I glazed over Barrington and Warren when I visited for RI39, and I recently discovered some great things in each town. Barrington has a downtown shopping area with an awesome bookstore and a YMCA that seems to glisten it’s so immaculate and new (my only complaint being that while I was swimming an older man suddenly took over my half of the lane I was sharing with somebody else, and I was suddenly without a lane of my own). On Warren’s Water Street, great, cool looking shops line the road, and I was very impressed by one in particular.
The Wooden Midshipman is one of those offbeat giftshops like Pinecone & Chickadee in Portland or Rudy’s Roundup in Chicago. They have a mixture of funky prints, jars full of all sorts of things, books, and simply nice looking things (think bourbon smoked sugar and sea salt) I visited shortly before close, so I didn’t have tons of time to explore, but I did manage to find a card with a squirrel drawn on it to send to a friend. There are all sorts of things which would make for great gifts for somebody who’s hard to shop for. The store is small, but there’s even a selection of books. I’m definitely going to make the trip back to look around a bit more. If you’re in the Bristol area, I’d recommend tacking on the Wooden Midshipman to your day: the area is full of antique shops, but if you’re looking for something that’s new with a lot of character, you’ll find it here. The owner is really friendly, and if you use Foursquare make sure to check in to receive a special!