Rhode Island Lighthouses:
Newport Region and Eastern Side

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse in Providence Rhode Island

Providence, Barrington, Warren, Bristol, Newport,
and Little Compton

The Providence River area has many small rocky islands or shoals that would cause problems for mariners in stormy weather. Lighthouses were built in this area to guide mariners around these rocky islands and shorelines.

Conanicut Island divides Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay into two channels, the East Passage and the West Passage. With so many dangerous ledges and islands along the Narragansett Bay area and with Rhode Island’s rocky coastline, lighthouses were built to guide mariners and shipping traffic from Newport up into Providence.

Newport and Jamestown areas became places for the extremely rich who made their fortunes in the 19th century, many from the whaling industry, and many as part of the infamous Triangle Trade where African slaves were traded in the West Indies for sugar and molasses, which was used for rum in Newport. It was estimated at one time that one out of four people in Newport were making their living in some fashion from the sea.

On Rhode Island's southeastern region, dangerous shoals would barley be visible in high tides or stormy weather, prompting the need the for a lighthouse to guide mariners along these dangerous shores.


Rhode Island Lighthouses
in the Eastern Side Region
You Can Drive or Hike To

Note: The lighthouses mentioned below that you can drive to can also be viewed from various boat tours offered. Rhode Island has a very diverse set of state parks and recreation for its many visitors and local communities to enjoy.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

Pomham Rocks lighthouse

Pomham Rocks Light

Bristol Ferry lighthouse

Bristol Ferry Light

Newport Harbor lighthouse

Newport Harbor Light

Rose Island lighthouse

Rose Island Light

Prudence Island (Sandy Point) lighthouse

Prudence Island
(Sandy Point) Light

Castle Hill lighthouse

Castle Hill Light

Nayatt lighthouse

Nayatt Point Light

Sakonnet lighthouse

Sakonnet Light




Lighthouses Best Viewed by Boat
Rhode Island Lighthouses
in the Eastern Side Region

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.

ida lewis lighthouse

Ida Lewis Light

Hog Island lighthouse

Hog Island Light

Places to Visit Nearby
Rhode Island's East Side (heading southeast)

For entertainment in theater, music, and dance in Providence, Rhode Island, visit the Providence Performing Arts Center. The Museum of Natural History is the state’s only natural history museum, and the Roger Williams Park Zoo provides lots of family fun. For lots of hands on activities, visit the Providence Children's Museum.

There are quite a few lighthouses visitors can drive to on the mainland eastern shores of Rhode Island.

The Bristol Ferry lighthouse, a private residence, is under the Mount Hope Bridge by Roger Williams University, and from a parking lot by the bridge, you can still get nice photos of the beacon. Bristol Ferry light

Bristol Ferry Light

There is also the Blackstone River Bikeway, with much of the proposed 48 miles completed, you can take the completed bike path from nearby Central Falls, Lincoln, or Cumberland. When completed, it will connect to the East Bay Bike Path, and continue into Worcester Massachusetts.

The 14-mile long East Bay Bicycle Path in East Providence, where the Pomham Rocks lighthouse is best viewed, off Washington Street, runs along the Providence River, and is open to walkers as well as bikers.

Pomham Rocks Light

Pomham Rocks Light

The Crescent Park Looff Carousel is one of the oldest and largest carousels with 62 beautifully carved and painted horses.

Although still it is best viewed by boat, you can get photos of the private residence of Nayatt Point light from a nearby tiny fishing beach. Nayatt Point light along stone wall

Nayatt Point Light

Prudence Island is a quiet island with tracts of land maintained by various conservationist organizations like the Prudence Conservancy. The area is very quiet and the mile long beach is never crowded.

prudence island beach

Prudence Island Light

It’s a mile walk to Prudence Island (Sandy Point) Lighthouse from the ferry dock.

The Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation provides information on day trips or overnight stays at Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport.

You can explore the grounds from various stop overs provided by the Jamestown-Newport Ferry, or the Rose Island Light Foundation, or get great views from various boat tours, even on foggy days. Newport Harbor lighthouse in a small park

Rose Island Light

Newport is Rhode Island’s most popular tourist attraction including it’s most elaborate mansions of the rich and famous that shaped America’s 19th and 20th centuries.

Breakers Mansion in Newport

The Breakers
(Vanderbuilt) Mansion

One of the most famous involves the summer home of the Vanderbuilts called the Breakers.
Others include the Marble House, the Hunter House, Elms, Rosecliff, the Green Animals Topiary Gardens, the Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, the Kingscote, and the Isaac Bell House. You'll find many of these mansions and others along Belleview Avenue, including Belcourt Castle, which offers another unique opportunity to step back in time and enjoy the atmosphere of the Gilded Age.

Newport provides plenty of concerts and events during the summer season.

tall ships at newport RI

The Newport Cliff Walk is nearly 4 miles along an elevated path around the harbor, where you'll view some of the many mansions of Newport.

Newport Harbor lighthouse in a small park

Newport Harbor Light

You can reach the grounds of Newport Harbor lighthouse by quietly passing through the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, ask permission first.

Other shoreline walks in Newport include the Newport Harbor Walk and the Ten Mile Ocean Drive.

Castle Hill lighthouse is found along the historic Ten Mile Drive.

Castle Hill light overlooking Narragansett Bay

Castle Hill Light

For wine tasters, there are also tours at the Newport Vineyards.

The ride down to Little Compton along route 77 is very scenic with country roads and attractive historic 19th century architecture along the way.

stone wall along Sakonnet in Rhose Island Visitors will also find an interesting abundance of stonewalls marking properties as done in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Visit Sakonnet Vineyards for local wine tasting and exploring.

Sakonnet lighthouse can be viewed from the beach in the town of Little Compton, a very secluded seaside town. Sakonnet lighthouse tower as sun sets

Sakonnet Light




Boat Tours: Rhode Island's East Side Region: Provincetown, Bristol, Newport, Little Compton

Boat cruises mentioned below offer many types of cruises. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!


Rhode Island Bay Cruises
Offers weekly lighthouse tours in summer season.

347 Roger Williams Way
North Kingstown, RI 02852
(401) 295-4040
Email: info@fastferry.com

Lighthouses: Beavertail Lighthouse, Poplar Point Light, Plum Beach Lighthouse, Conanicut Light, Dutch Island Lighthouse, Plum Beach Light, Newport Harbor, Ida Lewis Light, Rose Island Light, Prudence Island Light, and Castle Hill Light.


Save the Bay Tours
Special organization for lighthouse and coastal preservation. In addition to various educational, nature, and historical tours, they provide an Ultimate Lighthouse Tour, and Southern and Northern Bay Lighthouse Tours on specific days during the summer. Tours may include stopovers to tour inside a particular lighthouse.
100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905
(401) 439-0670

Beavertail, Castle Hill, Lime Rock (Ida Lewis), Newport Harbor, Rose Island, Prudence Island, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Conanicut Point, Poplar Point, Plum Beach, Dutch Island, Nayatt Point, Pomham Rocks, Conimicut, and Warwick.


Classic Cruises of Newport
Newport Harbor excursions aboard a newly restored Elco Motor Yacht, built during prohibition in 1929, or go sailing on the 72-foot Schooner Madeleine. Both offer views by the Newport lighthouses.

Dockside/Reservations: (401) 847-0298

Lighthouses:Newport Harbor Light, Ida Lewis Light, Rose Island Light, and Castle Hill Light.



Snappa Charters
Offers specific lighthouse tours around Narragansett Bay and to Block Island in addition to other adventure tours.

(401) 782-4040
22 Colvintown Rd.
Coventry, RI 02816
Home (401) 821-7373
Boat/Cell (401) 487-9044

Lighthouses: Block Island Southeast, Block Island North, Watch Hill, and Point Judith, Beavertail, Castle Hill, Lime Rock (Ida Lewis) Light, Newport Harbor, Rose Island, Prudence Island, Hog Island, Bristol Ferry, Conanicut Point, Poplar Point, Plum Beach, and Dutch Island, Sakonnet, Nayatt Point, Pomham Rocks, Conimicut, and Warwick lighthouse.

Bristol - Prudence Island Ferry
The ferry provides access to and from the Prudence Island daily. From the ferry dock it's about a mile walk along the shore to Prundece island (Sandy Point) Light.
Phone: (401) 253-9808

Lighthouses: Bristol Ferry Light, Prudence Island Light



Jamestown-Newport Ferry

The Jamestown Newport Ferry offers scenic transportation on lower Narragansett Bay and in Newport Harbor and provides easy access for visiting a variety of destinations including stopovers at Rose Island Light during the summer months.
Summer Schedule:
Phone: (401) 423-1556

Lighthouses: Goat Island, Lime Rock, Castle Hill. Beavertail, and Rose Island.



Air Services To and From Block Island

Resort Air,
PO Box 577,
(800) 683-9330,
(401) 466-2000   

Maritime Airways,
(888) 229-4449

New England Airlines,
Westerly State Airport,
Westerly, RI,
(401) 596-2460,
(800) 243-2460



Additional Resources
For All You Rhode Island Visitors

60 Things To Do in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Beaches

Rhode Island Museums

Things to do With Kids in Providence



My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides lots of special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area.

In the book, with stories from each lighthouse, you'll find a few local special stories about Ida Lewis rescues and stories of heroism and destruction during the Hurricane of 1938.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England




You can order these books through any pages on this website, and I'll be happy to personally sign and ship them to you anywhere inside the United States. You can also order from the publisher, Schiffer Books, who can ship anywhere globally.



Price is lower at $24.95 if purchased here.


Table of Contents

Over 50 famous stories with lots of details in my book New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues, and Other Tales

There are detailed accounts about the life of famous lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis, of Lime Rock Light in Newport, and of her many rescues as one of the most famous heroines of New England, along with many more stories.

The book also contains, along with my photographs, paintings by six famous artists for the Coast Guard, and vintage images from the Coast Guard, museums, and special collectors.



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