Seniors Find Plenty To Watch In Watch Hill


Watch Hill is an affluent coastal village in the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, sitting at the most-southwestern point in all of Rhode Island halfway between NYC and Boston. Watch Hill is characterized by the New York Times as a community “with a strong sense of privacy and of discreetly used wealth”, in contrast with “the overpowering castles of the very rich” in nearby Newport.

Today, it is best known as the backdrop for the Ocean House, the only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Hotel in Rhode Island. The current population of Watch Hill is 140 with the median age of 63.

I came across Ocean House in my recent Condé Nast Traveler magazine (July – 2014). They called it the “Queen on the Hill” and indeed it is. Once destined for demolition, now it is a point of civic pride in Watch Hill that required a three-year-ground-up rebuild.

Seniors Delight In Visiting Ocean House


Ocean House was built in 1868 for “well-heeled” summer visitors from all along the Atlantic Coast. It is the last remaining of seven such properties in Watch Hill. Today there is a lot of life that revolves around this “enchanted bluff.”  Ocean House is ranked high in many categories like: #7 for their spa; #10 as a Top Resort in the US; #11 as a Best Coastal Hotel, #10 for Top Beach Resorts.

Watch Hill is famed as a honeymoon destination. The city includes the westernmost point in the state known as Napatree Point. Together they have formed Little Narragansett Bay which has made Watch Hill a popular harbor around which a business district has grown.


The awesome waterfront was once lined with huge Victorian hotels but fire and hurricanes destroyed most of them during the 1900s. The Ocean House and the Watch Hill Inn are the only two that remain in operation.

Situated in the heart of downtown Watch Hill Village, the historic Watch Hill Inn is an iconic seaside villa property overlooking the waters of Little Narragansett Bay.

More For Seniors To See in Watch Hill

There is more to Watch Hill than hotels. The Flying Horse Carousel, a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest continuously-operated carousel in the United States. Senior visitors will find some great beaches, bird-watching, fishing and an interesting history.


If senior travelers enjoy old lighthouses, like my oldest daughter, take in the one at Watch Hill. One of the oldest lighthouse sites in America, it remains an active aid to navigation today, serving as a nautical beacon for ships since 1745.

Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge consists of 409 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including grasslands, shrub lands, wooded swamps and freshwater ponds.

Occupied by Niantic Indians in the 1600s, European colonists used the area as an important lookout point during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, hence the town’s name. If you enjoy staying in B&Bs or vacation rentals, Watch Hill has plenty of those awaiting your visit. jeb


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