Rhode Island

Things to do in Rhode Island

Though it may be the smallest state in America, Rhode Island has plenty to offer. From its capital of Providence to its vast coast, there are plenty of things to do in Rhode Island.

When asked what to do in Rhode Island, residents are quick to say “Block Island.” Start at the beach, which is perfect for sun tanning and bikes are available for rent. Shop the many local shops (there are no big chain businesses located on the island.)

Then make your way to Providence, one of the oldest cities in the United States. The Rhode Island School of Design of Art has a collection of midcentury modern furniture, Greek artifacts and more. Downtown Providence has plenty of vintage shopping options as well as art studios and eclectic coffee shops.

Newport is one of the best things to do in Rhode Island. The town once served as a prime summering spot for the nation’s elite. Summer “cottages” are actually mansions and many offer tours. After a day of home hopping, head downtown to Thames Street where you’ll find a number of boutiques, candy shops and bars. Bird watching lovers will enjoy the Norman Bird Sanctuary. The 325-acre wildlife refuge has plenty of hiking trails and animals to keep an eye out for.

This white-and-red brownstone lighthouse on Narragansett Bay dates back to 1857 although the original station was established even earlier, in 1810.

Compared with Newport, its famous neighbor to the west, Little Compton remains off the beaten path. The town's pebbly beach and pastoral mood is a refreshingly quiet haven on the shores of Narragansett Bay.

Admission: Adults: $16.50; Children: 6-17 $4

Gray’s has been an institution in Tiverton, across the river from Newport, since 1923. Current owner Marilyn Dennis keeps frozen pudding—a rum-based concoction with fruit—on the menu for the old-timers and adds such newer hybrids as strawberry cheesecake.