Bonnet Shores: Rhode Island’s Best Beach Community
The single road that leads into ‘The Bonnet’ still, to this day, gives me the impression that I am entering a secret world, removed from the rest of society, and set aside solely for the purpose relaxing on the beach through a hot Rhody summer. In ‘The Bonnet’ cars quickly become obsolete – the preferred mode of travel is on foot or bike while carrying a beach chair, sunscreen, and a strategically packed cooler with the perfect allotment of beer and water to get you through a grueling 6-8 hour shift watching the waves roll in. Though the beach is only a short walk from most homes in the neighborhood the journey to the beach can become an adventure. It is considered rude to not stop at every friend, relative, and/or new acquaintance’s home as you stroll by. This can often lead to several pit stops which progress from a mid-morning cup of coffee and short chat at your aunt’s house to late-afternoon burgers and cold beer at your friend’s place. This is a special place where children still ride bikes in packs as they explore all the hidden swimming spots and ponds if they are not at the beach club.
The history of Bonnet Shores dates back to the early 1900s, when the area was just starting to be developed. The neighborhood was named after the Bonnet Shores Beach Club, which was founded in 1922. The club was built as a place for families to gather, enjoy the sun and sand, and create memories that would last a lifetime. The club and the neighborhood grew together, creating a tight-knit community of people who love the beach and all that it has to offer. The Bonnet Shores Beach Club is the focal point of the neighborhood and is a source of pride for its members. It offers a wide range of amenities, including a pool, tennis courts, and a restaurant. The most unique aspect of the Bonnet Shores Beach Club, in my opinion, is the ability to easily hop from the beach to the pool and back again. This makes it ideal for families with children who may prefer the pool over the ocean. Also, full-service outdoor bar, The Pit, rests conveniently between the pool and beach entrance, creating a perfect watering hole during those hot July afternoons. The beach itself, is an impressive piece of shoreline covering both Kelly Beach (the public section) and BSBC (the private beach club section). Protected on two sides from the sometimes-turbulent waters of Narragansett Bay, the beach provides a calm but steady supply of waist high waves and manageable currents compared to some of the more exposed beaches in Rhode Island.
If you are looking for a place to lay down your towel and enjoy the ocean breeze look no further. In my, incredibly biased, opinion there is one place that defines a Rhode Island summer and that is Bonnet Shores. I hope to continue the tradition this year with my own family and create some new Rhody summer memories of our own.