Wakefield, RI is technically a village in the town of South Kingstown. Rhode Island residents refer to Wakefield, South Kingstown and neighboring towns as "South County." Historically, people throughout New England only considered Wakefield (and all of South County) as summer destinations. That opinion has changed in the past 25 years, as Wakefield is now home to many year-round residents.
Finding Apartments for Rent in Wakefield, RI
If this were 30-40 years ago, finding apartments for year-round living in the village would be challenging. No longer. Regardless of your architectural taste, you'll find some wonderful options in this small, but vibrant, village.
While Wakefield was included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1996, with their predominance of Queen Anne and Greek Revival architectural buildings, the village has a number of contemporary apartment complexes as well. Although there are still some 9-month rentals, you'll find many choices of 12-month rentals.
Neighborhoods in Wakefield, RI
Your evaluation of the best neighborhoods in Wakefield depends on what lifestyle you seek. While Wakefield is considered a laid back area, if you’d like a bit more hustle and bustle you’ll find it living in the village center. Most rentals are within walking distance to shops, dining and entertainment.
If you prefer even more quiet neighborhoods, you’ll find the peace you want away from the busy village center. Because Wakefield is so compact, there are no poor neighborhood choices. Your preference for contemporary or historic neighborhoods is the only real difference. The choice is yours.
Shopping in Wakefield, RI
Even though Wakefield is small, comprising only 400 acres total, you have a variety of shopping options. If you are a “mall aficionado,” the Wakefield Mall awaits you. As the only enclosed mall in all of South County, the Wakefield Mall is the one-stop, go-to option for all your desires, from sports gear to great coffee or finding good books.
If you prefer more boutique shopping, you will see a diverse variety of smaller gift shops, florists, balloon, alcoholic beverage and clothing stores on or near Main Street. Except for the most exotic items, you should find anything your heart desires at the mall or village center shopping venues.
Dining in Wakefield, RI
You will not be surprised to learn that most of your dining options in Wakefield are laid back and casual, just like the village as a whole. You won’t need to wear your cocktail dress or tux to enjoy some fine dining.
For example, you’ll love the authentic Italian dishes at number one ranked Trattoria Romana South, or the fabulous breakfasts at Phil’s Restaurants. The seafood and steaks are outstanding at the ChopHouse Grille as are the wonderful hamburgers and casual atmosphere of the Mews Tavern, a Wakefield staple for years.
If you prefer a fun beach venue, the Ocean Mist has great seafood and earns consistent good reviews from diners. Should your tastes trend to more Asian-inspired dishes, Sa-Tang offers excellent Thai dining.
As you can see, although small, Wakefield offers excellent, highly rated restaurants serving divers dining choices. All are examples of “Wakefield casual,” which typifies everything about this beautiful, historic village.
Weather in Wakefield, RI
With Rhode Island’s most popular beaches nearby, less than five or ten minutes driving time, the weather is more temperate than other parts of the nation’s smallest state. The harsh winter weather of 2014 notwithstanding, Wakefield is typically influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean, with warmer (relative term) weather in the winter and much cooler temperatures in the summer.
The warmest month is July, while the coolest is January. The wettest month historically is March, with an average of 5.5 inches of rain. The ocean influences keeps the average high temperature, even in July and August, around 82-83 degrees. Since the ocean never freezes, its temperature, even in the coldest winters, seldom drops below 34-35 degrees, typically keeping snowfall numbers low for New England.
The proximity of Narragansett and other South County beaches are welcomed by RI residents and many visitors from other states during the sometimes sweltering, humid summer months. When the wind comes off the ocean, the temperatures in Wakefield can be 10 degrees—or more—cooler than even the rest of Rhode Island closer to Providence during the summer.
If you want four season weather, without the temperature extremes common to the rest of New England, Wakefield is an exceptional place to live year round. Many residents would live in no other area. The small town nature of Wakefield village, the proximity to the culture of Boston, Providence and New York City, the excitement and beauty of Newport (less than a 30 minute drive), makes this area a winner for those seeking an escape from the congestion and issues of large metropolitan cities.