Quaint Wickford, Rhode Island as Inspiration

May 25, 2014

by M.A. Barrett

Summer garden at WWI monument in downtown Wickford Village, Main St. and Brown St.

Summer garden at World War I monument in downtown Wickford Village, Main St. and Brown St.

Well, this is my first blog post here at Scenic Shopping™. I would like to tell you what Scenic Shopping™ is and why I am creating this website.

It all started about 15 years ago when while enjoying shopping in Wickford Village my sister and I wondered why we had never heard of Wickford and its cute stores, beautiful harbor views and colonial architecture. We had been brainstorming business ideas at the time and we wondered why there was not a website with information about cute shops and pretty boutiques in quaint towns. And we thought hey why not start one? The research would certainly be enjoyable -- exploring towns, browsing shops and walking by the sea.

Scenic Shopping™ is still in its early phase but we have gathered a lot of information useful for anyone who wants to find a beautiful place to shop, or reminisce about places once visited. You can see pictures and think back to those cute little shops you liked, visit their websites or check their Facebook pages, and plan your next visit. I like having this kind of information available because I am bound to forget the name of a boutique or a bookstore, b&b or an inn, a favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Now Scenic Shopping™ is a repository for all of this information so I can easily plan my return and remember why I liked the town so much. I hope it can help you also to learn about new towns or remind you of enjoyable times from the past.

Beauty and the Bath summer window display, W. Main St., Wickford, R.I.
Beauty and the Bath autumn window display, W. Main St., Wickford, R.I.

Summer and Autumn window displays at Beauty and the Bath, bath and body products shop on West Main St. in Wickford, R.I.

As for Wickford, one of the shops I particularly love to visit is Beauty and the Bath. My sister, owner of Wickford Web Works, has become friends with many of the shopowners in Wickford, including Lori Lyons, owner of Beauty and the Bath. This shop smells and looks wonderful. Bath products, candles, comfortable sleepwear and accessories are charmingly displayed in this compact shop on West Main St. in Wickford. The shop window changes frequently with new arrivals. I really enjoy visiting this shop to pick up fragrant soaps as gifts or for myself.

Brown St. during Wickford Art Festival, 2011
Brown St. during Wickford Art Festival, 2011

Wickford Art Festival, Brown Street, Wickford, R.I. (July, 2011)

There are many events and activities in Wickford each year, especially in the summer. The Wickford Art Festival is an annual event attracting artists and art lovers from all over New England. There is a seasonal farmers market (June-September) on Thursday evenings. And summer concerts start up on Tuesday nights in mid-June and go to mid-August. This year there is a self-guided garden tour, Wickford in Bloom, showcasing several private gardens in the village and on the waterfront (Saturday, June 28th, 2014). Fireworks celebrating the 4th of July are held annually at the town beach, weather permitting.

Wickford Farmers Market, August, 2013

Wickford Farmers Market held Thursday's from 3-7 p.m. dockside at the town parking lot from June through September (photo taken August, 2013)

Goods from Wickford Farmers Market, August, 2013

My goodies from the Wickford Farmers Market (August, 2013)

Summer Concert Series, Wickford, R.I.

Tuesday Night Concert Series held dockside at the town parking lot from mid-June to mid-August featuring a different band each week (photo taken July 2012)

The Narragansett House, Main St., Wickford, R.I.
Wickford House, Main St., Wickford, R.I.

The Narragansett House, c.1773, 71 Main Street, and Wickford House, c.1769, 68 Main Street, Wickford, R.I.

If you enjoy historical buildings, take the self guided walking tour described at the HistWick website and view the colonial and 1800's architecture of Wickford. These two 1700's buildings were former taverns and are among the many noteworthy buildings cared for by Wickford residents. The upcoming June 28th, 2014 Wickford in Bloom self-guided garden tour includes outdoor private gardens at several 18th and 19th century properties.

Beach Rose Cafe, Brown St., Wickford, R.I.
Tavern by the Sea, Brown St., Wickford, R.I.

Beach Rose Cafe and Tavern by the Sea, Brown Street, Wickford, R.I.

I usually go the Wickford Diner for a casual lunch with family when I am in Wickford but if the weather is good, there are two places worth considering if you want to see the harbor. Beach Rose Cafe and Tavern by the Sea have outdoor seating.

For more details about the shops in Wickford Village, see the Wickford Scenic Shopping™ town page where I have listed the shops along with a short description, their addresses and phone numbers. There is also a Google Map. Wickford is currently featured on the home page of Scenic Shopping™ and will be listed on the Featured Towns page in the future. Here I give more ideas about having fun in Wickford and what you can find in the shops.

View of Wickford Cove from Wickford Bridge, Brown St., Wickford, R.I.

View of Wickford Cove from Wickford Bridge, Brown Street, Wickford, R.I.

I hope that Scenic Shopping™ helps you discover new places to shop and remember the old. Our motto is "Find a beautiful place to shop." Independently owned unique shops and boutiques are all around scenic New England. I hope you find them as inspiring and worthwhile as we do. Shop local and support them if you are fortunate enough to live nearby. Some have online stores at their websites. Or you may want to plan a weekend getaway or vacation at one of these destinations. Scenic Shopping™ aims to help you plan, visit and stay connected to New England towns and shops, and eventually, to towns beyond New England too.