Easton's Beach, also known as First Beach, is a popular public beach located in Newport, Rhode Island. It has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Here's an overview of the history of Easton's Beach:
- Early Days: The area where Easton's Beach is situated was originally known as "The Easton Reservoir." It was a freshwater pond that was used as a local water supply for Newport in the early 19th century. The reservoir was later dammed to control water levels.
- Development as a Resort: In the late 19th century, Newport began to establish itself as a popular resort destination. The Easton family, who owned the land surrounding the reservoir, recognized the tourism potential of the area. They decided to convert the reservoir into a saltwater beach to cater to the growing number of visitors.
- Beach Development: In 1880, the Easton family constructed a seawall and opened the area as a public beach known as Easton's Beach. The beach quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering swimming, sunbathing, and recreational activities.
- Victorian Era: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Easton's Beach witnessed the influx of wealthy visitors from across the United States. Many prominent families built grand summer cottages in Newport, and Easton's Beach served as a recreational hub for these affluent individuals.
- Historic Carousel: One of the notable features of Easton's Beach is the Easton's Beach Carousel, also known as the "Flying Horses Carousel." Built in 1870, it is one of the oldest carousels in the United States and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The carousel is a beloved attraction, offering nostalgic rides for visitors of all ages.
- Modern Amenities: Over the years, Easton's Beach has undergone various improvements and additions. Facilities such as bathhouses, picnic areas, a playground, and a boardwalk were developed to enhance visitors' experiences. There are also volleyball courts, a concert stage, and a snack bar for added enjoyment.
- Environmental Conservation: In recent years, there has been a growing focus on environmental conservation and sustainability at Easton's Beach. Efforts have been made to protect the dunes and preserve the natural beauty of the area. The beach participates in programs and initiatives aimed at reducing pollution and promoting eco-friendly practices.
Today, Easton's Beach continues to be a popular destination for locals and tourists, attracting visitors with its beautiful sandy shoreline, scenic views, and a range of recreational activities. Its historical significance, coupled with its modern amenities, make it a beloved landmark in the Newport community.
Top Tourist Attractions
Easton's Beach, offers several attractions that make it a popular tourist destination in Newport, Rhode Island. Here are some of the top tourist attractions:
- Beach and Water Activities: The main attraction at Easton's Beach is, of course, the beach itself. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and building sandcastles on the sandy shoreline. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season for added safety. The beach is also a great spot for surfing, boogie boarding, and body surfing.
- Easton's Beach Carousel: The Easton's Beach Carousel, also known as the Flying Horses Carousel, is a must-visit attraction. Built in 1870, it is one of the oldest carousels in the United States and a designated National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take a ride on the beautifully restored carousel and enjoy the nostalgic charm of the hand-carved horses.
- Easton's Beach Snack Bar: The beach snack bar at Easton's Beach is a popular spot to grab a quick bite to eat. It offers a variety of beach-friendly food such as burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream, and refreshing beverages. Visitors can enjoy their meals while taking in the ocean views.
- Exploration Center and Aquarium: The Exploration Center and Aquarium at Easton's Beach is a fantastic attraction for families and marine life enthusiasts. It features interactive exhibits, educational displays, and tanks showcasing local marine species. Visitors can learn about the fascinating marine ecosystems of Rhode Island and even touch some of the marine creatures in the touch tanks.
- Events and Entertainment: Easton's Beach hosts various events and entertainment throughout the year. This includes live music concerts, beach volleyball tournaments, sand sculpting competitions, and other seasonal festivities. Check the local event calendar to see what exciting activities are taking place during your visit.
- Walking and Biking Paths: The area surrounding Easton's Beach offers scenic walking and biking paths. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the coastline, enjoying the beautiful views of the beach and the ocean. The paths are also great for jogging and rollerblading.
- Picnic Areas and Playground: Easton's Beach provides picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, making it an ideal spot for a beachside picnic with family and friends. There is also a playground area where children can enjoy swings, slides, and other play equipment.
These attractions, along with the natural beauty of the beach, make Easton's Beach a popular and enjoyable destination for tourists visiting Newport. Whether you're looking for relaxation, family fun, or exploring marine life, Easton's Beach has something to offer for everyone.
Easton's Beach experiences a humid continental climate. Here's an overview of the climate conditions you can expect:
- Summers (June to August): Summers at Easton's Beach are warm and generally pleasant. Average high temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius). However, temperatures can occasionally reach the upper 80s Fahrenheit (around 30 degrees Celsius). Humidity levels are moderate, and occasional sea breezes provide some relief from the heat. Summers are the peak tourist season at Easton's Beach, with visitors flocking to enjoy the beach and outdoor activities.
- Autumns (September to November): Autumn brings milder temperatures to Easton's Beach. September is still quite warm, with average highs in the 70s Fahrenheit (around 25 degrees Celsius). As the season progresses, temperatures gradually cool down. October sees average highs in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius), while November experiences highs in the 50s Fahrenheit (around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius). The autumn foliage in the surrounding area is beautiful, making it a popular time to visit.
- Winters (December to February): Winters in Easton's Beach can be cold, although not extremely frigid compared to some other regions in the United States. Average high temperatures range from the 40s to the 50s Fahrenheit (around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius). However, temperatures can drop below freezing at times, especially during the coldest months of January and February. Snowfall is relatively common, but the accumulation is generally moderate. Winter is the least crowded time at Easton's Beach, but the coastal scenery can still be quite picturesque.
- Springs (March to May): Springs in Easton's Beach bring a gradual warming of temperatures and the return of milder weather. March sees average highs in the 40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (around 5 to 10 degrees Celsius), while April and May experience increasing temperatures. By May, average highs reach the 60s Fahrenheit (around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius). Spring can be a lovely time to visit as nature starts to awaken, and the beach becomes less crowded compared to the summer months.
It's important to note that weather conditions can vary, and occasional fluctuations and deviations from the average temperatures can occur. It's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before visiting Easton's Beach to plan accordingly.
Easton's Beach is located on Aquidneck Island. Here are some details about the local geography:
- Coastal Location: Easton's Beach is situated along the eastern coast of Aquidneck Island, which is part of Newport County. It faces the Atlantic Ocean, offering scenic ocean views and direct access to the beach.
- Sandy Shoreline: The beach at Easton's Beach stretches approximately 3/4 of a mile (1.2 kilometers) along the coast. It features a wide expanse of sandy shoreline, providing ample space for sunbathing, beach activities, and recreation.
- Topography: The land surrounding Easton's Beach is mostly flat and gently sloping towards the ocean. The beach area itself is at sea level, making it easily accessible to visitors. Beyond the beach, the surrounding terrain gradually rises, forming the island's interior.
- Newport Cliff Walk: Just south of Easton's Beach, there is a scenic pathway known as the Newport Cliff Walk. This popular attraction offers a unique experience, as it winds along the rocky shoreline, providing panoramic views of the ocean on one side and the historic mansions and landscapes of Newport on the other.
- Dunes and Vegetation: Easton's Beach is known for its dunes, which are natural sand formations along the coast. These dunes serve as a protective barrier against coastal erosion and provide a habitat for a variety of plants and wildlife. Efforts have been made to preserve and restore the dunes at Easton's Beach to maintain the natural beauty and ecological balance of the area.
- Easton's Pond: Located just inland from Easton's Beach is Easton's Pond, also known as St. Mary's Pond. It is a small coastal saltwater pond that is connected to the ocean by a narrow channel. The pond and its surrounding wetlands provide a habitat for various bird species and other aquatic life.
The geography of Easton's Beach, with its sandy beach, coastal location, and scenic surroundings, contributes to its appeal as a recreational destination and a natural landmark in Newport. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, explore the nearby cliff walk, and appreciate the diverse coastal ecosystem.