Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. There are a number of locations in Rhode Island that are great for landscape photographers, and in this post we’ll showcase some of the best points of interest. One of the best things about a small state is that you can cover a lot of ground quickly. Unlike some of the larger states in the western U.S., it won’t take hours to drive from one location to the next in Rhode Island. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.
This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.
The Mohegan Bluffs are high clay cliffs (about 150 feet) on the shore of Block Island. The beach and cliffs are an excellent subject for photos. Block Island is located about 14 miles east of Long Island and about 13 miles south from mainland Rhode Island. The island is accessible by ferry and it is also the location of the Block Island North Light and the Block Island Southeast Light.
Beavertail State Park
Beavertail State Park is located on Conanicut Island in the Narragansett Bay. The island and park are accessible by bridge. The Beavertail Lighthouse is located at the southern tip of the island, and the park features a beautiful rocky shoreline. The park sits at the tip of Conanicut Island. You can get great views facing both east and west, making it an ideal location for either sunrise or sunset. Park in one of several lots and walk a very short distance to the rocky shoreline for the best views. For more information see our Guide to Photographing Beavertail State Park.
Fort Wetherill State Park
Fort Wetherill State Park is also located on Conanicut Island, just about a five mile drive from Beavertail State Park. Fort Wetherill was an artillery fort atop of granite cliffs on the Narragansett Bay. The fort was closed after World War II and the area is now a 60+ acre state park with some great views. For more information see our Guide to Photographing Fort Wetherill State Park.
Brenton Point State Park
Brenton Point State Park is located a short distance east of Beavertail State Park and Fort Wetherill State Park. It is in Newport on Aquidneck Island where the Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. This park offers beautiful water views that are great for being photographed. Ocean Drive runs right through the park, and there are some parking lots along the side of the road. Park and walk across the street and you’ll find amazing views. Try the west side for a beautiful sunset. For more information see our Guide to Photographing Brenton Point State Park.
Colt State Park
Colt State Park is 400+ square feet on the Poppasquash Neck, southeast of Providence. The park includes trails, water access to Narragansett Bay, and beautiful water views.
Claiborne Pell Bridge
The Claiborne Pell Bridge, also known as the Newport Bridge, spans the east passage of the Narragansett Bay connecting Newport and Jamestown. You would drive across the bridge to get from Beavertail State Park to Brenton Point State Park. There are nice vantage points available on both sides of the bridge. For details please see our Guide to Photographing the Claiborne Pell Bridge.
Narragansett has a few different beaches, including Narragansett Town Beach. These beaches are located just a little west of some of the previous locations that have been mentioned, like Beavertail State Park, Brenton Point State Park, and the Claiborne Pell Bridge.
Black Point is a great place to photograph the rocky New England coast. You can reach black point with a short hike from the trailhead in Narragansett. Refer to the map to get the location of the trailhead. Black Point is a great choice for photographing the sunrise. For details see our Guide to Photographing Black Point.
Rhode Island Lighthouses
There are a number of lighthouses throughout Rhode Island that are favorite destinations for photographers. We won’t mention all of the lighthouses here, but this is a look at some of the more noteworthy ones.
Castle Hill Lighthouse
Located on the Narragansett Bay in Newport on Ocean Drive, just north of Brenton Point State Park, Castle Hill is one of the most photogenic of the lighthouses in Rhode Island. The beautiful rocky shoreline and the Claiborne Pell Bridge off in the distance make it a great shot. For details see our Guide to Photographing the Castle Hill Lighthouse.
Point Judith Lighthouse
The Point Judith Lighthouse is an octagonal structure located on the west side of the Narragansett Bay and the north side of the Block Island Sound. This is also near a location where you can take a ferry to Block Island. For details see our Guide to Photographing the Point Judith Lighthouse.
Pomham Rocks Lighthouse
The Pomham Rocks Lighthouse is located in the Providence River, near East Providence. It is about 10 miles north of Colt State Park.
Sakonnet Point Lighthouse
The Sakonnet Point Lighthouse is located near Sakonnet Point in eastern Rhode Island. It can be seen from the beach at Sakonnet Point.
Dutch Island Lighthouse
The Dutch Island Lighthouse is located on Dutch Island in the west passage of the Narragansett Bay. Dutch Island is uninhabited and no bridges lead to the island. It can be reached by boat or kayak, and Fort Getty in Jamestown is a good location to load a boat into the water. Dutch Island also has some beautiful rocky shores. The island can also be viewed from either shore of the west passage.
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse
The Southeast Lighthouse is located on the Mohegan Bluffs of Block Island. It is one of two historic lighthouses on the island (the North Lighthouse is the other). It is a very unique structure for a lighthouse.
Prudence Island Light
Prudence Island is located north of the Claiborne Pell Bridge, and like Dutch Island there are no bridges leading to Prudence Island. There is a ferry that goes from Bristol to Prudence Island. After taking the ferry the lighthouse can be reached with about a one mile hike.
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Great article. Based on this article I went to Castle Hil lighthouse, awesome! and I went to point judith, but the place is surrounded by fence and controlled by the coast guard, how do you obtain access to photograph it?
Visitors cannot access the lighthouse itself at Judith Point, but access is available to the grounds. It’s possible that has changed or maybe it was a temporary situation where some work was being done to the area. I just did a little research and from what I can see the grounds are supposedly still accessible (https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/what-to-see/lighthouses/994/point-judith-lighthouse/ – https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g54097-d105983-i24267999-Point_Judith_Lighthouse-Narragansett_South_County_Rhode_Island.html – http://www.jgcoleman.com/blog/connecticut-landscape-photography/dawn-at-the-point-judith-lighthouse