Located in the centre of Aquidneck Island, Middletown is a small Rhode Island community located between Portsmouth and Newport. It was originally settled in 1743 following a petition for independence by freeholders from Newport. Today, Middletown serves as a popular base for exploring the region’s beautiful beaches, nature reserves and historic attractions.
Things to do in Middletown
Encompassing 16 hectares in the north of Middletown is Prescott Farm, a beautifully preserved colonial property typical of the farms that once dotted Aquidneck Island. Admire the 1812 windmill and General Prescott’s Guard House, then visit the 18th-century country store. Prescott Farm’s kitchen and herb gardens have been planted with historical crops and are tended using a combination of traditional and modern techniques.
For a day on the sand, head to Second Beach, which is one of the most popular places for swimming and surfing. It stretches south-east to the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll find a network of scenic hiking trails and the largest winter population of harlequin ducks on the East Coast. On the other side of the peninsula is picturesque Third Beach, which offers calm swimming conditions for families.
Bird enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Norman Bird Sanctuary, which encompasses woodlands, ridges and the prominent geological feature known as Hanging Rock. You can learn about the sanctuary’s wildlife in the 19th-century barn museum, then catch sight of migratory birds travelling along the Atlantic Flyway while exploring the network of hiking trails.
Getting around Middletown
T. F. Green International Airport is a 40-minute drive from Middletown and has flights to destinations throughout the United States. Buses and trolleys connect Middletown to towns across Rhode Island and to most of Middletown’s surrounding attractions.