Johnston is a suburb of Providence and was incorporated in 1759. The town is comprised of eleven villages: Centerdale, Graniteville, Greystone, Hughesdale, Manton, Merino, Morganville, Olneyville, Simmons Upper, Thornton, and Walsh’s Pocasset Bleachery. Home to the Clemence-Irons House, a rare surviving stone-ender house built in 1691, and one of the oldest houses in Rhode Island. It is now a historic house museum, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Johnston’s town center, at the crossroads of Hartford Avenue and Atwood Avenue, is where you’ll find the Johnston Town Hall. These main arteries contain many of the town’s conveniences – grocery stores, gas stations, tailors, car repair shops, auto mall, numerous plazas, banks, pharmacies, bakeries, garden centers and a U.S. Post Office, pretty much everything you could want or need.
Johnston also has a large variety of restaurants and coffee shops. Originally opened in 1971, Luigi’s is a third generation, family owned Italian restaurant offering authentic Italian food including homemade pasta and Limoncello Cream Cake. The English Muffin is a popular local eatery serving all day breakfast and a lunch menu with numerous options. For nearly 25 years, the Atwood Grill has been serving tasty and plentiful portions from their extensive menu of Italian/American cuisine. If you prefer Asian cuisine, head straight to Hei Place for their diverse menu and upscale ambiance. An indulgent sweet treat can be found at the family owned Sundaes Ice Cream. Scooping deliciousness for over 36 years including non-dairy, gluten-free and sugar-free – truly something for everyone.
Johnston offers many hiking trails, from self-guided to paved. Some are located in local parks and others are in wooded areas. Snake Den State Park has 1000 acres of woodland with a few blazed looped trails and plenty self-guided walking and hiking trails where you’ll encounter granite cliffs, wetlands, an abandoned 19th century quarry and wildlife. Dogs are always welcome at Snake Den State Park. For a paved walking trail head to Cricket Park, which underwent a successful $1.2 million renovation in 2014. In addition to the 1/3 mile paved walking trail are native plantings, historic markers, charming gazebo, ample parking, bike racks, launch spot for kayaks & canoes plus a boardwalk and river overlook, all surrounded by an artistic iron fencing. The Johnston War Memorial Park offers three paved walking trails. One of which takes you around the small Pocasset Pond with a bridge to a tiny island in the middle of the pond where you can get a close-up view of the many ducks and geese who call the pond home. Johnston Memorial Park is a clean, well-maintained park with manicured grounds and very family friendly. This large park has two basketball courts, three tennis courts, two baseball fields and two softball fields plus plenty of picnic tables, benches, a covered pavilion, and two age-appropriate playgrounds with a separate area for swings and clean restrooms. As the park name implies, you’ll also find multi war memorials including a M-60 tank, a 105mm howitzer and wall monuments to various wars. For our four-leg furry friends, Johnston has a dog park, Woodlake Park; a medium-sized, double gated park with waste stations and benches.
Johnston is also home to many farms, some in existence since the 1840s. Pezza Farm & Garden Center has been family owned and operated for over 75 years through four generations. This 50 acre farm is a family favorite with hayrides through the farm and Scarecrow Zone – where you can make your very own scarecrow. Dame Farm & Orchards began in the 1840s and has been in the family for seven generations. Dame Farm offers pick-your-own flowers and apples (5 varieties), wagon rides, and a large farm stand with fresh picked produce and home baked goods. Salisbury Farm dates back to the 1800s and has been family owned and operated for over five generations. This 55 acre farm has pick-your-own raspberries, strawberries, and pumpkins depending on the season plus seasoned farm firewood, hayrides to the pumpkin patch and since 1998, a first in New England, corn maze.
For a fun, unique experience stop by the Ocean State Escape Room in Johnston. There are three different escape rooms – Nonna’s House, Mummy’s Curse & The Mischievous Elves plus plenty of free parking. Town Hall Lanes first opened in 1963 and has been a community favorite ever since. With 32 lanes, this clean, well-maintained duck pin bowling alley is perfect for league and recreational bowling; family-friendly with arcade games and a snack bar. Antique lovers will want to visit Midway Antiques & Collectibles, which is a 9,000sqft space in Bond Plaza, open 7 days a week. You’ll find interesting unusual and vintage items including furniture, neon signs, vinyl records and all things vintage – clothing, posters and T-shirts.
Johnston’s hidden gem – Verde Vineyards is located in Moswansicut Lake. The vineyard hand picks their grapes and ages them in American oak barrels for 18-24 months producing award-winning, high quality wines including St. Croix. Bring your own lunch and have a picnic in the peaceful, picturesque setting or enjoy a wine tasting in the beautiful, new tasting room.
Johnston is a centrally located, community oriented town with much to offer.
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