This week, we are taking a tour of “The Ocean State” otherwise known as Rhode Island. Although it is the smallest state in size in the United States, there is still plenty to see and do throughout the 1,214 square miles. Between state parks, beautiful beaches, breathtaking views, and historical landmarks, thousands of tourists visit Rhode Island every year to experience all that it has to offer. Rhode Island was the last of the original thirteen colonies to become a state, however, it still holds the title for “firsts” of a few things, such as the first game of polo, the first circus, the first National Lawn Tennis Championship, the first open golf tournament, and the first discount department store. Rhode Island is also popularly known for making silverware and fine jewelry, so you might just find some great souvenirs here! So, let’s get to our tour!
Let’s start in the capital of Rhode Island, Providence. Providence is one of the oldest cities in the country, with a population of around 180,000. Throughout this quiet city, you will still find plenty of action. Head over to the Prospect Terrance Park for the best panoramic view of Providence. You can hike up the trail to get to the top or take a cab if you find yourself there during the Summer heat, but the trip up the hill will be worth it once you see the view! The park was founded in 1869 and has since been labeled as “The Jewel of the City” so you know its a must-see! You might be hungry after your hike, and there are plenty of great places to eat around Providence. Hemenway’s has been a Providence staple for over three decades. Here you will find some of the best seafood and is settled along the Providence River.
Of course, you can’t visit Providence without making a stop to the country’s oldest zoo, the Roger Williams Park Zoo. This zoo is known for its ethical way of housing wild-life. Most of the zoo is cage-free, allowing animals to roam free and live as close as possible to their native habitat, while still caring for and looking over these animals. Throughout the 40-acre zoo, you will see over 150 different types of animals including, snow leopards, zebras, giraffes, kangaroos, otters, flamingos, turtles, and plenty more. There is also a 435-acre park including botanical gardens, a museum, planetarium, and a carousel, the perfect place for families!
Our next stop is Newport located in Narraganset Bay. One of Newport’s main attractions is The Breakers Mansion, the summer cottage of the Vanderbilt family. The mansion was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895 and truly reflects their wealth. With over 70 rooms, a three-story dining room, ceiling paintings, mosaics, and marble columns to line the hallways. You can take a self-guided tour or you can sign up for the “Beneath the Breakers” tour which brings you through underground tunnels, basement, and boiler rooms. To get the best views and photo opportunities of Newport, head over to the Cliff Walk, a public walking path along the shoreline that gives the best views of the water, the mansions along the water, and of course their famous gardens. The walk starts right at the Breakers Mansion and travels 3.5-miles along Bailey’s Beach. Don’t forget to pack your camera, the views are so breathtaking you won’t want to forget them!
Take a ferry ride 9 miles off the mainland to Block Island, a 9.7-square mile island filled with water activities, hiking, shopping, and of course, some more history. The Mohegan Bluffs, which are one of Block Island’s most admired natural wonders. The 200-foot bluffs overlook a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and if you take the stairway of 141 steps down you will be led directly to the secluded beach.
We hope you enjoyed your tour around Rhode Island. If you are planning a trip here soon, make sure to take a ton of photographs to frame so you always remember your time! If you have any other suggestions on some great sites to see throughout Rhode Island, be sure to share those with us too!