Sunbathe on a different beach every day and experience the thriving cultural life founded on the Ocean State’s long, rich history. Rhode Island is America’s smallest state, at just 1,200 square miles (3,100 square kilometers), but it’s filled with things to do. Learn why “Ocean State” is an apt nickname, as the state has nearly 400 miles (600 kilometers) of Atlantic Ocean coastline. Sometimes it seems like there’s a beach for every visitor, so go out and find the perfect one for you.
Start the visit in Providence, the state’s capital and largest city. Tour the elegant campus of Brown University. Nearby see some of the country’s most forward-looking art exhibitions at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Wander along the city’s revitalized Providence River waterfront. Meet new furry friends at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.
Go south to Newport, one of America’s first vacation towns. Marvel at the splendor of the Newport Mansions, built by the Rockefellers and other affluent families during the Gilded Age. Taste the salt on the air during a stroll along Cliff Walk, with stunning views of the city’s charming downtown area and sandy or rocky beaches stretching out along the coast.
Make a scenic drive along Ocean Avenue or spend the day relaxing on serene Second Beach near Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Take the ferry to Block Island, with white sand beaches and charming atmosphere, or stay on the mainland and watch the boats in Narragansett Bay.
Rhode Island’s small size makes it easily accessible within the state and from its neighbors. Providence Airport has many connections across the United States. Boston’s Logan Airport, one of the country’s biggest, is a 1-hour drive away. Amtrak rail connections are quite robust as well. A bus service provides connections throughout the state, particularly in Providence and the immediate surroundings. For maximum flexibility, rent a car.
After a long day in the Rhode Island sun, soothe a rumbling stomach with clam cakes and a bowl of chowder, perfect for staying warm as the sun slips below the horizon.