Discover Bristol and Warren, Rhode Island
Just south of Barrington lies two wonderful seaside communities with a wealth of properties suitable for everyone for young families looking for starter homes to established professionals and retirees who have earned that waterfront dream home and are ready to make it a reality.
Warren and Bristol RI have similar histories and architecture, much of which developed as a result of their shared waterways along Narragansett Bay and its tributaries. Both towns were early shipping ports, home to some of our nation’s first patriots and privateers, then later to whalers, merchants, manufacturers, and fishermen.
Though most of the residents of Bristol and Warren are no longer as dependent on the water for their livelihoods as they once were, the Warren waterfront and Bristol Harbor remain central to the quality of life and recreation in these towns. Warren’s Water Street is known for its excellent restaurants and eclectic shops, as well as several working marinas. Bristol Harbor, one of the most well-protected in the region, is a mecca for boaters, kayakers and windsurfers, even in the winter when the most dedicated sailors “frostbite” in the frigid waters.
The architecture in both towns reflects their history, with properties dating from the 18th through the 21st centuries. Bristol’s downtown10-block Historic District is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and residents must work with a local Historic District Commission to ensure proper stewardship of their properties. Warren, likewise, has an impressive variety of early American homes and an active preservation group, though compliance with historic building recommendations is voluntary.
There’s no need to leave town to enjoy fine dining. Bristol boasts two nationally-recognized establishments: The DeWolf Tavern has been named one of the twenty best restaurants in the country by Gourmet magazine, and chef Champe Spiedel of Persimmon was recently honored with a nomination for the James Beard Award. There are dozens of other excellent establishments in the two towns, with an array of options from French to Asian, Northern European to Italian. Of course, some of the best seafood anywhere can be found here, and if you want to cook it yourself you can even buy it fresh off the dock!
There are plenty of opportunities to shop local in both Bristol and Warren, with a wide selection of boutiques, gift, and antique shops alongside libraries, local markets, independent pharmacies and others of the types of businesses residents need to go about their daily lives. If you choose to live downtown, in either town, you may find that days pass without you once turning the ignition in your car.
With Colt Park, at 400-plus waterfront acres, the crown jewel of the Rhode Island State Park system, and Warren’s Audubon Environmental Education Center, you have only scratched the surface of available open and recreational space in Bristol and Warren. There’s also the East Bay Bike Path, Mount Hope Farm, and dozens of other neighborhood parks. Both towns have town beaches and active parks and recreation departments, with organized team sports available for all from the youngest athletes to seasoned weekend warriors.
Partnered with the Newport County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bristol enjoys a steady but manageable flow of tourism, particularly during the summer months. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the resources of Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum, the Herreshoff Marine Museum, Coggeshall Farm Museum and Linden Place Mansion.
You are sure to find your perfect neighborhood, whether the rural vibe of Warren’s Touisset Point, the quiet streets of Bristol’s Highlands, the grand estates of Poppasquash Road or the steeped-in-history streets and historic buildings of either downtown.
So if your idea of an ideal summer day involves lots of fresh air, whether on a beach, bike, boat, or simply strolling in an idyllic New England seaport, check out Bristol and Warren.