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RI Beach Season Has Begun

Popular beaches throughout state now open during weekends

PROVIDENCE -- The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced several popular beaches are now open during weekends. Scarborough North and Roger Wheeler State Beaches in Narragansett, and Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. The beaches at Lincoln Woods State Park (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Goddard Memorial State Park (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) are also now open on weekends. All state beaches will be open daily, beginning Saturday, May 28.

"Rhode Island is home to spectacular beaches, parks, and greenspaces that are beloved by residents and tourists alike," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "The opening of beach season is always a special time, and I encourage everyone to head out to one of these beautiful places this weekend. Even on a cooler day, there is little more relaxing and majestic than watching the waves roll in or taking a walk along the water's edge. Incredible!"

Rhode Island's outdoor recreation industry is an increasingly important part of our state's economy, generating $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supporting 24,000 jobs annually, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, beaches play an important role in attracting tourism, providing affordable staycation options for Rhode Island families, and promoting quality of life. The state continues to invest in upgrading beach, park, and campground facilities across the state with four construction projects currently underway:

Scarborough North State Beach The restroom and shower facilities are being renovated with completion anticipated by July 1.

Roger Wheeler State Beach The bathhouse has been painted and two new walkway ramps are being installed to improve access to the beach - with completion scheduled for Memorial Day.

George Washington Memorial Campground A new restroom and shower facility is under construction with completion scheduled for April 2017.

Lincoln Woods State Park A new "green" beach pavilion offering fully accessible restrooms and showers and an expanded educational center and concessions is being built; completion is scheduled for April 2017. The beach will be open and staffed with lifeguards for the 2016 summer season; however, beachgoers are advised that the swimming area will be restricted and visitor facilities will be limited. Portable restrooms and limited changing facilities are available for public use; concessions and showers will be closed.

All weekend openings are weather permitting. The remaining non-surf state beaches at Burlingame State Park and Campground in Charlestown and Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester, and Fort Adams State Park in Newport will be open daily, beginning Saturday, May 28.

Daily beach parking for residents is $10/weekdays and $14/weekends and holidays. Non-resident parking is $20/weekdays and $28/weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for residents and $120 for non-residents and can be purchased on weekends at Scarborough North, Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut State Beaches. From May 28 through September 5, passes are available for purchase at all state beaches.

A 50-percent discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies for senior citizens 65 years and older. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e. license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. By law, a "vehicle" is defined as any street-legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over-the-road travel.

DEM continues to accept applications for qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry level and senior lifeguard positions are available at numerous locations throughout the state. All lifeguard positions require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and senior lifesaving. For more information about available positions, visit

Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for more information on recreational opportunities in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online:
  • Release date: 05-19-2016

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