Name / Description

Narragansett Bay


Banks, Bays and Sounds


Giovanni da Verrazzano

Length (miles)


Part of / Flows into



Rhode island

Additional Notes

An arm of the Atlantic Ocean, deeply indenting the state of R.I.; 30 miles long, 3 -12 miles wide. First settled by Europeans in 1636, when Roger Williams moved from Massachusetts to the head of the Bay, which he called Providence Plantations, and two years later, when other Massachusetts residents settled Aquidneck Island and established the towns of Portsmouth and Newport.

Its many inlets provided harbors that were advantageous to colonial trade and later to resort development. At the head of the bay is Providence; on the west side, Warwick, on the east, Bristol and Portsmouth; at the SE corner of the N bay portion is Newport. Bay contains several islands, including Aquidneck, Conanicut (Jamestown), Patience and Prudence Islands. First European to visit was Giovanni da Verrazzano in the spring of 1524.

Related Images

Date: 2005

NOAA 13221

Related People

Verrazzano, Giovanni da; Williams, Roger

Related Locations

Newport; Providence, Rhode Island; Warwick; Bristol, RI; Portsmouth, RI,

External Links

Narragansett Bay Data Website