Imagine a New England vacation and odds are you’re imagining lazy days on the beach with fried clams for lunch. Or leisurely leaf-peeping drives through impossibly quaint small towns. But in my mind, the region is just as compelling in the winter — especially when bundled up in a cozy inn with no plans more urgent than watching the snow fall.
Perched on Block Island Sound on a pleasantly remote stretch of Rhode Island coastline, the Weekapaug Inn manages to feel like a private home, despite, at 31 rooms and suites, dwarfing nearby summer homes in the charming seaside community. First opened in 1899, the Inn was a family-owned property for four generations — first in a beachfront location fully exposed to the elements, then, after sustaining damage in a 1938 hurricane, moving to a more sheltered site just down the shore. Due to financial constraints, the Inn closed in 2007, after more than a century in business, only to be purchased and brought back to life by two Rhode Island residents in 2010. Now a Relaix & Chateaux property, the Weekapaug Inn was restored to higher standards than ever.
In warmer months, Quonochontaug Pond, steps from the inn, is dotted with sailboats, but come winter, when the summer homes shutter, guests at the Weekapaug Inn feel as if they have the entire landscape to themselves. Bundle up and you might walk miles along the beach without seeing another soul. Even during the winter, Weekapaug’s Naturalist leads guests on outdoor excursions, whether birding walks, beach walks to spot local wildlife, or stargazing sessions.