Dream Town: Jamestown, Rhode Island

Just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Newport, this nine-square-mile island packs all the maritime excitement of its neighbor in a cozy, quiet package.

Narragansett Bay
Photograph: Morgan + Owens

The Town

The drive along north Main road in Jamestown is flanked by symbols of rural America—a windmill, greenery, and barns still untouched by development. And once you reach the pinnacle of the road, you’ll really catch a glimpse of the town’s visual magic: rolling pastures with grazing cows descend onto surreal views of Narragansett Bay, peppered with sailboats anchored out on its tranquil waters, all against the backdrop of the Newport Bridge.

Jamestown’s off-the-beaten-path vibe is precisely what attracts people to this community of around 5,500. “It has the appeal of a small town from the ’50s or ’60s,” says resident Lisa Sallee. That’s all thanks to quiet streets that snake through the one-stoplight town, where family-owned businesses take the place of chain stores, and grocery shopping often means hitting one of the island’s nine working farms on the weekends.

Left: Conanicut Marina on Narragansett Bay

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