Escape

A summer retreat near the beaches of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, for $579,000

The three-bedroom, four-bath house was built in 1994 and makes up 2,227 square feet.

Statewide MLS

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The village of Watch Hill, located in the town of Westerly, is one of Rhode Island's most popular summer destinations in a state chock full of them. In the Victorian era, wealthy families summered here in in elegant cottages; these days attention-getting names tend to be folks like Taylor Swift and Conan O'Brien, who are drawn to Watch Hill's gorgeous beaches and relative tranquility.

There's still a feeling of an exclusive summer colony here, with landmarks like Ocean House, an historic beach hotel originally built in the area after the Civil War. Though the original Victorian structure was demolished in 2005, it was reconstructed on the same site with modern updates, and now has a spa and public bars. 

Other area attractions include the Flying Horse Carousel, allegedly built in 1867 and installed at the end of Westerly's Bay Street in 1883; famed eateries like the Olympia Tea Room, which first opened in 1916 as an ice cream parlor; and the Watch Hill Lighthouse, the first iteration of which was built in 1745 (it's been rebuilt a few times) and now houses a small museum. Modern additions like breakfast spot The Cooked Goose and the elegant Savoy Bookshop are worth a visit as well.

And then, of course, there are the beaches—Watch Hill sits on Rhode Island's southern coast, and so the beaches are plentiful and spectacular. Some multimillion-dollar cottages (what mst people would call a mansion) have private beaches, but there are a slew of public-accessible beaches as well, including Watch Hill Beach, East Beach, and Nappatree Point, a conservation area full of incredible (and protected) wildlife. 

If any of that sounds appealing to you, consider the three-bedroom, four-bath house at 23 Knollwood Dr. in Westerly, now on the market for $579,000. The house, which was built in 1994, is a seven-minute drive from Watch Hill, where real estate is less pricey than some of the $1 million-plus retreats located a little closer to town, if no less elegant. It opens with an inviting front porch.

The light-filled kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

It also leads out to a back deck, with room for al fresco dining.

The kitchen leads into the living room, which has a fireplace.

The kitchen also leads into a bright room.

The window-lined playroom is a nice addition. You could also covert it into an office or library.

The downstairs bathroom has fun pineapple wallpaper.

There's a laundry room with storage space.

The master bedroom was recently remodeled and has a walk-in closet.

The master bath has a glass-encased shower and his-and-hers sinks.

A second bedroom also has significant closet space.

And here's the third bedroom.

The third bath has some cheerful fruit-themed wallpaper as well.

There's a little bonus room located above the garage, which could work as a guest bedroom.

And there's an extra bath as well.

And here's a shot of the deck overlooking the yard.

The house is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Manhattan.