10 Very Best Things To Do In Rhode Island – Hand Luggage Only

Entirely small and mighty, Rhode Island is one of the great locations on the East Coast that is amazing to explore! From picturesque bays, historic towns, and museums galore, there is a heap of the best things to do in Rhode Island scattered throughout the state.

We absolutely loved our trip to Rhode Island, especially Providence which is a great visit. However, there is no need to limit yourself to only one country while you are in the region. While here we tagged a trip around the best places in Massachusetts and had the most amazing time in Boston too.

So, to help you get the most out of your trip around Rhode Island, I wanted to share the best places we loved. Some are nature-based, others include quaint small towns; But whatever the case, I’m sure you’ll find a shed load to fall head over heels in!

Take a look below at the best things to do in Rhode Island. Enjoy your time exploring the East Coast.

1.) Newport

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Located on the shores of Aquidnik Island, Newport is a thriving little town and beautiful to visit. Easily accessible by a number of bridges connecting the island, it’s the kind of place worth visiting for a day (or two) when you hit the road down the east coast.

Once you arrive, be sure to check out Ocher Point Avenue and The Breakers, the vast, unmissable Vanderbilt mansion. Built in the 19th century, it was a symbol of Vanderbilt’s wealth. It appears to this day.

With around 70 rooms and a huge three-storey dining room it is a complete masterpiece. The whole palace is a work of art!

Next, exit The Breakers and follow the famous Cliff Walk that heads toward the beach and coves here. The views from here are absolutely stunning and it’s a great place to visit in the later afternoon when the sun goes down a bit.

Love your mansions and ornate architecture? Then be sure to go around the mansions of Bellevue Street. This area of ​​Newport is famous for its amazing buildings and you can find them all scattered between the ocean and Bellevue. It’s nice.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Make sure to visit the famous Rosecliff Palace and Marble House and don’t forget The Elms too.

The latter is another gem of the mansion and one of the best things to do in Rhode Island to explore the area’s famous homes.

Commissioned by Edward J. Berwind in mid-18NS Century, it’s the kind of place full of French influences. Plus, the Classical Revival Gardens are too good to be missed.

After that extravagance, head out to Fort Adams State Park and discover more about this 1800s fort.

The oldest pub and pub in the USA

Finally, be sure to visit the White Horse Tavern which is the oldest (still operating) tavern in all of the United States. Dating back to 1673, this is a great place to dine. The seasonal menu is very tasty. So is New England clam chowder for that matter!

Read More: Best Places In Massachusetts To Visit

2.) Block Island

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Easily accessible by boat (from this spot) at Point Judith, it’s a totally fun island adventure for a day trip while you’re on Rhode Island. Taking the Block Island Ferry, you’ll be arriving at Block Island in no time at all.

The first port of call will, of course, be New Shoreham. From here, you’ll be able to grab a tasty bite at Kimberly’s (for their lobsters, mac and cheese) before heading to the gorgeous coast around Mohegan Bluffs.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

If you’re looking for a beach, head to Mansion Beach before ending your day with a stroll around the North Lighthouse. It is just blissful.

Further Read: Best Places On The East Coast To Visit

3.) Sachist Bay

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Another gem on Aquidneck Island, visiting Sachuest Bay is one of the best things to do in Rhode Island for any beach bum.

As you can see, Second Beach is a sandy paradise that you really can’t miss in the summer. Close to Newport, it deserves a more relaxing day out. Plus, you’ll get one of the best sunset views in Rhode Island from here.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

If you have time (and extra energy to burn), hitch a ride on the cool trails around the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge.

They are very peaceful and unbelievable on a windy day when the waves are on the beach. I like this sound so much

Read more: Best things to do in Cape Cod

4.) Providence

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Visiting Providence is our first true port of call in the state, and it’s one of the best things to do in Rhode Island for a beautiful city break. With a youthful vibe, it is the capital that offers a little something for every taste.

Once here, be sure to check out the unmissable RISD Museum of Art! Part of the Islands School of Design is known for its unbelievable huge collections. From the collections of contemporary textiles and ancient Egyptian clothing to 20NSCentury designers, it’s the kind of place that you can easily spend a few hours exploring.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Next, head to WaterFire, an iconic Rhode Island sculpture created by Barnaby Evans. With four acres of Riverwalk and Water Place to explore, it’s the perfect place for a stroll on a warm evening. Plus, there are heaps of street vendors that operate seasonally as well.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

For a delicious meal, head to Bolt Coffee Co. For one of the fluffy donuts (and great coffee). I tell you, you’ll want more than one!

Further Read: Best Places To Visit On Long Island

5.) Beavertail State Park

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Just outside of Jamestown, Beavertail State Park is a gem to visit along the gorgeous coastline of Rhode Island. The whole area is absolutely stunning although my favorite has to be the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum.

The hikes here are amazing and the lighthouse is just iconic. In fact, I think it might be my favorite in all of Rhode Island.

6.) Narragansett Bay

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Ah, well, Narragansett Bay is a complete gem to explore while in Rhode Island and it’s hard to miss! You see, it takes on some of the big spots like Newport, Providence and Warwick that all line its shore.

In the summer, be sure to head to Narragansett Town Beach. It’s an amazing beach and there is a pile of small food stalls and ice cream stops along the coast.

In addition, it is the towers nearby that imaginatively overlook the city from the 19th century.

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Oh, and don’t forget to visit the nearby Point Judith Lighthouse too. It’s a great place to stroll and take in the views of the wider Narragansett Bay.

Further Read: Best Places On The East Coast To Visit

7.) Bristol

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Not too far from the border with Massachusetts, Bristol is a wonderful little town that is well worth it while exploring Rhode Island. Although relatively small, it’s a great place for a day trip (or a chilly weekend).

After you park the car, be sure to visit some of the most famous places in the city. Of course, you have to explore Colt State Park, which straddles one of New England’s most beautiful beaches.

Not only is it a great place for a picnic, but there is also the Coggeshall Farm Museum to visit as well.

Do you feel like exploring more? Head to Blithewold Mansion located at 101 Ferry Road. A long time ago, 1908 to be exact, Blithewold was built for Augustus Van Wickle. It has a similar design to 17NSThis century English country mansion is absolutely gorgeous to see.

With a whopping 45 rooms furnished with the family’s art collections, it’s kind of a nice place to visit. In addition, the reasons are amazing.

For a delicious local flavour, head to the Bristol Oyster Bar. Oysters and grilled Atlantic salmon are very tasty.

Read more: Best things to do in Cape Cod

8.) plant

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Right on the edge of New York State and Connecticut, Napatree is a great place to visit if you want to have a great time outdoors. With a spit of land unspoiled and sheltered, Napatree enjoys a beach walk which is not to be missed.

The dune area and the beach are all completely unspoiled and well worth a visit for a few hours on foot.

Plus, you can easily stop at the nearby Olympia Tea Room which has been around for over 100 years. They roast mean clams that you can’t miss.

Read More: Best Places In Massachusetts To Visit

9.) Boomham Rocks Lighthouse

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse is located right on the beach, overlooking the Providence River, in Rhode Island for over 150 years!

For easier viewing, head to this point which will give you some stunning views of the bay area.

Best of all, you can take tours of the lighthouse (about 2 hours long) and learn more about its history. Plus the lantern room is pretty cool!

10.) Ocean Drive

Best things to do in Rhode Island

Ocean Drive is still technically part of Newport, a cozy little driveway that stretches out on the rugged shore of the island itself. Although the drive won’t take long at all, it’s one of the best things to do in Rhode Island if you haven’t filled up your mansions yet.

If you’re interested in getting around more, just follow Bellevue Avenue to the end at Coggeshall Avenue. You can then continue to the left to go along the beach passing Pele Beach (this is equally beautiful). If you continue the next 10 miles it should take you to Gilded Age cottages. Though, they are nothing but traditional huts!

As you progress you will come to Brenton Point State Park which is a great scenic spot on a calm sunny day.

Further Read: Best Places On The East Coast To Visit

12 Beautiful Places To Visit On The East Coast, USA


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