Westerly : Rhode island

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What it's Like to Retire in Westerly

Westerly is a very attractive and prosperous town of about 20,000 in southeastern Rhode Island, near the Connecticut border. It is very popular with tourists because of the wonderful ponds and beaches in the area.  Its economy was once centered on the local granite quarries.The downtown is especially beautiful with classic buildings, churches, and library. The town includes Watch Hill, one of the nicest watering holes for New York's elite. Misquamicut State Beach is one of the finest public beaches anywhere in the country. Surprising to many, Rhode Island has great surfing . Westerly includes a number of villages including Avondale (with antique colonial and Queen Anne style homes), Bradford (which has its own post office), Dunn's Corners, Mastuxetand Misquamicut The Pawcatuck River runs through the western edge of the town. Photo of beach courtesy of Wikipedia and Bwalac.

Where to Retire in Westerly and Home Prices

There are active adult communities in the area (see link at right).
Zillow reported the median price of a home in Westerly was about $372,400 in mid-2016. Near the ocean and in the nicest neighborhoods there are many houses priced in the millions.


What is special about Westerly

Interesting downtown, many historic districts and buildings, and fabulous beaches and salt ponds. It is no wonder tourism is the biggest local industry.

What is not special about Westerly

It can get very crowded in season. Real estate is expensive. Rhode Island is a high tax state and not in the best fiscal shape.

Who will like retirement in Westerly

People who like a nice downtown, pretty neighborhoods, and access to first class beaches will like Westerly.

Local economy is driven by

Tourism is probably the most important industry in Westerly.

Climate and Physical Environment

Being near the water gives Westerly a milder climate than interior New England. Westerly is the first town in RI coming from Connecticut.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a tourist town there is no shortage of restaurants to enjoy of all types . Westerly holds a number of annual events such as First Night and The Summer Pops, hosted by the Chorus of Westerly every June in the town park. Shakespeare in the Park is held in Wilcox Park. The beautiful library is undergoing a renovation.


The crime index in Westerly is less than half the U.S. index.

Medical facilities

Westerly Hospital



Transportation options are plentiful. Amtrak stops here and I 95 runs through town. Nearby airports include Groton and Providence.   Ferries in the area go to Long Island and the off-shore islands like Martha's Vineyard.

Valuable Links

Westerly Chamber of Commerce

What people are saying about Westerly

We recently lived in Westerly for 6 years and only moved because of a new job. We did NOT want to leave! If you like a small town feel - this is the best! It was the most welcoming place we've ever been! It is cheaper than Connecticut and taxes were cheaper than most of RI. The town cares about its families and the schools were terrific, the library amazing - there is something for everyone. There is a good local hospital but you also have access to Yale New Haven and anything in Boston or New York. You are 2 hours from anywhere - NY, Hartford, New Haven, Providence and Boston with trains and bus service convenient. Shopping is best in Warwick or New London/Waterford, CT, a 25 minute drive. There is the coast for sailing and boating. The local bicycle club has marked the roads for ALL kinds of rides. If we could, we would move back in a heart beat. Its not any more expensive than anywhere else we've lived. Enjoy!
Posted by Flatearth6 on October 04, 2010

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Facts about WESTERLY
  • State: RI
  • Environment: Coastal,Small Town,Biking Community,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Westerly retirement communities
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