to beach at Theatre By The Sea, a converted barn in Matunuck, RI that has launched several Hollywood careers since its inception in 1933. South County has played host to various theater companies that produced shows in “the barn” which has become a summer entertainment staple. Cool ocean breezes waft through as theater goers enjoy song, dance and comedy productions. Prior to the show enjoy a delicious meal at Bistro By The Sea and meander through the gorgeous gardens.
The 2011 season features Man of LaMancha June 24-July 16 and Hairspray July 20-Aug. 13. Tickets are $39-$54. For information, call 401-782-8587.
Savor Smith’s Castle’s celebrated strawberry shortcake and pay homage to the humble wild strawberry—a favorite of the early colonists and the native Narragansett Indians. South County’s “Castle” was originally established as a trading post in 1637 by Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island. It was an important social, political and religious center to the Rhode Island colony. The original house was set aflame during a conflict with Native Americans. A new house was finished by 1678 and remains on the grounds. It is an important historical center, featuring re-enactments of life during the founding years of Rhode Island.
The Annual Strawberry Festival, June 18, noon- 4 p.m., is a day filled with fun family-oriented entertainment. Smith’s Castle, 55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown, R.I.