DEM reminds beach-goers to buy season parking passes online in advance of Memorial Day Weekend

“Beach More, Wait Less” campaign encourages convenient, pre-season sales to ease traffic tie-ups at entrances later.

n anticipation of a beautiful stretch of weather over Memorial Day Weekend, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging residents to buy their state beach pass online or in advance so they can “beach more, wait less.”

As part of Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s initiative to support and celebrate state parks and beaches, Rhode Islanders for the first time can buy season beach passes online or in advance of the official opening of state beaches on Saturday, May 25, at RI State Parks Headquarters in North Kingstown or at the overflow lot at Scarborough State Beach in Narragansett. DEM hopes the new purchasing options will reduce the amount of time beachgoers spend at the entry booths and help ease traffic backups into parking lots.

To reduce wait times and traffic, season beach passes will only be available for purchase at entrance booths on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. Passes will not be available at beach entrance booths on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. 

“The opening of our beaches is always a special time, and we invite everyone to head out to one of these spectacular places to watch the waves roll in or take a walk along the water’s edge,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “We’re excited to offer new, convenient options for Rhode Islanders and visitors to get a season pass so they can spend more time on the beach – instead of waiting in line at the entrance booth.”

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The online purchase option is accessible at www.riparks.com. Individuals may purchase resident, non-resident, or senior season beach passes at this site. Any Rhode Islander who is eligible for a free pass must continue to obtain their pass in person at State Parks headquarters in North Kingstown.

In-person opportunities to buy season beach passes are available at the following locations: 

  • RI State Parks Headquarters, 1100 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown, on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. Beginning on May 25, passes will also be available for purchase on Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 1 PM. Weekday hours may be extended with increased demand. Please call RI State Parks at 667-6200 to confirm hours or go to www.riparks.com
  • The Scarborough State Beach overflow lot located across the street from Scarborough State Beach (870 Ocean Road, Narragansett) from 9 AM to 4 PM daily, now to June 30, excluding Memorial Day weekend and holiday. Beginning July 1, passes will be sold from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, excluding July 4. 
  • Entrance booths at all state saltwater beaches starting Tuesday, May 28. Season beach passes will only be available for purchase at entrance booths on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM. Passes will not be available at beach entrance booths on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. 

For online purchases, the season pass will be mailed to the address provided when the pass was purchased and must be affixed to the outside of the windshield of the vehicle it was registered to. Customers who have bought passes but not received them in the mail may show parking lot attendants their purchase confirmation email for entry; this confirmation can be on your phone and shown to booth attendants at entry, but please have paper back-up for any service or phone issues. No confirmation requires purchase of a day pass.  Online credit card purchases are charged a 6% transaction charge; the total for a $30 RI resident season pass purchased online is $31.80.

The fee structure for the 2019 season will remain the same as last year. The daily beach parking fee for residents is $6 on weekdays and $7 on weekends and holidays. The fee for a season pass for residents is $30 and, through September 3, will be available for purchase at state beaches. Non-resident parking is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for non-residents. A 50% discount on daily parking fees and season passes applies for senior citizens 65 years and older. Fees are based solely on the vehicle registration (i.e., license plate) of each vehicle entering beach facilities. All Rhode Island-registered vehicles will be subject to resident parking rates; non-Rhode Island plates will be subject to non-resident rates. (By law, a “vehicle” is defined as any street-legal equipment, motorized or non-motorized, properly registered for over-the-road travel.)

State beaches will be open daily from Saturday, May 25, the traditional start of the summer outdoor recreation season, until Labor Day. Scarborough South, however, is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 22. This beach closes on weekdays starting in mid-August.

Non-surf beaches at Lincoln Woods State Park, Goddard Memorial State Park, the Burlingame Picnic Area, Pulaski State Park, and Fort Adams State Park will be open daily beginning Saturday, May 25, until Labor Day.There are no fees to access beaches within state parks.

DEM continues to accept applications for qualified lifeguards for state beach facilities. Entry level and senior lifeguard positions are still available at numerous locations throughout the state. All lifeguard positions require certification and special training in first aid, CPR, and senior lifesaving.

For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov.