Three years ago a friend gave me the best piece of advice that I have ever received. We were talking about traveling, and the importance of finding adventure wherever you go when he told me “you need to be a tourist in your own home town”.
I have taken this with me throughout the years, and have discovered some incredible places right here in my own backyard. This notion has inspired my Travel Guide series where I will share with you all of my favorite places in the different cities and towns I visit.
First up is Charlestown Rhode Island, located in Washington County. Charlestown is a small beach town in southern Rhode Island that is full of local shops, restauarants, and attractions.
1 The Fantastic Umbrella Factory
Opened in 1968, the Fantastic Umbrella Factory is an eclectic mix of little shops and greenhouses. Sculptures by local artists can be found all over the grounds as well as chickens that are more than eager to come up to you for some food. Walk past the goats and emu’s and you will find a bamboo forest that makes you feel like you have been transported somewhere else. Once you have worked up an appetite head over to the Small Axe Café opened from 10am – 4pm daily. Here you can find a range of dishes from Mexican to Asian Cuisine. And of course everything is organic and local. I had the black bean and artichoke quesadilla and could not be happier. Also, the café is BYOB so feel free to bring a couple of beers along with you. After lunch, grab a homemade ice cream before you make your way out of this hippie wonderland.
2 Simple Pleasures & Holy Cow Ice Cream
If you are in the mood to do a little more New England Shopping head right down the street to Simple Pleasures. Only opened Sundays from 9am – 6pm, Simple Pleasures has a ton of New England based gifts, artwork, home accents, and jewelry. They also sell homemade fragrances, sprays, and cleaners from the Etsy Shop Gypsea Living. Seriously, could you think of a better name? When you are done shopping go next door to Holy Cow Ice Cream where they have a ton of gourmet ice cream flavors and many dairy free options! No one will judge you when you have two ice cream cones if one is dairy free right?
3 Ninigret National Wildlife Reserve & Pond
If you are planning on doing some adventuring in the great outdoors then head over to Ninigret where you can do some hiking, fishing, and swimming. You can also do a little bit of clamming and bring some dinner home with you as long as you have a permit.
4 Frosty Drew Observatory
To end your day under the stars, head over to the Frosty Drew Observatory. Open Fridays between 6pm and 2am, and equipped with a high-powered 16″ Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope, this hidden gem provides you with incredible views of the sky above.
photo credit: @astronomicalobservatories