Portsmouth, RI sits at the northern part of Aquidneck Island in Newport County. There is a culture here that resembles people living in paradise — there’s never a good reason to leave the island! With it’s natural beauty, safe neighborhoods, and panoramic views of Narragansett and Mount Hope bay, it’s no wonder. The town offers residents suburban, rural, and waterfront living, all within 50.3 square miles. Little nooks and basins contain neighborhoods with unique layouts, such as Common Fence Point and Island Park. On any given day, it’s only 10-20 mins to Newport and sits right across the bridge from Bristol and Tiverton.
According to Realtor.com, the median listing home price in Portsmouth, RI was $629K in January 2023, trending down -8.8% year-over-year. The median listing home price per square foot was $363. The median home sold price was $522.5K.
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Portsmouth is fairly accessible in terms of shopping needs. There’s a culture among Aquidneck Island residents that “there’s no reason to ever leave the island.” With Newport nearby and plenty of retail outlets and restaurants lining Route 114 and Route 138, you can see why. One store local shoppers love is Clement’s Market, where you can grab fresh produce, prepared foods, groceries, and more. Travel south towards Middletown and you’ll find several shopping plazas (with large retailers) lining Rt. 138 and Rt. 114. If you need to find a gift out of the ordinary, try Cory Farms Past & Present.
A historic, 19th century farm house and manor which is now utilized for special events and a co-op Equestrian Center. Glen Farm is home to the Newport International Polo Series and playing field, where you can buy tickets, take lessons, or visit their pro shop. The Equestrian Center and Lower Farm area includes several historic buildings and facilities, and open public-use fields.
Both islands are located in the middle of Narragansett Bay and are now mostly residential areas. However, you can visit the islands and explore them at your leisure. The Prudence Island Light and Hog Island Shoal Lighthouse are cool sights to see and take pictures. Both islands offer plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, and lounging on the public beachfront.
Prudence Island is linked to the mainland by ferry. However, Hog Island can only be reached if you or someone you know has a boat.
A private museum that houses a collection of some 70 rare automobiles. The exhibits showcase seven decades of modern industrial automotive design and celebrates cars as works of art. From the 1950s to the present, separate exhibits of Ford/Shelby Cars, Corvettes, World Cars, Fin Cars, Muscle Cars and Chrysler Mopars have been carefully curated.
Portsmouth has its own little community of local restaurants that attract people from all over the state. The Island Park neighborhood on the northern side of Portsmouth has several spots along Park Avenue, including Flo’s Drive In, 15 Point Road, and Thrive Coffee House. Most of the other restaurants and bars in Portsmouth line Route 114 and 138 heading towards Middletown.
A small, yet beautiful beach located on the Sakonnet River at the end of Sandy Point Avenue. The beach is free to town residents with either a current transfer station sticker or a free sticker provided upon proof of residency (car registration with your name and Portsmouth address). Dogs are not allowed.
A 130-acre park located off West Main Road on Bradford Ave. The area includes a campground, hiking/nature trails, and fishing ponds. The campgrounds have a playground, volleyball courts, basketball, open green spaces, and freshwater fishing.
An open, “leash-free” park located at 50 Smith Road. There is parking available, picnic tables and benches, and fresh water spigots for dogs that visit. Great place to socialize with town residents (and with their dogs!).
Part of the greater Glen Farm co-op, this park, is both an open park, sporting complex, and event space. The pavilion area has 13 picnic tables, bathrooms, and an open kitchen area. There are soccer and baseball field open for use if not being used by local teams or official games.
The Portsmouth School Department consists of four schools serving the K-12 grades. The department has approximately 2,500 students enrolled each year, with 254 teachers and administrators and 99 educational support staff. According to the department’s “district data dashboard” on their website, there is a 11:1 student to reach ratio and an average class size of 18 students. For more information, visit their website
The Portsmouth Abbey School is a private, co-educational, Catholic boarding school for students in grades 9-12. It’s located on 525-acre campus on Portsmouth’s eastern shore.
Portsmouth’s town limits take up the northern portion of Aquidneck Island (shared with Middletown and Newport). At the northernmost point, Portsmouth connects to Bristol and Tiverton via two bridges — the Mount Hope Bridge (Route 114) and the Sakonnet River Bridge (Route 24). Travelling south towards Middletown, the two main roads are Route 114 and Route 138. Each travels parallel to each other until connecting in downtown Newport.
Public transportation is available via RIPTA #60, which travels along Route 114 from Providence to Newport. If you’re travelling to Prudence Island, the only public-use ferry departs from Bristol on a daily schedule.
Distance to T.F. Green Airport: 34.4 miles
Distance to Providence Train Station: 30.3 miles
For more information on Portsmouth community events and government departments, please visit the official website.