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Napatree Point

By Nellie @blackrabbitvt

Napatree Point

In my little office space I have surrounded myself with reminders of the sea… sailboats by van Gogh or painted in blue on delftware, a fisherman figurine wearing a bright yellow slicker, an orange crab shell, a seagull’s feather. I have long felt connected to the sea, having grown up in an area of Connecticut that was close enough to the shore to make a day of it many summer weekends (and not so summer weekends!) during my childhood.

Although I spent many days at Hammonasset, and some wonderful weeks on the Cape, the beach I spent the most time at was Napatree Point in Watch Hill, RI. This is a beautiful curved little stretch of soft sand, rolling waves, and long skies, located in a lovely, rather genteel village.

My father first started going to Napatree in his late teens - around 1952, after a friend of his introduced him to it - another of their friends used to go diving off the end of the point. Who couldn’t fall in love with the place? Come the early 1960s he was bringing my mother there, and then soon after, my older brother, and then myself, starting when we were just infants. 

Last weekend my husband, daughter and I visited family in CT, and headed out to Napatree for Saturday afternoon. It was such a joy to be back - it had been too many years. Funny how places truly get inside us, our hearts fully and forever attached to them.

We spent as many hours at the beach as parking would allow - seems it is even harder to get a parking spot these days! After tearing ourselves away, we moved the car to a new spot and browsed the shops, stopping in at a couple old favorites - the Olympia Tea Room for an excellent late lunch, and dessert at St. Clair Annex (where they gladly accommodated our request for a vegan fruit shake - substituting Sprite for milk; it was delicious).

At one point while standing in the waves, I (almost breathlessly) announced that this was where I was meant to be… When I was growing up I spent much time in the mountains, and much near the shore, ultimately choosing with my husband, the mountains to raise my family. I greatly miss the shore, and each time I return it is like making a pilgrimage. But, as far as living there goes… it is hard to say. Watch Hill itself is not a place to move to (unless you are very rich, and more patient with tourists than we have to be here in Vermont). The shore however… perhaps elsewhere, perhaps someday. I do at least know I can always continue to return to my favorite, beautiful Napatree.


Pics from long ago and today…

Feature image - an old postcard, photograph by Bernard L. Gordon

Below left: Myself at Napatree, June 1978

Below right: The beach, July 2011

Bottom: Heading towards town, July 2011 


Napatree Point
Napatree Point

Napatree Point



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