Near the border shared between Connecticut and Rhode Island, you'll find the small city of Westerly, Rhode Island. For a break from the beaches at Misquamicut or Watch Hill, head to downtown Westerly -- this is exactly what we did on a dreary summer afternoon during our visit home in CT. With a plan to meet some friends for craft beer and pretzels, we arrived early to check out what else Westerly has to offer.
1) Savoy Bookshop and Cafe
I always love a great bookstore, so I made a mental note of Savoy when I read about it over the winter. The newly opened Savoy Bookshop and Cafe shares owners with Bank Street Books in downtown Mystic, CT, which is my favorite locally owned bookstore; therefore, I knew Savoy would also be great.
Savoy Bookshop and Cafe features a two-floor space full of best-sellers, books by local authors, travel memoirs, and gifts. Several of the books feature notes with reviews from the staff. Downstairs, is a fun children's section packed with activity books and stories and a small play area. On their packed events schedule, expect to see book launches, readings, and signings -- check their Facebook page for the schedule.
The cutest little detail I noticed at Savoy was a tiny fairy door, where kids (and probably adults as well) leave notes. What a cute idea and what a lucky fairy to live in such a great bookstore!
2) Malted Barley
I suspect the Malted Barley is a hopping bar at night because of its very sticky floors and dim lighting, but in the afternoon, it is a calm spot for locally brewed beers and freshly made pretzels. J and I shared a flight of beers from their extensive menu (though they were out of several we wanted to try). When our friends arrived, they suggested trying their pretzels, so I ordered an asiago cheese pretzel with an apricot dipping sauce, which was really tasty. Surprisingly, Malted Barley also offers gluten-free vegan pretzels, hence why our friends suggested this spot!
*Sorry for the dodgy photos from Malted Barley. My camera decided to bite the dust while in Westerly!
3) Wandering and Window Shopping
When I was a kid, I used to visit Westerly pretty frequently in the summer. Just wandering around the downtown during this trip, I saw numerous new shops, restaurants, and businesses, so it appears that Westerly is up-and-coming after several years of neglect. The cute Christina boutique, which stocks bohemian clothing and home items, is just one piece of evidence supporting this.
Also around Westerly, you can paint your own pottery at Get Fired Up -- I've been here several times and it is always fun, especially with kids. If you time your visit right, you can enjoy Shakespeare in the Park performed by Colonial Theater. I used to look forward to these outdoors plays each year when I was younger, so if you are in Westerly at the right time, I'd suggest attending!
Have you visited Westerly, RI before? Don't pretzels and beer go perfectly together?