Westerly is a part of the excellent Westerly Public Schools, which is home to four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Westerly is also known for the Tower Street School Community Center, which has a set of partnerships between Westerly Public Schools and other community resources. The center provides a wide range of opportunities for the children, families and communities of Westerly, and is designed to help promote health and emotional well-being. Westerly is also known for the Westerly Parent Academy, which is designed to provide additional resources and course work to help parents become a full part of their children's education, and offers courses to adults at no cost based on what they ask for.
For higher education, the Community College of Rhode Island has a satellite campus at Westerly High School, University of Rhode Island is just 20 minutes away, and nearby in Providence, RI are some of the finest colleges in the country.
The main economy of Westerly is tourism since the town's population actually doubles in the summer due to the sheer amount of visitors that are drawn to this seaside community. Westerly also has a bustling marine industry and is known for boat and shipbuilding, marine electronics, and fishing. The entire state of Rhode Island is known for their "Green" economy placing a strong emphasis on renewable energy.
There is never a shortage of things to see and do in Westerly! Of course the town is known for its beautiful beaches, the most famous of which is Misquamicut State Beach. A few of these other playtime summer beaches include Watch Hill Beach, Weekapaug Beach, Westerly Town Beach, and East Beach.
In addition to their beaches, residents and visitors of Westerly enjoy making a splash at Water Wizz, a seasonal water park that is known for their 35 foot high giant waterslides and 50 foot high super speed slides. For the sommelier in your life, Stonington Vineyards and Jonathan Edwards Winery are two excellent wineries to tour and enjoy a glass or two of European-style wine. Mystic Aquarium, one of America's leading aquariums, is one of the few aquariums in the country to house Beluga whales and other rare aquatic creatures. And of course, Westerly is known for its bustling historic districts. Two of the most popular are the Westerly Downtown Historic District, which features Art Deco and late-Victorian buildings, as well as the Wilcox Park Historic District, which houses a park, arboretum, the main post office and public library of Westerly. Wilcox Park is particularly known for their gorgeous gardens and Westerly granite masonry that was designed by Arthur Shurcliff in 1929.
Westerly is also known for their rather colorful events that are held each year. One of the most talked about events is the Pawcatuck River Duck Race. Dozens of rubber duckies—each sponsored by a local business—are released into the Pawcatuck River and race to victory! The annual event draws in hundreds to watch the race and includes great food and entertainment, and is the largest fundraiser in the two-state area. Another particularly unique event that is held is River Glow, which also takes place in the Pawcatuck River in August. Every year, the river is lit up with over 30 floating bonfires and the entire community of Westerly comes out to watch. It is truly a magical evening!
Parks and Recreation
Since Westerly is located right on the Atlantic Ocean, the community is very involved in water sports. Many residents enjoy fishing, sailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing, boating, and simply playing in the ocean. But the residents of Westerly don't spend all of their outdoor time in the water; they also enjoy golfing, strolling in the many local parks, and participating in the many community sports teams and classes.
The Winnapaug Golf & Country Club is the primary golf course in Westerly, although there are a number of private golf courses in the area. Wilcox Park is ideal for a stroll in the park, picnics, and parties.
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