How Did Galilee & Jerusalem, Rhode Island, Get Their Names?

The History of Galilee and Jerusalem, Rhode Island

This little fishing town first sprung up in the 19th century but didn’t receive its name until 1902. According to local legend, a fisherman from Nova Scotia decided the town should be named Galilee after the fishing village of Biblical times. One day, a stranger approached an old timer at the docks and asked, “Where am I?” to the response of “Galilee.” The stranger pointed to the other side of the channel and asked, “What is that?” The older timer responded, “Must be Jerusalem,” for it only seemed fitting to him that the Biblical Galilee be accompanied by Jerusalem.  

Attractions and Things To Do in Galilee

Today, Galilee remains a fisherman’s abode, and it currently houses the largest fishing fleet in Rhode Island. Here, you’ll find commercial fisherman, lobstermen, and deep-sea fish cruises. Take a stroll along the boardwalk or picnic nearby. Fresh fish and lobster can even be purchased directly from the boats! 

As a result of its proximity to the sea, Galilee offers some of the best seafood restaurants around. There are over 10 restaurants including TwoTen Oyster Bar & Grill, Jimmy’s Portside Restaurant, George’s of Galilee, and more. George’s of Galilee even offers access to the Salty Brine State Beach. 

Roger Wheeler State Beach is just South of the fishermen’s wharf. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area and includes a playground, concession building, lifeguard tower, and an environmental education area. Take the quick from your Narragansett waterfront rental and enjoy your afternoon sunbathing or wading in the water with the kids!

From Galilee, tourists can take a ferry to visit Block Island, a lovely day trip for the whole family. Explore the island’s many beaches or spend an afternoon window shopping in the local town. And don’t forget to visit Point Judith, located on the western side of Narragansett Bay. It is a beloved cultural icon, a picturesque image of the East Coast, and it has also saved many lives over the past two centuries! 

Attractions and Things To Do in Jerusalem

Just across the way from Galilee is Jerusalem, the lesser-known of the sister communities. There, tourists will find the East Matunuck State Beach, which comprises 144 acres and offers picnicking, ocean swimming, and other beach activities. You’ll find seafood restaurants here too, like Jim’s Dock and Skip’s Dock. Consider exploring the many inlets and small lakes surrounding the community. Jerusalem and the surrounding area offer the perfect getaway for anyone seeking privacy – at the right time of year, you’ll have the places practically to yourself! 

Other Things To Do in Narragansett

Beyond Galilee, be sure to explore the rest of Narragansett. In addition to Roger Wheeler State Beach, there are many other beaches in the area. Scarborough Beach, which is right next to Galilee, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Narragansett and for good reason! With stunning scenery and top-notch amenities (including constant lifeguard supervision), Scarborough Beach offers fun, safe entertainment for all. 

If you ever tire of the beach, consider taking a day trip to nearby historic Newport, which is just a 30-minute drive away, for some shopping or to experience the local sites. 

Narragansett Summer Rentals

Book your perfect Narragansett vacation rental close to the waterfront, near the docks of Galilee. Explore our full range of rentals to find which of our offerings best suits your vacation needs. A summer in Narragansett will create memories that last a lifetime!