About This Location
East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island, stands as one of the state's most pristine coastal gems and is renowned for its natural beauty and limited development. As the eastern extension of Quonochontaug Neck, East Beach stretches for three miles, forming a scenic barrier beach that separates Ninigret Pond from the vast expanse of the ocean. Its unspoiled allure makes it one of Rhode Island's most spectacular seaside treasures.
During the summer months, East Beach comes alive with a variety of enticing activities. Visitors flock here to enjoy swimming in the calm waters, soaking up the sun on the sandy shores, leisurely strolls along the beach, and casting lines for fishing. The beach is well-equipped to accommodate beachgoers, offering portable toilets, a handful of changing rooms, and the assurance of lifeguards patrolling the shores. For those seeking a unique coastal camping experience, East Beach provides campsites in two areas, each with ten sites. Access to these campsites is limited to 4-wheel-drive vehicles, adding an adventurous touch to your stay. Families especially appreciate the gentle waves and family-friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect destination for a relaxing day by the shore. East Beach is also celebrated for its breathtaking sunrise and sunset views, providing an ideal backdrop for capturing the beauty of daybreak and day's end.
One of the distinctive features of East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island, is the opportunity for beach driving—a unique and thrilling experience. However, this privilege comes with certain requirements. To access the beach by vehicle, you must have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and a Barrier Beach Pass, which is essential for entry. Access to the East Beach Sand Trail, the designated entry point to the beach, is restricted to 30 vehicles at a time. The sand trail can be used year-round, but beach access itself is only permitted from Labor Day to Memorial Day. The well-marked vehicle trails are designed to preserve the natural environment, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the beach in its pristine state. More information on the Barrier Beach Pass and its regulations can be found at ri.gov.
Parking at East Beach is limited, particularly on sunny summer days when spaces fill up quickly. Planning ahead and purchasing a parking pass in advance is advisable. Beach parking passes are mandatory to park at state beach lots during operational hours from May's opening day to September (Labor Day). Seasonal beach parking passes can be conveniently obtained online from January through August or in-person at specific times in Narragansett. These passes need to be renewed each year. For daily parking fees, beach entrances accept cash, credit cards, and Apple Pay only. Rhode Island residents can expect to pay $6 on weekdays and $12 on weekends for parking, while non-residents will be charged $10 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Season passes are also available too for regular visitors.
For beachgoers accompanied by their furry friends, it's important to note that dogs are allowed at East Beach from October 1st to March 31st, providing an opportunity for pet owners to enjoy the shoreline with their four-legged companions. However, from April 1st to September 30th, dogs are not permitted at the beach, ensuring the safety and comfort of all beach visitors during the busier summer months.