Rhode Island is better than all of the other New England states in terms of surfing. I would tell you to look at First Beach in Newport, and on a day that it’s going off, jump in off the rocks off of Ruggles Avenue in Newport for the best break you’ll find in New England. You also can head across the line to Westport MA and surf Horseneck. At Horseneck you must go to the right of the stands because surfing isn’t allowed in front of the guarded area. You don’t have to wait for a hurricane for good surf, although the best surf is when a hurricane is a ways off the coast. You can find good surf on days with weather activity offshore and even sometimes unpredictably. I would check the surf report for Newport and Northeast Surfing for a good look at what’s going on regionally. When people talk about how good surfing is in RI it’s relative. It’s never going to be as good as it is out West or even off of the Outer Banks or parts of Florida. As far as temperature, it’s much warmer than the rest of New England. Water temps off of RI are right around 62- 68 degrees in the summer. North of Cape Cod and into Southern NH you’re looking at 52 and less. This is in part because Cape Cod blocks the cold Labrador currents from reaching the South facing beaches in RI and allows the warmer water from the Gulf Stream to permeate the area’s waters. It’s always a good deal warmer in RI water than it is North of Cape Cod. By Mid July, you can surf without a wetsuit in RI while North of the Cape, you won’t ever get that opportunity. While 62 degrees is still not warm water. It’s still not as cold as the rest of New England.
The Best Surf Shop around RI is WARM WINDS – http://www.warmwinds.com/
If you are looking for food the best spot to check out would be CLARK’S COOK HOUSE: