- Bonnet Shores Beach Club
- 175 Bonnet Point Road - Narragansett
- Rhode Island 02882 - United States
The Narragansett people have a long and rich history in what is now known as Rhode Island. They are a Native American tribe belonging to the Algonquian language family. The Narragansett lived in the region for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.
Prior to European contact, the Narragansett occupied a significant portion of present-day Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. They had a complex social and political structure, organized into several villages, each with its own sachem (chief) and council. The Narragansett were skilled hunters, fishermen, and farmers, relying on the resources of the land and the sea for their sustenance.
In the early 17th century, the Narragansett encountered European explorers and traders, including Dutch, English, and French settlers. They developed trade relationships with the newcomers, exchanging furs, wampum (shell beads used as currency), and other goods. However, as more settlers arrived and encroached on their lands, conflicts arose.
One of the most notable figures in Narragansett history is Chief Canonicus. He played a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining peaceful relations between the Narragansett and the English colonists, particularly with the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams. Williams sought refuge among the Narragansett after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Chief Canonicus offered him protection and land to settle.
During the colonial period, the Narragansett maintained a relatively autonomous existence despite the growing influence of the English settlers. They actively participated in the fur trade and adopted some European practices, such as agriculture and animal husbandry. However, conflicts with colonists increased over time, culminating in the King Philip's War (1675-1676), a bloody conflict between Native American tribes and the English colonies.
After King Philip's War, the Narragansett people faced significant losses, including the destruction of their villages and the displacement of their population. Many Narragansett were sold into slavery or forced to relocate to other tribal communities. Despite these hardships, the Narragansett managed to maintain their cultural identity and traditions.
In the 20th century, the Narragansett reorganized as a federally recognized tribe, known as the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island. They have focused on revitalizing their culture, preserving their language, and advocating for their rights and sovereignty. The tribe has also established the Tomaquag Museum, which serves as a repository of Narragansett history and cultural artifacts, providing educational resources for tribal members and the general public.
Today, the Narragansett continue to play an active role in Rhode Island's cultural landscape. They participate in tribal governance, hold powwows, and engage in cultural activities to ensure the survival and prosperity of their community. Their history serves as a reminder of the enduring presence and resilience of the Native American peoples in the face of colonization and adversity.
Top Tourist Attractions
- Narragansett Town Beach: This popular beach is a major draw for tourists, offering a beautiful stretch of sand, rolling waves, and picturesque views. It's perfect for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and beachcombing.
- Point Judith Lighthouse: Located at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, the Point Judith Lighthouse is an iconic landmark. Visitors can tour the lighthouse grounds, learn about its history, and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the ocean.
- The Towers: Situated in Narragansett Pier, The Towers is a historic structure that was once part of the Narragansett Casino. This magnificent granite building is a favorite spot for photography and hosts various events throughout the year.
- Roger W. Wheeler State Beach: Another picturesque beach in Narragansett, Roger W. Wheeler State Beach offers beautiful sand dunes, calm waters, and a family-friendly atmosphere. It's a great place for swimming, picnicking, and playing beach games.
- Scarborough State Beach: With its expansive shoreline and excellent surf, Scarborough State Beach is a haven for beach enthusiasts and water sports lovers. It's a popular spot for surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.
- South County Museum: Located in Narragansett, the South County Museum showcases the region's rich history through exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the area's maritime heritage, farming traditions, and local crafts.
- Narragansett Indian Church: The Narragansett Indian Church is an important cultural and historical site. Visitors can explore the church, attend services, and learn about the tribe's religious practices and traditions.
- Narrow River Kayaks: Explore the serene waters of the Narrow River by renting a kayak or paddleboard from Narrow River Kayaks. This scenic waterway provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, spot wildlife, and enjoy a peaceful paddle.
- Block Island Excursions: Narragansett serves as a departure point for ferry services to Block Island. Hop on a ferry and spend a day exploring this beautiful island known for its pristine beaches, lighthouses, hiking trails, and charming coastal villages.
- Great Swamp Management Area: Nature enthusiasts can visit the Great Swamp Management Area, a vast expanse of protected wetlands and forests. It offers hiking trails, bird-watching opportunities, and a chance to observe the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area.
These are just a few of the top tourist attractions in Narragansett. The area offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor activities, making it a delightful destination for visitors.
Narragansett experiences a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. Here are some key features of the climate in Narragansett:
- Summers (June to August): Summers in Narragansett are generally warm and humid. Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius). However, temperatures can occasionally reach the 90s Fahrenheit (around 32-35 degrees Celsius) during heatwaves. Summer is the peak tourist season due to the pleasant beach weather.
- Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Narragansett brings mild and comfortable weather, with gradually cooling temperatures. September and October are typically pleasant, with average highs ranging from the mid-70s to low 70s Fahrenheit (mid to high teens Celsius). November sees a significant drop in temperatures, with average highs in the mid-50s Fahrenheit (around 10-12 degrees Celsius).
- Winters (December to February): Winters in Narragansett are cold, and snowfall is common. Average daytime temperatures range from the high 30s to low 40s Fahrenheit (around 3-5 degrees Celsius), while nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Snowfall varies from year to year but typically accumulates to several inches or more.
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Narragansett starts off cool but gradually warms up. March and April can still have cool temperatures, with average highs in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit (around 5-15 degrees Celsius). By May, temperatures increase, with average highs in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 15-20 degrees Celsius). Spring is often a transitional period with fluctuating weather patterns.
- It's worth noting that Narragansett's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean influences its climate. The ocean helps to moderate temperatures, keeping summers cooler and winters milder compared to inland areas. It also brings about occasional coastal fog.
Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with slightly higher precipitation during the summer and early fall months. Narragansett experiences four distinct seasons, allowing visitors and residents to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year.
It occupies a scenic area along the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Here are some key features of Narragansett's geography:
- Beaches and Coastline: Narragansett is known for its beautiful coastline, which attracts visitors from near and far. The town boasts several stunning beaches, including Narragansett Town Beach, Scarborough State Beach, and Roger W. Wheeler State Beach. These sandy shores offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and other beach activities.
- Narragansett Bay: The western edge of Narragansett is defined by Narragansett Bay, a large estuary known for its rich marine life and sailing opportunities. The bay is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and exploring the surrounding islands. It also plays a significant role in the town's maritime history and economy.
- Point Judith: Located in the southern part of Narragansett, Point Judith is a prominent feature and serves as the entrance to Narragansett Bay. It is home to the Point Judith Lighthouse, which stands as a historic landmark and provides stunning views of the ocean and coastline.
- Great Swamp Management Area: Situated in the northern part of Narragansett, the Great Swamp Management Area is a vast expanse of protected wetlands and forests. It offers nature trails, bird-watching opportunities, and a chance to explore the diverse ecosystems of the region.
- Narrow River: Flowing through Narragansett is the Narrow River, a tidal river that connects Pettaquamscutt Cove to Narragansett Bay. The river is popular for kayaking, paddleboarding, and wildlife observation.
- Block Island: While not part of Narragansett itself, Block Island is located about 12 miles off the coast and is easily accessible by ferry from Narragansett. It is known for its stunning cliffs, sandy beaches, and preserved natural beauty.
The geography of Narragansett showcases a mix of coastal landscapes, from sandy beaches and rocky shores to estuaries and wetlands. Its proximity to the ocean and bay provides ample recreational opportunities and a unique natural environment for residents and visitors to enjoy.