If you think the colors of New England are restricted to green trees, red barns, and the oranges and yellows of fall foliage, Captain’s Cove will open your eyes. Here, at this working marina slash entertainment area, the boardwalk is lined with diminutive Victorian-style shops painted in pretty pastels and improbable bright shades. The vendors sell old-fashioned crowd-pleasers like gifts, toys, and ice cream, mostly from tables outside their stores, which are too tiny to fit wares and multiple shoppers.
Right beside the shopping area, Captain’s Cove has a 400-seat restaurant (serving seafood, of course, in addition to other casual options) and a bar. Boat excursions offer tours of historic Black Rock Harbor including sights of nearby lighthouses. There’s also a museum of local maritime history inside a restored Victorian house, and various special events throughout the season.
In the summer, Captain’s Cove is a popular destination for local families. In the off-season, the boardwalk is quiet and the whimsical stores and attractions are closed, but the atmosphere is just as fanciful and fun.