Some say Jamestown is everything Newport is not, and that’s just the way the locals like it. The westernmost municipality of Newport County, Jamestown, completely encompassing the nine miles long by one mile wide Conanicut Island, is a close, year-round community that hosts an influx of summer residents and visitors. A (relatively) sleepy coastal village with everything from historical neighborhoods to newly-built sprawling estates, Jamestown celebrates its oldest traditions with working farms and preserved pastoral expanses. Its commercial center, which includes East Ferry Wharf, Narragansett and Conanicus avenues, includes cozy café (find a few below for a refreshing shopping respite), a handful of unique shops and utilitarian retailers for homeowners and sailors alike. (Don’t forget to hop the Newport-Jamestown Ferry in-season for a quick cruise across Narragansett Bay…)
Benjamin Thomas Gallery, 2 E Ferry Wharf: Here you’ll find nautical-influenced commercial and fine art photography, as well as fine art printing, just steps from the bay.
Cathryn Jamieson Salon, 16 Narragansett Avenue: Mani/pedi anyone? This full-service salon Aveda concept salon offers the gamut of spa services in addition to massage, Reiki, acupuncture and other therapeutic services.
Clancy Designs, 382 North Road: It’s worth veering slightly off the beaten path to check out this shop to check out the handblown glass tableware and unique, colorful sculptures by local artists David and Jennifer Clancy.
Conanicut Marine Services, 20 Narragansett Avenue: Right, so Conanicut Marine is best known as a marina/boatyard/yacht brokerage and operators of the Jamestown-Newport Ferry, but the Narragansett Ave. location is a huge chandlery with outerwear, footwear, sailing duds and equipment and so much more from names like North Face, Henri Lloyd, Keen footwear (by Jamestown’s own Martin Keen), Sperry, and Smith – definitely worth checking out.
Grapes and Gourmet, 9 E Ferry Wharf: Looking to pick up that bottle of fine wine, artisan cheese and specialty snacks for a sunset picnic at Beavertail State Park? Grapes and Gourmet has a nice selection of both, especially for a small shop. PS: Free wine and cheese tastings every Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Jamestown Designs, 17 Narragansett Avenue: With just about everything inside its walls inspired by the sea (jewelry, gifts, prints, fine art) this shop features the work of many local artisans including one of my favs, Shirley Bell. Pottery and platters by Donna Toohey, bags by Vera Bradley and a selection of children’s toys and books is just a hint of everything right about this shop.
Jamestown Hardware, 5 Narragansett Avenue: Why include a hardware store you ask? Um, because this one is awesome. With just about any and every hard-to-find thingamajig you’re looking for, plus seasonal necessities like skim and boogie boards, beach chairs, barbecues, and everything sold with an old-fashioned, great customer service approach, this shop seems somewhat like the heart of Jamestown.
The Purple Door, 47 Conanicus Avenue: More than just a full service bead shop with beads from around the world, The Purple Door has a diverse selection of designer jewelry in addition to offering classes, workshops and private parties.
Spinnaker’s Café, 3 E Ferry Wharf: Located next to the marina and East Ferry beaches, the café serves a full deli menu, but is best known for their ice cream. This time of year, Spinnaker’s is easy to pin-point by the lines of excited children and the young at heart placing their orders at the outdoor counter.
PPS: If you have a favorite Jamestown spot we didn’t mention, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos courtesy of Jim Sattell