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Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Rhode Island

The country’s smallest state is big on extraordinary sunsets – ask any Rhode Islander and they’ll agree that the painted skies at day’s end are usually nothing short of magical. While most locals have their secret spots to watch the sun’s final salute, we’re going to let you in on some of our favorites:

Van Zandt Pier at sunset

Van Zandt Pier, Newport: This wooden pier that juts out into Newport Harbor lies in the shadow of the Newport Pell Bridge and overlooks a mooring field peppered with vessels big and small, offering a stunning milieu as the sun dips behind Jamestown. 

Brenton Point State Park, Newport: You’ll have plenty of room to roam as all 89 acres of this southernmost tip of Aquidneck Island share sweeping views of the place where the Atlantic Ocean meets Narragansett Bay. 

Rooftops of Newport: What’s better than a stunning sunset paired with a refreshing cocktail? Three rooftop decks in Newport are ideal for champagne under the stars: The Roof Deck at The Vanderbilt is a local favorite with comfy Adirondack chairs and a panoramic harbor vista, the newly renovated Top of Newport Bar + Kitchen at the Hotel Viking boasts loungy nooks for a chill but chic vibe, and the new rooftop patio at Stoneacre Garden captures the twinkling lights of downtown. (Insider’s scoop: the Rooftop at The Brenton Hotel will unveil its enviable view six stories above the harbor.)

Beavertail State Park, Jamestown: Perched on the southern point of Conanicut Island, the second-largest island in Narragansett Bay, the rocky coastline and crashing waves only enhance the moment the sun dips into the horizon. 

North Kingstown Town Beach, North Kingstown: Though east facing, the serene vista from this peaceful beach can be one of the best to soak in a colorful sky. 

Wickford Harbor, North Kingstown: A quintessentially quaint coastal New England town (complete with Main Street), Wickford is home to The Kayak Centre which offers guided sunset paddles through the harbor – what a way to end the day! 

Napatree Point Conservation Area, Westerly: This long sandy spit is home to an important bird nesting and migratory resting area, so bring the binoculars. Napatree Point extends 1.3 miles west into Little Narragansett Bay from Watch Hill with a stunning trail that’s accessible year-round. 

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