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Washington County, Rhode Island is located in the southwestern part of Rhode Island. Washington County borders Kent County to the north, Connecticut to the west, New York to the southwest, and Newport County, RI to the east. Washington County was originally named King’s County and changed its name to Washington County in 1781. The county seat is Wakefield.
The county has a total area of 563 square miles, which consists of 333 square miles of land and 230 square miles of water. The waters of the county are important to the economy of Washington County, as shipbuilding is a major economic interest. It has a maritime border on the Atlantic Ocean and the Narraganset Bay of more than 50 miles. There are 2 harbors; the principal of which is Wickford, in the northeastern section of the county; and Pawcatuck.
Rhode Island divides its five counties into four Superior Court jurisdictions: Kent, Washington, Newport, and Providence. The Wickford Art Festival is one of the leading such events on the eastern seaboard. In fact, for a maritime county with a strong agricultural orientation, Washington County offers an amazing array of events, sightseeing, snorkeling, sunset cruises, and great fishing in salt and fresh water ponds.