Travel + Leisure Features Rhode Island’s “Secret Coast”
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Such is the case in the August issue of T+L, when well-known writer, former editor of House & Garden, and generally-below-the-radar Rhode Island resident Dominique Browning reveals her favorite coastal spots for the magazine.
In "Rhode Island's Secret Coast," Browning calls her home state's shores "by turns rocky and forbidding, with towering red granite cliffs tumbling wildly into the crashing Atlantic surf, or placid and lulling, the cattails of the marshes whispering softly in the gentle breezes of sheltered inlets."
Browning not only serenades the RI coastline, but gives away a few choice secrets among the classic landmarks. She calls out, for example, a little known collection of paintings by Molly Luce hanging on the walls of the Little Compton Library, while singing the praises of well-known (although well-deserving) Tiverton Four Corners.
Among the mansions of Newport, Browning recommends Kingscote, a lesser-known find, as she accurately asserts. She also highlights Touro Synagogue, and rightly so, for its elegant lines and its remarkable historic significance. On Jamestown, she gives a great H&G-tempered shout-out to Rhody Warm, the working farmstead that produces blankets made from local and undyed fleece.
Over she goes to the Narragansett stretch of coastline and on down to Charlestown, where she "discovers" the Umbrella Factory Gardens and celebrates its longstanding reputation of time-dislocated hippie-ness. Finally, her journey concludes in Watch Hill with reminiscences of a bygone Ocean House, while she enjoys the splendor of the new.
The fun stuff in the middle
"It struck me," Browning writes, "as only someone staggering away from a deliciously indulgent meal can be struck, gazing out over the starlight twinkling in the ragged surf, that coastal Rhode island is a delicious, old-fashioned ice cream sandwich of a place. On either end are the rich, luxurious bits. The fun stuff is in the middle, and you have to catch it fast before it disappears..."
And yet, as she concludes, "Its riches remain quietly hidden among coves and crannies, tucked in under the scrubby pines and behind the dunes, available to anyone curious enough to slow down and find them."
See if Browning mentions your favorite spots, or leaves the secrets unrevealed, here.