Rhode Island may be America’s smallest state, but it’s way bigger than you think it is. After years of writing about the Ocean State, my local bucket list is still pages long. Yes, many visitors picture sunny beaches and weathered docks, and you can see plenty of these maritime icons. But you’ll also find quirky villages, ethnic neighborhoods, sprawling nature preserves, and world-class restaurants. And that’s just a start.
Travelers have been vacationing in Rhode Island since the Victorian Age, and the state is drenched in historic landmarks. Millions of people visit Newport and Narragansett every year, and there’s plenty to do in these hotspots. Yet Rhode Island is a land of nooks and crannies; turn one turn, and the landscape changes completely. In a matter of minutes, you could drive across a picturesque bridge, pass a refurbished factory, round a rocky cove, and arrive at a surprise brewery.
Here are some of my favorite destinations, from well known vacation hubs to tranquil corners.