The Best of Rhode Island

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Advisor - Callie Shepard
Curated By

Callie Shepard

  • Rhode Island

  • USA

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

wooden staircase down to ocean
Curator’s statement

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it packs a big punch! The Ocean State is rich in history and natural beauty. It’s the perfect destination for a newbie to road-tripping because you can easily cover the whole state in a couple of days! As a coastally-inclined traveler, I love RI for its plentiful waterfront attractions. It is also home to one of the most special places I’ve ever been, Block Island. For those seeking an authentic New England experience, you cannot go wrong.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Rhode Island

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Things to do in Rhode Island

A girl standing on a cliff.

Newport Mansions

These include several homes from the Gilded Age that are open for tours both indoors and out. Admire the artwork, furniture and architecture from the time.

Green Animals Topiary Garden

Also managed by the Preservation Society of Newport County, this unique garden in Portsmouth is an absolute delight for children and adults alike. As the name suggests, it is home to more than 80 topiaries carefully pruned to the shape of various animals.

Block Island

This magical escape can be accessed by ferry from Narragansett. The island is largely free of vehicles, as most travel can be done by bike or foot. The self-guided bike tour will lead you to 11 points of interest including my personal favorites Mohegan Bluffs and Rodman’s Hollow. There are not one, but TWO lighthouses, at the North and South ends of the island. Mohegan Bluffs is a secluded beach accessible by descending exactly 141 steps. The views are worth every step. Rodman’s Hollow is a rare example of a habitat which has never been developed and is preserved completely in its natural state.

WaterFire

This sculpture installation in the rivers of downtown Providence is quite literally lit by a torch at night. Check the schedule for lighting and other events that often accompany this entertaining light show.

Places to eat & drink in Rhode Island

boats with fire show on the river through a city

Block Island

  • The Oar – Picturesque views overlooking the Boat Basin. Large grassy seating area with Adirondack chairs and corn hole makes it feel like you’re in a friend’s backyard.

  • Del’s Frozen Lemonade – With many locations around the state, this is a local staple. The founders of the DeLucia family originally brought the recipe over from Italy in the 1940s, and gained massive popularity.


Newport

  • Pasta Beach – I am a sucker for pizza & pasta no matter where I go. I’m always active on vacations so carbo-loading is key!

  • Clark Cooke House – This is where to go for the true nautical spirit of Newport. Located in Bowen’s Wharf, you might run into some bonafide sailors here!

  • The Nitro Bar – With multiple locations in Newport & Providence, this fully-loaded coffee fuels my caffeine addiction. The perfect perk-me-up to hit all the spots on this guide!

Narragansett

  • Greenhouse – This new spot is already a hit with locals and serves up fresh salads and juices.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Katie Brady’s guide, A Weekend Getaway to Rhode Island.

Advisor - Callie Shepard

Travel Advisor

Callie Shepard

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Rhode Island.