Rhode Island Lighthouses:
Newport Region and Eastern Side

castle hill light

Providence, Barrington, Warren, Bristol, Newport,
and Little Compton

The Providence River area has many small rocky islands or shoals that would cause problems for mariners in stormy weather. Lighthouses were built in this area to guide mariners around these rocky islands and shorelines.

Conanicut Island divides Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay into two channels, the East Passage and the West Passage. With so many dangerous ledges and islands along the Narragansett Bay area and with Rhode Island’s rocky coastline, lighthouses were built to guide mariners and shipping traffic from Newport up into Providence.

Newport and Jamestown areas became places for the extremely rich who made their fortunes in the 19th century, many from the whaling industry, and many as part of the infamous Triangle Trade where African slaves were traded in the West Indies for sugar and molasses, which was used for rum in Newport. It was estimated at one time that one out of four people in Newport were making their living in some fashion from the sea.

On Rhode Island's southeastern region, dangerous shoals would barley be visible in high tides or stormy weather, prompting the need the for a lighthouse to guide mariners along these dangerous shores.


Rhode Island Lighthouses
in the Eastern Side Region
You Can Drive or Hike To

Note: The lighthouses mentioned below that you can drive to can also be viewed from various boat tours offered. Rhode Island has a very diverse set of state parks and recreation for its many visitors and local communities to enjoy.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

pomham rocks light

Pomham Rocks Light

bristol ferry light

Bristol Ferry Light

newport harbor light

Newport Harbor Light

rose island light

Rose Island Light

sandy point light

Prudence Island
(Sandy Point) Light

castle hill light

Castle Hill Light

nayatt light

Nayatt Point Light

sakonnet light

Sakonnet Light




Lighthouses Best Viewed by Boat
Rhode Island Lighthouses
in the Eastern Side Region

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

ida lewis light

Ida Lewis Light

hog island light

Hog Island Light

Places to Visit Nearby
Rhode Island's East Side (heading southeast)

For entertainment in theater, music, and dance, visit the Providence Performing Arts Center. The Museum of Natural History is the state’s only natural history museum, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo provides lots of family fun. For lots of hands on activities, visits Providence Children's Museum.

The Providence Place Mall is a 3-story retail complex with over 170 stores. For the entertainment fans, the Dunkin Donuts Center provides lots of sports events, major concerts, trade shows and family shows.

There is also the Blackstone River Bikeway, with 10 of the proposed 48 miles completed, you can take the completed bike path from nearby Central Falls, Lincoln, or Cumberland. When completed, it will connect to the East Bay Bike Path, and continue into Worcester Massachusetts.

To get a view of Pomham Rocks lighthouse by boat, take the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. You can also use the route to view some of the mansions at Newport from the water.

prudence island beach

Prudence Island Beach

Access to Prudence Island to view the lighthouse is made by taking the Bristol - Prudence Island Ferry. It’s a mile walk to Prudence Island (Sandy Point) Lighthouse there.

The 14-mile long East Bay Bicycle Path in East Providence, where the Pomham Rocks lighthouse is best viewed, runs along the Providence River, and is open to walkers as well as bikers. The Crescent Park Looff Carousel is one of the oldest and largest carousels with 62 beautifully carved and painted horses.

The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation provides information on day trips or overnight stays at Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport.

Newport is Rhode Island’s most popular tourist attraction including it’s most elaborate mansions of the rich and famous that shaped America’s 19th and 20th centuries. Newport provides plenty of concerts and events during the summer season.

tall ships at newport RI

The Newport Cliff Walk is nearly 4 miles along an elevated path around the harbor, where you'll view some of the many mansions of Newport.

Other shoreline walks in Newport include the Newport Harbor Walk and the Ten Mile Ocean Drive. For wine tasters, there are also tours at the Newport Vineyards.

stone wall along Sakonnet The ride down to Little Compton along route 77 is very scenic with country roads and attractive historic 19th century architecture along the way. Visitors will also find an interesting abundance of stonewalls marking properties as done in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Visit Sakonnet Vineyards for local wine tasting and exploring. Sakonnet lighthouse can be viewed from the beach in the town of Little Compton, a very secluded seaside town.




Boat Tours: Rhode Island's East Side Region: Provincetown, Bristol, Newport, Little Compton

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!


Rhode Island Bay Cruises
Offers weekly lighthouse tours in summer season.

347 Roger Williams Way
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-4040

Lighthouses: Beavertail Lighthouse, Poplar Point Light, Plum Beach Lighthouse, Conanicut Light, Dutch Island Lighthouse, Plum Beach Light, Newport Harbor, Ida Lewis Light, Rose Island Light, Prudence Island Light, and Castle Hill Light.


Save the Bay Tours
Organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation provides Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, Northern Bay Lighthouse Tour, Southern Bay Lighthouse Tour, and Providence Sunset Lighthouse Cruise. Include stopovers to tour inside lighthouse.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
(401) 439-0670

Beavertail, Castle Hill, Lime Rock (Ida Lewis), Newport Harbor, Rose Island, Prudence Island, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Conanicut Point, Poplar Point, Plum Beach, Dutch Island, Nayatt Point, Pomham Rocks, Conimicut, and Warwick.


Classic Cruises of Newport
Newport Harbor excursions aboard a newly restored Elco Motor Yacht, built during prohibition in 1929, or go sailing on the 72-foot Schooner Madeleine. Both offer views by the Newport lighthouses.

Dockside/Reservations: (401) 847-0298

Lighthouses: Newport Harbor Light, Ida Lewis Light, Rose Island Light, and Castle Hill Light.



Snappa Charters
Offers specific lighthouse tours around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island in addition to other adventure tours.

(401) 782-4040
22 Colvintown Rd.
Coventry, RI 02816
Home (401) 821-7373
Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044

Lighthouses: Block Island Southeast, Block Island North, Watch Hill, and Point Judith, Beavertail, Castle Hill, Lime Rock (Ida Lewis) Light, Newport Harbor, Rose Island, Prudence Island, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Conanicut Point, Poplar Point, Plum Beach, and Dutch Island, Sakonnet, Nayatt Point, Pomham Rocks, Conimicut, and Warwick lighthouse.

Bristol - Prudence Island Ferry
The ferry provides access to and from the Prudence Island daily. From the ferry dock it's about a mile walk along the shore to Prundece island (Sandy Point) Light.
Phone: (401) 253-9808

Lighthouses: Bristol Ferry Light, Prudence Island Light



Jamestown-Newport Ferry

The Jamestown Newport Ferry offers scenic transportation on lower Narragansett Bay and in Newport Harbor and provides easy access for visiting a variety of destinations including stopovers at Rose Island Light during the summer months. They also offer 2-hour narrated lighthouse tours on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months, departing from Jamestown, RI.
Summer Schedule:
Phone: (401) 423-9900

Lighthouses: Goat Island, Lime Rock, Castle Hill. Beavertail, and Rose Island.

Air Services To and From Block Island

Resort Air,
PO Box 577,
(800) 683-9330,
(401) 466-2000   

Maritime Airways,
(888) 229-4449

New England Airlines,
Westerly State Airport,
Westerly, RI,
(401) 596-2460,
(800) 243-2460

Additional Resources
For All You Rhode Island Visitors

Rhode Island Out Of The Way Attractions

Rhode Island Attractions

60 Things To Do in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Beaches

Rhode Island Museums

Things to do With Kids in Providence


My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides lots of special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area, with contact info to plan your trip. I'll be happy to sign it for you here, or you'll find it in any fine bookstore.

In the book, with stories from each lighthouse, you'll find a few local special stories about Ida Lewis rescues and stories of heroism and destruction during the Hurricane of 1938.

Look inside!

book southern new england lighthouses and attractions




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