Rhode Island, We Love You. April 11, 2023

How about some Rocky Point?!

One iconic destination that holds a special place in the hearts of Rhode Islanders is Rocky Point Park. Located in Warwick, on Narragansett Bay, Rocky Point Park was a beloved amusement park that entertained generations of families for over 150 years. Although the park closed its doors in 1995, its memory lives on as a cherished part of Rhode Island’s history and culture. Rocky Point Park first opened in 1847 as a picnic area and bathhouse, and it quickly evolved into a full-fledged amusement park in the late 19th century. The park boasted numerous attractions, including a midway with games and rides, a beautiful carousel, a roller coaster, and a saltwater swimming pool. Families flocked to the park for summer fun, creating cherished memories that have been passed down through generations.

One of the park’s most iconic features was the breathtaking view of Narragansett Bay from its rocky shores, which gave the park its name. Visitors could take a stroll along the scenic rocky coastline, enjoy a picnic overlooking the water, or simply relax and take in the tranquil beauty of the bay.

Rocky Point Park was not just an amusement park, but also a cultural landmark. It hosted concerts, dances, and special events, attracting people from all over the state and beyond. Many Rhode Islanders have fond memories of attending fireworks displays on the Fourth of July or dancing the night away in the park’s famous Palladium Ballroom.

However, like many classic amusement parks, Rocky Point Park faced challenges in the later years of its operation. Changing economic conditions, increased competition, and changing tastes in entertainment led to its eventual closure in 1995. The park’s closure left a void in the hearts of many Rhode Islanders who had grown up with cherished memories of summers spent at Rocky Point.

Despite the closure of the amusement park, Rocky Point Park continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Rhode Islanders. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the park’s history, with efforts to preserve its memory and honor its legacy. The Friends of Rocky Point Park, a non-profit organization, has been working diligently to preserve and promote the park’s history through exhibits, events, and educational programs.

Today, visitors to Rocky Point Park can still experience the park’s natural beauty and enjoy the stunning views of Narragansett Bay. The park has been transformed into a public recreational area, featuring walking trails, picnic areas, and a fishing pier. A memorial plaza has been erected to commemorate the park’s history, with plaques and memorabilia that pay homage to the park’s past.

Rocky Point Park is more than just an amusement park. It’s a cherished piece of Rhode Island’s history and a place that holds countless memories for generations of families. As Rhode Islanders rediscover the charm of Rocky Point Park, its legacy lives on, and the park’s enduring spirit continues to captivate the hearts of all who visit. Whether it’s a walk along the rocky coastline, a picnic with loved ones, or simply taking in the beauty of Narragansett Bay, Rocky Point Park remains a beloved destination that holds a special place in the hearts of all who call Rhode Island home.

-Ben Kean

Partner, The Blackstone Team