If you’re looking for a small town with lots of charm, easy access to Providence, and what has to be one of the cutest Town Halls in the area, Barrington is definitely worth a look. It’s only about 7 miles from Providence, but once you see the church steeples, water views, and the shops lining downtown, you’ll feel like you’re in a different world. The population is small at 16,000, but the personality is big and there’s lots to take advantage of in the community.
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The schools in Barrington are often cited as one of the big pulls for new residents, and the school system has a lot of awards to show for it.
Barrington High School, for example, was named a 2017 Gold Medal Winner by U.S. News and World Report, it was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the most challenging high schools in the country, it’s ranked the #2 high school in the state, it’s the only STEM school in Rhode Island, and its basketball team was the 2017 state champions.
Plus, one of Barrington Middle School’s teachers received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and four schools in the city received Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence in Rhode Island awards.
Dining and Shopping
For such a small community, there are plenty of food and shopping options worth checking out. Whether it’s french toast at Black Pear, french food at Table, or a french roast at Blue Kangaroo Cafe, there are all kinds of hidden gems in Barrington. But don’t worry -- there’s also pizza, bagels, Thai, Japanese, and the all-important Newport Creamery right in town, too. As for shopping, there’s a grocery store, a local bookstore, a few clothing stores, a couple of drug stores, a Dunkin’ Donuts (it is Rhode Island, after all), a wine and beer store, and a couple of fitness centers, as well.
Parks and Recreation
Barrington is surrounded by water, which means that there’s an abundance of outdoor activity in the area. It’s part of the East Bay Bike Path, there are four town parks with trails and fishing, there’s a dog park, and there’s an extremely popular playground behind the town hall building.
And, on top of the parks, there are plenty of town events to go to, including outdoor concerts at Barrington Beach, golf tournaments at the Rhode Island Country Club, community theater productions, farmers markets, Art Night, and festivals throughout the year.
Barrington is about 10 miles from both Providence and Fall River, MA, so if you have to drive into either city, you can hop on Route 114 (the main road that cuts through town), Route 103 (which goes toward Fall River), Route 6, or I-195 for the trip. And, if you're either green-at-heart or you simply don't want to deal with parking in Providence, you can also take a RIPTA bus to downtown (there are two lines that run through Barrington).