Things to Do in Rhode Island: Exploring the Ocean State

Rhode Island, often referred to as the Ocean State is a charming and picturesque destination in the New England region of the United States. Despite its small size, Rhode Island offers a myriad of activities and attractions that cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, this captivating state has something special to offer everyone.

1. Discover Newport’s Rich History

  • Stroll along the Cliff Walk to immerse yourself in the stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the awe-inspiring Gilded Age mansions that grace the coastline.
  • Explore iconic landmarks such as The Breakers and Marble House, which offer a glimpse into the opulent lives of America’s elite during the 19th century.

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2. Embrace Nature at Roger Williams Park

  • Experience tranquility in the midst of the city at Roger Williams Park in Providence, a sprawling urban oasis.
  • Enjoy leisurely boat rides on the park’s serene ponds, or visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo to encounter a diverse collection of animals from around the world.

3. Delight in Beach Bliss

  • Rhode Island’s coastlines boast an array of beautiful beaches perfect for relaxation and recreation.
  • Head to Misquamicut State Beach for sunbathing and swimming, or visit Narragansett Town Beach renowned for its fantastic waves, attracting surfers from far and wide.
  • For a more secluded beach experience, escape to the unspoiled beauty of Block Island.

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4. Immerse in Art and Culture at RISD Museum

  • Indulge your artistic sensibilities at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum (RISD Museum), which houses an extensive and diverse collection of art from various cultures and historical periods.

5. Wander through Providence’s East Side

  • Meander through the charming neighborhood of Providence’s East Side, known for its rich history and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Discover architectural gems and historic homes along Benefit Street, and embrace the bohemian spirit of Thayer Street, adorned with eclectic shops and trendy eateries.

6. Relive History at Battleship Cove

  • Take a journey back in time at Battleship Cove, located in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts.
  • Climb aboard the USS Massachusetts and other well-preserved naval vessels to gain insight into the life of a sailor during World War II.

7. Enjoy Water Activities in Narragansett Bay

  • Narragansett Bay offers an array of water-based activities, making it a haven for water enthusiasts.
  • Embark on a relaxing sailing cruise, try kayaking or paddleboarding, or opt for a thrilling fishing charter.
  • Revel in the picturesque scenery and calm waters of this enchanting bay.

8. Indulge in Culinary Delights

  • Rhode Island’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavors and traditions.
  • Sample regional specialties, including the famed clam chowder, and savor freshly caught seafood.
  • For Italian cuisine enthusiasts, Providence’s Federal Hill is a must-visit destination.
Culinary Delights Rhode Islands
Culinary Delights Rhode Islands

9. Explore the Rugged Beauty of Beavertail State Park

  • Venture to Beavertail State Park in Jamestown to experience the rugged and breathtaking beauty of Rhode Island’s coastline.
  • Hike, birdwatch, and marvel at the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

10. Unwind on Block Island

  • Escape to Block Island on a short ferry ride and immerse yourself in its unspoiled natural beauty.
  • Relax on its pristine beaches, explore the famous Mohegan Bluffs, and visit the iconic Southeast Lighthouse for stunning vistas.

11. Discover the Providence Performing Arts Center

  • Cultivate a love for the arts at the Providence Performing Arts Center, a grand theater offering an array of cultural performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and dance productions.
Providence Performing Arts Center

12. Step Back in Time at Smith’s Castle

  • Delve into Rhode Island’s early history at Smith’s Castle, a well-preserved colonial-era house located in North Kingstown.
  • Take a guided tour and gain insights into the lives of the early settlers.

13. Engage in Outdoor Adventures

  • For outdoor enthusiasts, Rhode Island offers an array of adventures.
  • Hike through the scenic Arcadia Management Area, paddle along the Blackstone River, or cycle the picturesque East Bay Bike Path.

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14. Family Fun at WaterFire Providence

  • WaterFire Providence is a unique and mesmerizing art installation and event that takes place in downtown Providence.
  • Witness the captivating sight of bonfires floating on the river, accompanied by music and live performances.

15. Experience the Newport Mansions at Night

  • During special occasions and summer months, some Newport mansions offer evening tours.
  • Witness these architectural marvels beautifully illuminated against the backdrop of the night sky.


Rhode Island, the Ocean State, beckons with a rich tapestry of history, nature, and culture. From the opulent mansions of Newport to the serene beaches of Block Island, every corner of this charming state offers unique experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural enrichment, Rhode Island has it all.


1. What are the top attractions in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island offers a variety of top attractions, including historic mansions in Newport, picturesque beaches, and the vibrant city of Providence.

2. Which beaches are the best for families in Rhode Island?

Narragansett Town Beach and Misquamicut State Beach are popular choices for families due to their amenities and family-friendly atmosphere.

3. What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Rhode Island?

You can engage in hiking, kayaking, sailing, and cycling, thanks to Rhode Island’s diverse landscapes and coastal beauty.

4. Are the Newport mansions suitable for children?

While some mansions may not be ideal for very young children, many offer family-friendly tours and activities suitable for all ages.

5. When is the best time to visit Rhode Island?

The best time to visit Rhode Island is during the summer months when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are abundant.

6. What are the must-try dishes in Rhode Island?

Clam chowder and fresh seafood, especially lobster and clam dishes, are must-try delicacies in Rhode Island.

7. Can I visit Block Island on a day trip from the mainland?

Yes, you can easily take a short ferry ride to Block Island and enjoy its natural beauty and attractions within a day.

8. What cultural experiences does Providence offer?

Providence hosts various cultural events and performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and art exhibits.

9. Are there any free public beaches in Rhode Island?

Yes, Rhode Island has several public beaches that offer free access to visitors.

10. How can I explore Rhode Island’s history and heritage?

You can explore Rhode Island’s history by visiting museums like the RISD Museum, and historic sites like Smith’s Castle, and strolling through neighborhoods with rich architectural heritage.

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