A small coastal and rural town in Rhode Island’s Newport County, Tiverton boasts some great views and local charm without the mass of tourists in Newport or South County.
1.) Coastal Roasters–While every town (or almost every town) has a coffee shop, I ‘d say Coastal Roasters not only has incredible drinks but also is the most distinctly Tiverton place in town and is most representative of the people. They serve up great lattes like the Coco Loco or Robin Mocha, offer a selection of frozen drinks and smoothies (think Mint Chip Coffee Cooler), and also serve fresh brews of traditional hot and iced coffee everyday. Coffee is roasted in the store, and they sell beans to customers as well as some local stores.Though there’s not much for seating inside of the store, there are picnic tables outside along Main Road as well as some tables overlooking the Sakonnet River. This is a popular stop for beachgoers on their way to Grinnell’s or South Shore in Little Compton. They’re open all year except for Christmas and New Year’s, so coffee addicts can get their fix even on Thanksgiving. Limited parking on Main Road. 1791 Main Road, $
2.) Black Goose Cafe–A little further down Main Road is another great cafe. They offer a wider selection of lattes with drinks like the Peanut Butter Cup, Peppermint Patty, S’mores, and Salted Caramel lattes (although there’s also a wide selection of flavor syrups at Coastal and you can customize with those to make creative drinks as well). The Goose is open later in the night and does more in terms of food: they offer a number of sandwiches, incredible desserts, muffins that melt in your mouth, and really tasty soups and buffalo macaroni salad. There’s outdoor seating in the summer overlooking Nanaquaket Pond, so it’s a great place to get some sliders (the special they’ve had pretty much all summer) and kick back and enjoy the scenery. In addition to their coffees and teas, they serve different beers and wines as well. 2160 Main Road, $
3.) Boat House Restaurant–Get a table here for the best view in Tiverton. Recent winner for “Best Fried Oysters” in the Best of RI, the Boat House serves up great seafood, warm bread in paper bags, and overall great dishes. I’d say it’s the best place for dinner in town. They also have brunch featuring Portuguese Sweet Bread French Toast. 227 Schooner Drive, $$$
4.) Biking on Seapowet–For unbelievable views on a relaxed road, take a bike down Seapowet Avenue. As you ride down this rural road, you pass by sweeping fields with sparse trees looking like something from Africa, and an albino peacock may emerge and greet you if you’re lucky. Seapowet Marsh along the way makes for a good stop to dip your feet in the water, and as you continue on to the end of the road you could head to next-door Fogland Beach for some more relaxed beach time. I did this ride a handful of times this summer and definitely think it showcases the coastal, rural aspect of the town. If you go right off of Pond Bridge Road once you’re done, you can continue towards Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, stop by some farm stands, or head to the commons.
5.) Moose Cafe–Gray’s gets the most attention in town, and their ice cream is good, but the Moose Cafe is more unique, and, I’d say, better. They have hundreds of flavors of soft serve (and I’m not kidding, hundreds) and you can customize what you want by adding in toppings to the soft serve you order. In addition to all of their regular soft serve flavors, they also have some pre-designed sundaes (like Moose Tracks, Brownie Sundae, Cookie-licious, Omazing Oreo). Though I’ve never tried them, they have a number of bagels, doughnuts, lattes, and sandwiches. Additionally, there’s both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy this venue all year long. 1160 Stafford Road, $
Here are some of my other picks:
- Family Ties Restaurant–classic small town diner with typical small town diner food
- Provender–great for grabbing a sandwich and eating outside in Four Corners after
- Evelyn’s–right on Nanaquaket Pond, so there’s a beautiful view, lots of seafood, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, good food (RI Chowder, cheesesteak), but deceptively expensive
- Four Corners Grille– a nice, quiet restaurant with good burgers, good al fresco dining
- Mirasol’s Cafe (Dartmouth)–get a Chippi, the line can go out the door on weekends (or most days) though.
- The Barn (Little Compton)–great for breakfast, can be crowded for Sunday brunch, the cinnamon buns are incredible
- Wilma’s at Walker’s Roadside Stand–the best blueberry pie!
- China Gourmet–good hole-in-the-wall place
- Gray’s Ice Cream–good coffee ice cream, crowded in the summer, open year round
- Moulin Rouge–French-American fare, chicken cordon bleu was fine but nothing spectacular, chocolate truffle cake was good, service was weird and slow. If you’re a local looking for somewhere new to eat out nearby, give it a shot, but otherwise try some other spots first.
- The Back Eddy (Westport)–a fun waterside dining option serving fresh seafood and local favorites.
- Red Dory–good restaurant in Tiverton with views of the water, though they have a limited and seafood heavy menu
- Four Corners –cool shops
- Milk & Honey –this is your place to buy some nice cheese, but be careful because it’s expensive!
- Fogland Beach–nice, quiet beach
- Weetamoo Woods–quiet place to go for a short nature walk
- Downtown Bristol–lots of stores and restaurants–also check out Blithewold Mansion and Linden Place
- Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast (Fall River)–not for the faint-hearted but an interesting, macabre house museum to tour
- Fall River Historical Society (Fall River)–a beautiful building with more info on Lizzie as well as an upside-down Christmas tree during the holidays.
- Battleship Cove (Fall River)–Huge museum to tour, and you can spend the whole day walking the grounds and learning about the ships’ history
- Fort Barton- Large hiking area. A bit buggy and muddy and the trails aren’t always completely clear
- South Coast Art Tour–a festival: lots of galleries open to the public in July and August
- Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard (Little Compton)–vineyard open for tours and also has a cafe
- Wilbur’s (Little Compton)–old-fashioned general store on the town square
- Walker’s (Little Compton)–farmstand between Tiverton and Little Compton with Wilma’s bakery as well. Good, fresh food and produce
- Public Library–great public library, usually pretty quiet inside
- Island Cinemas (Middletown)–If you’re looking for a movie theater while you’re in town, you have to drive a bit to get to one, but I recommend Island Cinemas: small and nice enough inside and located right off of 114. They may have cheap movies on Wednesdays (need to confirm this)
- Green Animals Topiary (Portsmouth)—cool garden, nice country house, smelled of BO upstairs and it was stuffy, but pretty gardens and good view
- Simmon’s Cafe (Little Compton)– good food store which serves a nice cup of iced coffee.
- Horseback Beach (Westport)–one of Southeast Mass’s nicest beaches
- Partners (Westport)–a gift store and café that sells a lot of locally inspired prints, books, art, and doo-dads.
- Fork in the Road (Westport)–more of a local oddity than anything else, but see if you can spot this little landmark while driving through town