What to do and see in Jamestown, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 21, 2017 Franklyn Hardiman

Jamestown is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island in the United States. The population was 5,405 at the 2010 census. Jamestown is situated almost entirely on Conanicut Island, the second largest island in Narragansett Bay. It also includes the uninhabited Dutch Island and Gould Island. Jamestown is ranked as the 444th wealthiest place to live in the United States as of 2016, with a median home sale price of $1,229,039.
Restaurants in Jamestown

1. Beavertail Lighthouse and Park

Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI +1 401-423-3270
Excellent
77%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 339 reviews

Beavertail Lighthouse and Park

The site of America's third lighthouse and the first in Rhode Island dates back to 1749.

Reviewed By Oliver S - New York City, New York

We found the lighthouse closed for the season, but the park is very pleasant, plenty of birds in the water, dogs & kids & people watching galore. Remarkably clean restrooms. Free.

2. Jamestown and Newport Ferry Co

Ferry Wharf, Jamestown, RI +1 401-423-9900
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 47 reviews

Jamestown and Newport Ferry Co

Reviewed By Christy D - California

Awesome. Well run and on time. They run frequently so you only have to wait a few minutes. Great prices and friendly service.

3. National Museum of American Illustration

Vernon Court, 492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 +1 401-851-8949
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 346 reviews

National Museum of American Illustration

The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is situated in Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion (1898). Vernon Court is on the Natl. Register of Historic Places with interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The NMAI focuses on original illustration artworks created to be reproduced in books, periodicals, advertising and in other print media. Featured artists include: Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith, NC Wyeth and 150 others. Free parking for museum visitors is available in our lot located on Victoria Avenue.

Reviewed By queentut1 - Scarsdale

...and it can be found in Newport, Rhode Island. In a setting almost impossible to imagine, the greatest illustrators are showcased in a golden age environment that seems as if it were created just for them. I naively thought I would be seeing framed prints of the great masters of the genre--oh, no. Here we have absolutely priceless ORIGINAL paintings of these giant artists! The Maxfield Parrishes alone will floor you. The sheer grandeur of the floor to ceiling murals, originally owned by a private business, grace every single wall in a magnificent garden room. I could easily have stayed in that one room for hours, but there is so much to see and appreciate that, as one reader said, you must plan carefully. And other gigantic Maxfields can be found right on the walls of main entrance areas, and tantalize the viewer by continuing up the off limits staircase. I only wish the second floor was made available to the public. The museums opens at 11, and you can easily stay there the whole day if you are a fan of the great illustrators. There is much to learn, and so much to savor. The gorgeous mansion alone is a work of art. Add to this the lovely gift shop--with even more original illustrations surrounding it, you will be in heaven. Tip: if you are in Newport for a day trip, or even if you just want to maximize your time, bring your own lunch. The time is too precious to waste on finding an eatery when there is so much to see. One thing for sure, if you love this art, you will feel like you have visited paradise!

4. Fort Wetherill State Park

Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI 02835 +1 401-423-1771
Excellent
52%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 62 reviews

Fort Wetherill State Park

Reviewed By anna d

It is exacty as it looks in the photos: a massive structure, covered in graffiti, along with some beachside cliffs and (at times) questionable hiking paths. However, there is a lot less nature and forest than I expected; it really is mostly just the fort itself. If you are looking for a nature hike, this is not the place for it. Despite that, the graffiti is still quite cool and walking along the fort is interesting.
If you are looking for where Moonrise Kingdom was filmed, it's actually very easy to find. I wasted a lot of time walking down the entirety of the park, looking for the right beach: you don't have to do that. They actually used two different beaches for the cove, one for the overhead view and one for the main action. Both are located side by side, right next to the road. This is past the main parking structure, after the main fort structure but before you reach another small part of the fort. You should be able to find it quite easily if you stick to the road that runs alongside the park.
We stayed at the Moonrise Kingdom cove for a little while, and had quite a pleasant stay.

5. The Breakers

44 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 02840-6906 +1 401-847-1000
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 4 reviews

The Breakers

The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt established the family fortune in steamships and later in the New York Central Railroad, which was a pivotal development in the industrial growth of the nation during the late 19th century. The Commodore's grandson, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, became Chairman and President of the New York Central Railroad system in 1885, and purchased a wooden house called The Breakers in Newport during that same year. In 1893, he commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace the earlier wood-framed house which was destroyed by fire the previous year. Hunt directed an international team of craftsmen and artisans to create a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin. Allard and Sons of Paris assisted Hunt with furnishings and fixtures, Austro-American sculptor Karl Bitter designed relief sculpture, and Boston architect Ogden Codman decorated the family quarters.

Reviewed By CallwoodCouple - Tampa, Florida

This place is extra fancy, but in a non-threatening sort of way. It’s like the Downton Abbey of America. You’re able to snoop around through the high society living arrangements of the family who moderately vacationed here, but are never shown the servant quarters which appear to be boarded off from visitors. If you have some time to kill in Newport, Rhode Island then this is an excellent stop for a guided, audio learning experience on the history and culture of the old 1%.

6. The Elms

367 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840-6915 +1 401-847-1000
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

The Elms

The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d'Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris. Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds' collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades.

Reviewed By Ronald F - Sarasota, Florida

It was a great tour and a must see mansion on my list. It was a little different than the other mansions but very nice for a change.

7. Jamestown Outdoors

Jamestown, RI 02835 +1 401-924-2885
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 16 reviews

Jamestown Outdoors

Jamestown Outdoors offers Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP), Kayak and Bike Rentals delivered to you. Come enjoy one of our tours or if new to Stand Up Paddle try one of our lessons. Call us for reservations and we will meet you any where on the the island! Get hooked for the first time or enjoy the outdoors with an activity you already love. We hope to see you soon!

Reviewed By Layn33 - Fanwood, New Jersey

We visited the store first which had great selections of nice clothes and other outdoor stuff. Then my daughter started the morning with her very first lesson in standup paddle boarding. She caught on fast and wonderful instructions from her instructor. Then my husband joined me kayaking in their sunset tour. What a treat! It was calm and peaceful. While our daughter was in the paddle board. She's hooked. The owners Jason and Beth were our guides. They are just awesome and accommodating. You definitely have to try them out. Great value for a wonderful experience.

8. Ocean Drive

Newport, RI
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Ocean Drive

The marked scenic route along the dramatic Atlantic shoreline that circles Newport.

Reviewed By NY83Wanderlust - Staten i

This is a serene drive on the shoreline. You can find it where cliff walk ends. There are places to park sporadically thought it. There are also beautiful mansions that can be found during the drive.

Hidden in Brenton Point State Park which is situated along the drive is an abandoned carriage House and stables. It is slowly being reclaimed by nature and is poorly secured by a chain fence.

9. Jamestown Fire Memorial Museum

50 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown, RI 02835-1167 +1 401-423-0062
Excellent
70%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Jamestown Fire Memorial Museum

Fire fighters' museum.

Reviewed By Michael S - Jamestown, Rhode Island

(Sepia photo is NOT of the Memorial Museum; color photos are.) Museum includes many fully-functional fire apparatus, including
- 1894 Steam pumper (horse-drawn)
- 1925 LaFrance pumper/engine
- 1946 American LaFrance pumper/engine
- 1947 Dodge pumper/engine
- two 1800-vintage hand pumpers

Entry by appointment or fortune, contacts and more at www.jamestownfd.com. No entry fee, but donations greatly appreciated.

10. Marble House

596 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840-4265 +1 401-847-1000
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Marble House

Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was a summer house, or "cottage", as Newporters called them in remembrance of the modest houses of the early 19th century. But Marble House was much more; it was a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's subsequent transformation from a quiet summer colony of wooden houses to the legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. Mr. Vanderbilt was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who established the family's fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad. His older brother was Cornelius II, who built The Breakers. Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society, and envisioned Marble House as her "temple to the arts" in America. The house was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost of the house was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Upon its completion, Mr. Vanderbilt gave the house to his wife as a 39th birthday present.

Reviewed By terrsall - Waterloo, Indiana

A beautiful columned home on Bellevue avenue built by the Vanderbilt's. Started in 1888 it took four years to complete,after all it takes a lot of work to fit all the marble in. Our guide was knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. Great mansion to explore!

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