PROVIDENCE — The state Department of Environmental Management announced Friday that the Misquamicut, Scarborough North, and Roger Wheeler state beaches will be open Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, from Saturday, May 11, until Memorial Day to accommodate early beachgoers and the sale of advance season passes. State beaches will officially be open daily from Saturday, May 25 — the traditional start of the summer season — until Labor Day. 

DEM Director Janet Coit said, “We encourage beachgoers to plan for the summer and buy season parking passes now using our convenient new online option, which is accessible at www.riparks.com.”

Season passes purchased online 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 backup for any service or phone issues," the DEM said. "No confirmation requires purchase of a day pass."

To reduce weekend wait times and traffic, season beach passes will be available for purchase at entrance booths only on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Tuesday, May 28. Although season passes will be sold at beach entrance booths at Misquamicut, Roger Wheeler, and Scarborough North this weekend, passes will not be available at entrances on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays starting May 25.

Fees will be 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. Nonresident parking is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends and holidays. A season pass is $60 for nonresidents. 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 (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 nonresident rates.

Rhode Islanders for the first time can buy season beach passes online. DEM said it hopes that the new options will ease traffic tie-ups at entrance booths this summer. Any Rhode Islander who is eligible for a free pass must continue to do so in person at State Parks headquarters in North Kingstown; visit DEM’s website for information on obtaining a disability pass.

Sun staff

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