Famous for its Revolutionary War history and renowned for its seafood, Warwick, Rhode Island, is situated along 39 miles of coastline. The city is located in Kent County and comprises part of the Providence metropolitan area. With an estimated population of 85,000, the historic city covers 49.6 square miles of which 14.1 square miles are water.
Warwick, founded in 1642, was the birthplace of numerous military heroes and also lays claim to the earliest battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1772, the people of Warwick heard the first shot fired in the American Revolution, when patriots attacked the British vessel Gaspée, dispatched to enforce the Stamp Act in an area known for smugglers. The Gaspée's commanding officer was shot in the crotch while resisting the attack, spilling the first blood of the Revolution.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Warwick is home to 30 urban villages, each with its own unique neighborhood flavor. Notable villages include:
- Pawtuxet Village: With tree-lined streets and homes dating back as far back as the 1600s, Pawtuxet Village maintains a colonial quaintness. It is the oldest village in New England.
- Apponaug: This historic district is home to Warwick's City Hall, as well as several 18th- and 19th-century buildings that managed to survive hurricanes, fires and the influx of new business developments.
- Hillsgrove: Situated in western central Warwick, this area is the location of T.F. Green Airport.
- Oakland Beach: This bay inlet beach area is a popular spot for fishing, boating and swimming.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
- Tourism, recreational boating, and marine commerce, including fisheries, are key industries in Warwick.
- Manufacturing and light industrial operations include building components, life sciences, and injection-molded plastics.
- Warwick's central location at the intersection of two major interstate highways provides access to more than 300,000 metro-area residents within a 10-mile radius.
- Two-thirds of the New England population is within a 75-mile radius of Warwick, as are 65 percent of the region's manufacturers of chemicals, communications equipment, electrical machinery, and plastics.
- Warwick's T.F. Green Airport is the major airport in Rhode Island, serving the greater Providence area while acting as a backup for Logan International in Boston.
- The 43rd Military Police Brigade of the Rhode Island Army National Guard deploys from Warwick.
- Recreational boating is a major attraction in Warwick, sufficient to warrant the city's own marine association, which promotes safe boating practices and sustainable tourism.
- More than a dozen fully equipped marinas dot the coastline, offering boating, fishing and swimming opportunities.
- The outlying areas surrounding Warwick include several popular golf courses.
- The fall foliage is a major tourist draw to Warwick and the city Chamber of Commerce encourages travelers to book accommodations early.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- The Warwick Museum of Art: This museum provides performance and exhibit space to regional artists.
- The local museum is housed in the Kentish Artillery Armory, a red-brick structure with gable roofs and a battlement parapet. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Aldrich Mansion: Located on Narragansett Bay, this 75-acre estate was the home of Rhode Island native Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, and was used to film the 1998 movie Meet Joe Black. Visitors can tour the 70-room mansion, which features detailed wood carvings, fireplaces and a staircase made of Italian marble and exquisite vaulted ceilings. A carriage house, caretaker's cottage, and boathouse are also on the premises.
- Drum Rock: Located off Rhode Island Route 117 in an area that was once a popular gathering spot among Native American tribes, this rock holds a special place in local lore, though it's hard to distinguish fact from myth. The rock is rumored to have been used by Native Americans to send messages; locals have also speculated that the rock earned its name because it made a loud drum-like sound as it rocked back and forth. Today, visitors can see the rock, which is held in place to keep it from rocking or being pushed.
Warwick is home to the flagship campus of the Community College of Rhode Island. The institution is the only community college system in the state, offering associate's degrees in the arts and applied sciences.
- The city offers a wealth of shopping opportunities and is known as the retail capital of Rhode Island, thanks to its location at the junction of Interstate 95 (a major north-south corridor along the Eastern Seaboard) and Interstate 295.
- Warwick is a popular destination for shoppers searching for antiques.
LOCAL CULTURE AND CUISINE
Warwick is known for its seafood, particularly shellfish. More than 120 restaurants and casual eateries offer dining for virtually every palate and budget.