If space is what you’re after, East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island is your best bet. The crowds are kept at manageable levels due to small capacity limits in the beach parking lot. The downside of this approach is that the lot typically fills up around 9 am. So head out early. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with three miles of sandy fun. Head about a half mile from the lot to find your spot, stake your claim of solitude for the day, and enjoy.
While there is a lifeguard on duty during the summer months, the guarded area is only about 100 yards. So beware of rip currents. The waves can be intense and boogie boarders will be pretty happy. But kids under 5, not so much.
Entrance/parking fee: $14
Food and refreshments: None, bring your own
Changing rooms: none
Skimboarding: Prohibited. Thankfully
Don’t forget: Get there early as that lot will fill up on sunny day.