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.

From the ocean-side trail you can trace the shore, enjoying views of majestic boats along with monied mansions (and often, their sumptuous pools) from their ocean-facing business ends.

There are plenty of houses to rent on Block Island, from renovated country barns to contemporary cottages with wide wooden decks and ocean views.

Visit the new elephant pavilion.

Rent bikes near the ferry and then explore the stretches of flat terrain that run along the shore.

Send objects flying through air tubes at the Play Power exhibit.