No journey is complete without scouring the local stores for unique trinkets or picking up a gift or two for friends and family back home. Today, get out and explore the unique local stores and all they have to offer. See what treasures you can discover.
We all know Warren and Bristol are quintessential New England towns ripe with beaches, historic architecture, bustling sidewalks, parks, and working waterfronts. It’s no surprise that Bristol and Warren, which lie at the heart of our fair “Ocean State,” are often a destination spot for visitors from around the region and country. So, when your friends and families are here looking for that little piece of the East Bay to take home with them, we recommend these unique spots that offer up some special treasures.
- – 4 Church Street, Warren
Owner Andrea Bonniol has made a splash with her vibrant and eclectic shop a la Alice in Wonderland featuring artwork, gifts, and cards by more than 70 local artists and crafters. Bonniol’s own bold painted furniture and art are popular favorites, especially her collaged "Warren" and "Bristol" mirrors. Even if you aren’t in the mood to shop, you’ll be uplifted by the colorful pottery, humorous artwork, sweet smelling soaps, seashell frames, handcrafted handbags and more that the shop has to offer. Whimsie’s is open Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday seasonally.
- – 472 Hope Street, Bristol
The iconic Mt. Hope Bridge always offers up stunning views of Mt. Hope Bay. Though tokens are no longer in use, you can still find them at Coggeshall Jewelers where they have been cast in sterling silver and made into jewelry. Coggeshall also designs a special bead for the popular Pandora bracelets each year in honor of Bristol’s 4th of July parade. Seashells, lobsters, anchors, sailboats and other popular sea-faring iconography can be found on the gold and silver jewelry here. Jewelry made by local artists and gift items, such as the ceramic "Bristol" magnets, make for special treats too. Open Tuesday through Saturday.
SECOND HELPINGS – 32 Gooding Ave, Bristol
This large consignment shop is a popular favorite among locals. Just about anything and everything for the home can be found here. Antiques, collectibles, and vintage pieces are mixed among contemporary home and garden goods making shopping here a true treasure hunt. Since our local heritage boasts both agricultural and nautical roots some special finds among the ever-rotating inventory can include buoys, anchors, portholes, ship wheels, old-fashioned cranberry pickers and rustic tools. Prices on all items go down by 25% every month so you’re sure to find a bargain. Open seven days a week.
- - 55 State Street, Bristol
A Novel Idea is a quaint spot for book lovers, children and anyone looking for a good read. All the usual genres are represented from travel to cooking to mystery, as well as a section dedicated to Rhode Island. Books by Bristol author, Richard V. Simpson, are popular favorites including, "Historic Bristol." For children, "Good Night, Rhode Island" is a favorite, while "Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island" will resonate with the ladies. Other gift items include the local 4th of July calendar and Save Bristol Harbor Tees and hats. Extra bonus: A Novel Idea offers discounts on bestsellers and used books, plus complimentary gift wrapping. Open daily.
- - 420 Main Street, Warren
MUSE specializes in American handcrafted jewelry and gift items. Among their award-winning artists is Warren-based Individual Icons. Their smart and stylish pieces include earrings and bracelets made from levels, compasses and rulers. Other pieces with local flair include necklaces, earrings and keychains featuring mini-maps of the area, jewelry made from cast lobster antennae and local flora and fauna, and "Rhode Island" cufflinks. Many of the wedding and baby gift items sold at MUSE are eco-friendly, and there is a big selection of unique handmade occasion cards. Open Tuesday through Saturday, and Sundays seasonally.