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Rhode Island. - New England travel

Essential Place to Stay in Rhode Island
The Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport

Your Rhode Island Travel and Vacation Guide

The Smallest State in the USA Offers Big-Time Travel Fun

Click here to find Rhode Island travel story links if you want to bypass long-winded but interesting intro!

Newport Cliff Walk, Newport, RICliff Walk, Newport.

Article, photos by Eric Hurwitz -- updated for on 12/6/2022. @newenglandinfo

Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the United States, but I could write on forever about this amazing New England travel destination that offers so many publicly accessible beaches, coastal bike trails, sunsets, fresh seafood and soda fountains, quiet hidden destinations where the farms meet the coast (appropriately called The FarmCoast), unassuming mill towns and beautiful cities like Newport and Providence.

Spring daffodils in Newport, R.I.
Spring daffodils at Salve Regina University in Newport.

Unlike the big corporate travel web sites, I can only offer you my heart and soul when writing about visiting Rhode Island and hope that the authenticity helps you greatly with your Rhode Island trip planning. Remember to enjoy the Rhode Island journey as much as the destination and write me about your experiences in this great, little state!

Wickford Village in North Kingstown, Rhode Islan
Wickford Village in North Kingstown.

It's hard to believe for the smallest state in the United States that Rhode Island has so much accessible coastline. What that means is more beach time for you and your family. As a prime example, the Rhode Island South County coastline features some of the family-friendly best beaches in New England and serves as a terrific alternative to Cape Cod. In that area, you'll find some of New England's most charming towns, villages and neighborhoods, including, Watch Hill, Galilee, Wickford Village and Charlestown.

Beach at Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Beach at Watch Hill in Westerly.

From Gallilee, a ferry leads to Block Island, an instantly appealing island well preserved in nature. If you are inclined to pristine ocean and beaches, rolling green fields and pastoral farms, abundant plant and wildlife, and a slower-paced lifestyle, then by all means plan a trip to what the Nature Conservancy has designated as "one of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere." It's easy to see why. With the exception of a small downtown, Block Island's 21 square miles -12 miles south of Rhode Island's main land--provide a treasure chest of unspoiled terrains -- the perfect place for a New England summer vacation.
Most people walk, ride bikes or drive motor scooters to trek around the island. What they will find is their own beach, their own forest, their own special place, their own discovery. Walking off the beaten path will surely lead you to nowhere. And nowhere is a beautiful place.

Marble House mansion, Newport, RI
Marble House, Newport.

Newport is a wonderful Rhode Island vacation destination, famous for its grand mansions. The fun doesn't end there, however, as visitors will find a plethora of things to do, including downtown shopping, great beaches, The Tennis Hall of Fame, summer music festivals, the wide open Fort Adams State Park (great for kite flying), a wonderful oceanside cliff walk, countless bed and breakfasts, inn, hotels and motels, and some of the best seafood dining that New England has to offer. It's a colorful town with myriad tourist attractions, sure to please on every visit.

Thames St. in Newport, R.I. Thames St. in Newport.

A few miles from Newport is Bristol, a quintessential New England town -- tree-lined and quaint with an incredible Patriotic nature (flags waving everywhere you turn). Surrounded by Mount Hope Bay to the east and Narragansett Bay to the south and west, Bristol is stunning in a low key way from every perspective.

Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. Colt State Park in Bristol.

Colt State Park is especially impressive with its sweeping views of the Narragansett Bay and ideally located walking paths. The downtown features well maintained older homes and an understated but pleasing array of restaurants, shops and lodging. Bristol also offers the oldest (and extremely popular) Fourth of July celebration in the country. Bristol is a perfect start to your Rhode Island and New England vacation.

Downtown Bristol, RIDowntown Bristol.

Rhode Island has a great city, too: Providence. From the colorful Italian streets of Federal Hill to the elegant brownstone, Ivy League neighborhoods of Brown University, Providence feels like a complete city. There's the mile of colonial houses on Benefit Street juxtaposed against a rapidly growing skyline. Providence Place Mall, one of the biggest malls in New England, shines its modern leanings against the architecturally old world aura of the State House.

College Hill in Providence, RICollege Hill in Providence.

Providence also offers some of the best restaurants in New England (Al Forno, Pot Au Feu, to name a few) and a high number of high quality hotels and inns. The Providence Place Mall is hands-down the best shopping mall in New England. Although forever controversial and either loved or hated with no middle ground, the Providence Place Mall has steadily gained respect with its three floors of 165 shops, elegant surroundings with plush rugs, colorful architecture, shiny walls, and a wonderful view of the Providence skyline, including the beloved waterfront.
We encourage you to "travel Rhode Island" through our library of stories and tips (see below). We hope you enjoy browsing our Rhode Island page here and hope to see you travel New England soon.

Sundown at Watch Hill in Westerly, Rhode Island. Sunset at Watch Hill in Westerly.

That's about it for now -- more Rhode Island travel info on the way soon!

Best regards,
Eric at VisitingNewEngland

The Best of Rhode Island Travel and Dining Out

Stories written from personal experience, valuable tips for your Rhode Island trip planning!
Lobster roll with herbs, citrus aioli and lettuce on a buttered brioche roll from the Coast Guard House in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Lobster roll with herbs, citrus aioli and lettuce on a buttered brioche roll from the Coast Guard House in Narragansett.

Best diners in Rhode Island
My go-to restaurant in Newport
Discovering quaint Wickford Village
This landmark Narragansett restaurant features fresh, local seafood and water views
Beautiful Bristol by the bay
Freshly roasted coffee with a water view in Tiverton
Burger greatness in Providence
When doughnuts go way beyond doughnuts in Providence
Visiting Newport like a local and a tourist
Classically-trained French chef creates pizzas in Middletown
Sunset in Tiverton
Enjoying the root beer at this old school carhop food stand in Smithfield
Finding the best pot roast diner at a hidden Rhode Island restaurant
Providence, a city that keeps getting better and better
Little Compton offers peace and quiet, coastal views, and delicious Johnnycakes
Road trip to one of the oldest country stores in the USA
Walking 60-ft. underground to dine at a Providence restaurant
Newport Christmas scenes
This beautiful village is actually located in two cities
Visiting the smallest town in the smallest county in the smallest state
Scenic wonder: The Cliff Walk in Newport
The charm of Chepachet
Finding heaven on earth in Jamestown

Spring daffodils in Newport
Experiencing a live, authentic Rhode Island fishing village
Traversing a scenic Rhode Island bike path
14 low-cost things to do in Rhode Island
Why we love Salty Brine Beach in Narragansett
Who needs Cape Cod when you have Rhode Island beaches like this?
A legendary Rhode Island lemonade destination
Finding the most delicious roast beef at this rustic restaurant in North Smithfield
A family-owned Cumberland farm offering autumn delights and Christmas trees
Finding the most delicious roast beef at this rustic restaurant in North Smithfield
Ocean Drive in Newport
Colt State Park in Bristol
A day trip to an off-the-beaten-path mill town
Enjoying an awful drink in Rhode Island
Enjoying a traditional ice cream stand in Tiverton
This inviting Cumberland farm stand features an amazing bakery
Where to stay in Bristol
How to eat like a Rhode Islander
Falling in love with the Farmcoast
Sundown at Sachuest in Middletown

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