Our beach adventure


Our trip to the beach took a turn that we weren’t expecting. We have been frequenting Roy Carpenter’s Beach in Matunuck, RI for 5 or 6 years now, mostly because it was very family oriented, with no loud radios, and very clean sand. It had the usual snack stand, bathhouse to change in and clean bathrooms. But, nothing ever stays the same, especially beachfront property in Rhode Island.

This bit of bad news is from The Providence Journal

Coastal storms lead to parking ban at Roy Carpenter’s Beach01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — This spring’s punishing coastal storms claimed a Rhode Island tradition dating to the 1930s: people will no longer be able to park at Roy Carpenter’s Beach for the day.

A nasty April storm ate another 10 feet into the shoreline, leading the owners of the popular beach colony in Matunuck to do away with the public parking lot altogether.

“We decided to leave the sand where nature put it and just have a bigger beach for the people who live here,” said Nancy Thoresen, whose family owns Roy Carpenter’s.

Since the 1930s, people could pay to park in the lot and enjoy a day at the beach that on clear days looks out to Block Island. The practice reached a height a few decades ago, when 400 to 500 cars would park there and some beachgoers would flock to nearby Moonstone Beach for nude sunbathing, Thoresen said.

Once a generous beach, the sand has crept inland over the past decade and is now approaching the first row of cottages. “The whole coast around here seems to be moving inland,” she said.

People are welcome to park elsewhere and walk in, but there will be no public parking available, she said.

The “parking elsewhere” mentioned in the last paragraph probably won’t happen very often unless you are a persistent soul, because the beach is surrounded by corn fields and private homes (no parking in either of course), plus it’s a hike in from the main road if you are able to find a place to park. So, we backtracked to the North Kingstown town beach, but then SB wanted to give the Breachway a try, where he had gone many times as a youngster, and that’s where we stayed for the day. Although not as nice as Roy Carpenter’s, and there were no stones there, except for the gigantic ones that make up the Breachway (I have buckets of “pretties” that I bring home from the beach every time I go) and there was no sun (very cloudy and hazy, and I still got a bit of pink on my face, even under the umbrella) it was still a nice time. The fog and haze drifted in and out all day, as you can see from the Breachway photo below. We did find out that they do not charge for parking before 7:00 AM or after 4:00 PM, so that is a thought. The parking for the day cost $12.00 and the bathrooms left a bit to be desired.

Fishing in the fog on the Breachway

The houses sorry, cottages close to the water are built up on stilts to protect them from a storm surge if a hurricane should get close enough or come ashore. I’m not sure how high they are, probably 15 to 20 feet. It feels a bit alien driving down the road and seeing all of these cottages with their legs showing, so to speak. I feel like I’m looking at their underwear. 😀 BTW the cottage below is a rental that goes for $2750 per week with a 2 week minimum. YIKES!

695charlestownbeach 2750 2 wk

This rental below ($4000 per week, 2 week minimum) is farther away from the water and for some reason is more than the other one that is just about at the edge of the ocean. Go figure.

20westend 4000 2 wk

Even with the haze, the glare was relentless. I knitted for awhile, but because I knit with my glasses off, I had to finally give up. SB read his book for awhile and then gave up because he brought the wrong sunglasses with him. We were very content to just sit and eat and doze.

I should also mention that Sweet Baboo won $3.00 at the casino, where we had gone to have breakfast before going to the beach. He was very excited. That’s $3.00, 3 singles, not a typo. See how happy he is?

My handsome honey

Fence on the dune

Fence in the mist

Dune grass

Another fence on the dune


6 thoughts on “Our beach adventure

  1. Yikes! Progress. It’s the same everywhere there is a body of water. And can you believe there are actually people that can pay that amount of rent for two weeks!?!? At least some of the change you experienced was due to nature – and not the almighty dollar. Glad you had a good time, even though you had to change to plan B. Great pictures.

  2. Marcy

    I agree Jackie – it boggles the mind that people will pay that much for a vacation — of course, it’s easy for me to say that when I live only an hour or so away and can go pretty much anytime I want. And I completely understand about the parking situation at Carpenter’s – as a matter of fact, it’s refreshing that the Association is keeping the residents in mind first (which is the way it should be since they are paying fees for services) and other people second.

    I’ve never seen the Pacific Ocean, Christy — I would imagine it’s much warmer that the New England coast — it’s all the way up to 70 degrees now!!

  3. Brent

    Is this typical for Rhode Island beachcombing? I am a screenwriter in Los Angeles. I have been thinking about trying to find a getaway in New England on the water. I would like to buy a place. I understand that the nightlife is pretty good in beach communities in Rhode Island. What I definitely don’t want is some place like Atlantic City. I am also looking on the coast of North Carolina. I have gone to a few websites for various areas in Rhode Island; and all look pricey. Is Rhode Island becoming the place where people buy if they cannot afford Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod?:)

    I should add that I am African American. If there are any issues of race discrimination in beach front communities in New England, please let me know.

  4. Marcy

    Hi Brent –I’m probably not the best person to talk to about this, because I’ve never had to rent as I live a little over an hour from the RI beaches. I would imagine, tho, that buying something on RI would be MUCH cheaper than Martha’s or Nantucket — I understand that it’s getting very difficult to build on the islands due to disappearing real estate. I work with a gal whose step-father’s family owns a house on an island in Maine — possibly Maine would be something to look into. There are lots of islands up that way, although I don’t have any idea of the prices. There’s always PEI and British Columbia — probably more in the vein of peace and quiet — I wouldn’t know if there is much nightlife up there.

    I don’t think that you would have any problem being an African American in RI — it’s a melting pot of many races and cultures.

    Sorry I couldn’t be more help — I’m sure there must be bloggers from RI out there in the ‘sphere that could help you more.

  5. Debbie Robbins

    I am sooooo sorry that day-trippers are no longer allowed at “our” beach–I grew up going to “the beach” every weekend and for at least two summer weeks with my grandparents—they origionally had a tent on the sight during the late thirties, early forties. I presently live on Cape Cod but there is never and will never be a beach like—“The Beach”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s