It may be the smallest of all 50 states across the United States, but Rhode Island certainly packs a punch when it comes to an abundance of reasons why you should want to visit this gorgeous state. If you are thinking about taking a trip to North-East USA, why not take some time to visit Rhode Island and experience everything the ‘Ocean State’ has to offer.
Rather than simply sharing our opinions on Rhode Island following a very brief visit to the capital city of Providence, we are delighted to offer a more detailed review courtesy of a Rhode Island native who has called this state home for the last 15 years. Jamie Italiane from The Daily Adventures of Me has graciously offered to share her opinions on why she considers Rhode Island to be one of her favorite places in the United States.
Whether you are intrigued by the rich history associated with Rhode Island or simply want to pass through this small state while exploring other nearby states like New York and Massachusetts, there is plenty here to keep you occupied as Jamie highlights.
Rhode Island was settled in the 1600s by Europeans escaping religious persecution. Since New England is one of the oldest settled areas in the US, history abounds. One of my favorite historical towns is Newport, RI with its mansions which served as summer homes in the early 1900s to families such as the Vanderbilts.
You can also learn about the state’s indigenous Indian tribes. As you can see, for the historians out there, Rhode Island has a wealth of history waiting to be uncovered.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in terms of size, the eighth least populous and second most densely populated behind only New Jersey. When you throw in the geographical proximity to some of the nation’s most powerful states, it’s no surprise that Rhode Island is such a diverse and important state.
Did you also know that the official name of Rhode Island is actually the longest of all US states?
It may be the smallest in terms of size, but imagine having to write “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” every time you speak about this state. Fortunately, the shortened version of ‘Rhode Island’ is much easier.
The coastal setting of Rhode Island, along with the diverse Italian and Portuguese immigrant populations, give our little state some great food options. Our seafood is fresh and certainly offers some of the finest across the country. Be sure to try ‘stuffies’, a stuffing filled clam, made with our local Quahogs or visit the beach for a seafood boil.
We also have some of the world’s best donuts, Allie’s and frozen lemonade, Del’s. Our Italian neighborhood, Federal Hill, is a lovely place to walk and have some amazing food.
A unique, diverse array of food offerings make Rhode Island a must-see place if you are aspiring to be a food connoisseur or simply just love to indulge in some of America’s finest dining options.
Waterfire is a music and art installation that takes place on scheduled nights on Providence’s canals. It is a unique multisensory experience that is one of my favorite things in the whole United States.
This award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans is a spectacular sight in Providence and certainly something that you have to experience. It centers around a series of almost 100 bonfires that illuminate above the surface of the downtown canals and provide a unique experience for visitors to Providence.
It is a free event that takes place between May and November, so why wouldn’t you want to go out of your way to experience such an amazing experience!
Rhode Island is a great place to visit as a home base or a stopping point when exploring the East Coast. It is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Boston, Cape Cod, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
I love living here because there are so many day trips to enjoy. In spite of being such a small state, due to the bays and islands, Rhode Island has 400 miles of beautiful coastline to enjoy and its interiors are full of gorgeous wooded forests, great for hiking.
Visit Rhode Island – Our Thoughts
We enjoyed a leisurely Sunday morning exploring the capital of Providence before heading north to Massachusetts. Although we didn’t explore everything Providence had to offer, we saw enough to justify a return visit.
Just taking a casual walk alongside the river that winds through the heart of downtown Providence was a relaxing experience and one that I could certainly get used to every Sunday morning while sipping on my favorite Starbucks drink. The amazing architecture around Providence certainly helps justify why this was rated as one of the best ‘smaller cities’ in the nation.
The charming riverfront is a sight to behold as Venetian-style gondolas idly make their way downstream offering romantic rides to those interested in exploring more of Providence.
Driving from Hartford, Connecticut to Providence, we were able to explore some of Rhode Island’s off the beaten path locations but we would love to head back and experience more of this beautiful state. Of course, the location makes this a perfect spot to explore more of North-East USA.
Thanks to Jamie for sharing her thoughts and experiences on her home state of Rhode Island.
In addition to her website highlighted above, you can also follow Jamie on her travels via her social media networks:
Twitter – @Italiane_Jamie
Facebook – The Daily Adventures of Me
Instagram – Daily Adventures of Me
As I mentioned, Rhode Island may be the smallest of all 50 US states but that doesn’t mean it’s the least interesting. In fact, as you can see from the above reasons to visit Rhode Island, there is plenty here to keep you occupied rather than thinking about reasons to leave the state.
What are your experiences in Rhode Island? What other towns/cities would you recommend visiting outside of Providence?
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Thanks so much for collaborating in this post! We really loved our experience in Providence but we appreciate you introducing us to a few more spots around Rhode Island.
Ha! The Gondola is funny!
A nice touch for Providence right 🙂 Who needs to go to Venice when you can go to Rhode Island! 🙂
Ha ha – just a few days too late with this post. We just left there. We loved it, expecially the Newport Mansions. I can highly recommend the Servant Life Tour at The Elms – a touch of real life Downton Abbey.
Thanks for the additional suggestions Lyn! We are ready to head back to Rhode Island and spend more time there. Our visit was a quickfire morning experience in Providence but there is clearly so much more to see around the state, despite it being the smallest of all 50!
Looks like a lovely place to spend a quiet weekend. Count me in for trying the ‘stuffies’!
Agree Lauren! Those ‘stuffies’ really do look intriguing and delicious don’t they!! 🙂 The time we spent in Rhode Island was very relaxing even though it was just for a few hours…walking by the river in downtown Providence and watching the gondolas glide by!
Oooh – Rob is keen to visit Rhode Island – it’s one of the last few states he hasn’t been to! These great pictures sure are inviting, especially the gondoliers. It looks lovely! Hopefully, we can visit soon.
It really is a gorgeous state and we are raring to go back and explore more! I am sure you will all have a great time when you have the opportunity to visit and Jamie has really provided some insightful suggestions as to other spots worth visiting outside of Providence! Completely agree with you though that taking a gondola ride in Providence sounds pretty cool even if it may not quite be the same as the real deal in Venice 🙂
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looks like an interesting place to spend a weekend:) I didn’t know about the full name of the state, I thought it was just Rhode Island:)
Interesting name right…I think it’s better just with Rhode Island because that could get long trying to write that everywhere 🙂 Definitely look forward to experiencing more of what Rhode Island has to offer!
As a New Englander I’ve been to Rhode Island a few times but still need to go to the River Fire!
It looks like such a cool spectacle Cathy! I always love events that are iconic to a city or state and this one looks really interesting and different to anything else that we have experienced before.
I’ve been all around RI but never to it. Looks like a great place to visit.
Next time you are in the area Micheal, definitely take some time to hop across the state line and explore everything Rhode Island has to offer 🙂 We made a concerted effort during our New England road trip to drive from Hartford, Connecticut to Boston but intentionally drove to Providence first to experience what we believed was the heart and soul of Rhode Island. Clearly there are a lot of other things to see but that’s just another excuse to head back there and explore further!
Newport, RI, is a big pull for me. I spent the first years of my life in Massachusetts and returned often to visit family. There will always be a special place in my heart for New England, even if Virginia has the rest of my heart! 🙂
We would really love to experience Newport! The whole New England region is one that is particularly attractive for us and definitely one of the top parts of the nation where we are considering moving to in the next year or two.
Thanks for all the ideas and the great history lesson! I would like to try what the state has to offer in terms of food.
As Bristol, RI native I would recommend a stop there, especially near the 4th of July. Home to the U.S.A.’s oldest Independence Day parade, the town goes all out with a week long celebration. It is like a mini-Newport, only more accessible and not as crowded. The waterfront offers nice scenic views of the town harbor and the small pubs and bars are great. We live in MA now, but get down to the East Bay of RI has much as we can. Great post and promotion with the link-up party. Will have to participate sometime.
Oh boy, you missed the entire south county? westerly wickford and what about little compton bristol on east? an the ENTIRE experience of narraganssett bay? Block island anyone?
i understand it is small but is not newport provience only. My goodness this was not complete friends ! Better: we keep those jewels for us