When to Go
Rhode Island is the southernmost state in New England and has the mildest climate of all the states in this geographic region. The high season is June – August, which is the perfect time of year to go on a historic tour, unwind on one of many of Rhode Island’s beaches, and enjoy outdoor recreational activities. The fall season, of September and October, is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful scenery against the backdrop of fall foliage, which peaks later than its northern neighboring states in the third week of October. Winter brings indoor activities and festivals. The Newport Mansions decorate for the holidays and are spectacular.
The temperatures in Rhode Island are the most temperate out of all the New England States with June, July, and August being the warmest with temperatures that can reach 90 degrees. In September and October temperatures range from the 60s to the low 70s. November signals the transition from autumn to winter weather with December, January, and February being the coldest months. March is cold and can be rainy with the temperatures beginning to warm up in April and May.
Aptly named the Ocean State, because of its 400 miles of coastline Rhode Island offers a treasure trove of things to do and see. It may be the smallest state in the country, but with countless amenities, beautiful beaches, vibrant New England cuisine, and magical places like Block Island, Newport, and Providence there is always something new to experience. From nature to nightlife, history to hiking there is something for everyone in each of the seven regions of Rhode Island.
If you are interested in industrial history, Blackstone Valley is not to be missed. In 1793 English immigrant, Samuel Slater brought the Arkwright spinning frame to Pawtucket, founding Slater Mill on the Blackstone River and manufacturing the first cotton cloth
spun by waterpower in America. Today, Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark is recognized internationally as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The museum includes the first-floor factory, the 1810 Wilkinson Mill machine shop, waterwheel bay, and the 1758 Sylvanus Brown House.
If you have worked up a thirst you might want to sample some beer at the Guild Brewery, the largest American-made brewhouse in the county and home of Narragansett Beer, Newburyport Brewing Co., Devil’s Purse Brewing Co., Monopolio, Willie’s Super Brew, Great North Aleworks, Night Shift Brewing, and Wash Ashore Beer Co. If you are looking for a change of pace, head to the quaint, rural village of Chepachet where you can browse in numerous antiques and collectible shops including one of the oldest continuously operating country stores in America.
Named one of the “12 Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere” by the Nature Conservancy this island paradise with its’ dramatic cliffs, Victorian architecture, and unspoiled beaches makes you feel as though you have entered another era. If you are looking for a classic New England seaside town, this is it. Just steps from the ferry landing in Old Harbor, take in the scene at one of the waterfront restaurants that line Water Street before setting out to check out the views at Mohegan Bluffs that stand about 200 feet above sea level. There is a staircase down to Corn Cove that offers a spectacular vantage point for perfect photos of these clay cliffs. If you just want to unwind in Victorian charm, then simply linger on the lawn at The Atlantic Inn.
After shopping on Water Street and visiting the historic Southeast Lighthouse that dates to the 19th century, unwind on the breezy seaside verandah at the Second- Empire style National Hotel with a drink and a double lobster roll. Why get a single lobster roll - when you can get a double!
This historic seafaring town has a long history of shipbuilding and is known today for its many museums and historic homes.
Visitors to the Herreshoff Marine Museum can see where America’s Cup Race yachts were designed and built. At Linden Place Mansion, an 1810 Federal mansion wander a sculpture-filled garden and experience the lifestyle of the DeWolf family, the largest slave-trading family in Rhode Island from 1784-1807. At Mount Hope Farm, on the National Register, visitors can explore a classic New England farm and landscape that spans five centuries of American history. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum is a forty-five-room English-style manor house that is surrounded by diverse gardens and specimen trees. Yankee Magazine has named the garden at Blithewold one of the Best Five Public Gardens in New England.
Newport is perhaps America’s most aristocratic resort that boasted a thriving summer colony before the Revolution; Southern planters would bring their families here to escape the heat of the Carolinas and West Indies.
Newport’s heyday as a cosmopolitan center playground emerged when the Vanderbilt’s and the Astor’s discovered its refreshing summer climate. As fortunes in banking and railroads grew so did the summer cottages, which eventually matured into the most opulent palaces of the 19th and early 20th centuries for the countries wealthiest families.
Today visitors enjoy touring the Mansions that line Bellevue Avenue including Marble House, The Breakers, The Elms, Kingscote, Chateau-Sur-Mer, Chepstow, Issac Bell House, Hunter House, Rosecliff, Rough Point, and others. Another popular activity is the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk that hugs the edge of Newport’s shoreline and passes by the backyards of many of the town’s most amazing
mansions. For retail therapy don’t miss the “City By the Sea’s” bustling downtown area. Thames Street has been Newport’s main commercial area since the 18th century. It is fun to explore local shops, restaurants, and bars. A stroll down some of the cobblestone side streets offers Instagram-able shots of sunsets, the Newport Bridge, and historic homes.
For art lovers don’t miss the National Museum of American Illustration that boasts one of the largest collections of its’ kind in the country. The International Tennis Hall of Fame displays 25,000 artifacts and thousands of images depicting the narrative of tennis history.
A small and very walkable city with a trendy art scene, diverse and interesting neighborhoods, and a vibrant food scene is also home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Dominating Providence is the State Capitol topped with an unsupported marble dome, the second largest after St Peters in Rome. For animal lovers, there is the Roger Williams Park Zoo with 160 animals and, for art lovers, head over to the RISD Museum that has over 100,000 works of art and design in its collection.
One exciting way to explore Providence is by floating through the center of it all on a gondola. For literary lovers, check out the Providence Athenaeum that houses many rare editions from literary greats. It is the place where Edger Allen Poe courted poetess Sarah Witman, thought to be the model for Annabel Lee. Streets of special interest include Thayer Street with its funky vibe and ethnic eateries, Westminster and Weybosset where you will find the Arcade Providence, the oldest indoor mall in the country, and the Federal Hill neighborhood, known as Little Italy because of the phenomenal number of authentic Italian restaurants found here.
This is the place to experience the great outdoors. Here you will find 20 public beaches from Watch Hill to Point Judith that cover one hundred miles of beautiful coastline. Sunbathe at Blue Shutters, Moonstone, or Misquamicut, paddle-board at Narragansett Beach, or kayak along the many inland waterways that dot the region. Visitors can also have a one-of-a-kind dining experience
that is right out of the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien at Makers Mark where you can dine like a hobbit! Another unforgettable South County pleasure is Ocean House, one of the last remaining oceanfront hotels in New England in the charming village of Watch Hill.
Warwick and West Bay
Located in the heart of Rhode Island, Warwick known as City by the Bay it is close to everything. It is home to the state’s international airport that was named the third best in America. It is located on the western side of Narragansett Bay and offers a number of choice beaches, lighthouses, state parks, and golf courses. The Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum is one of the hidden gems of Rhode Island that features many of its original furnishings. The Warwick Lighthouse was the area’s first that was constructed in 1826.
Little Rhode Island has is a surprising number of delicious iconic dishes and drinks. Johnny Cakes, a Native American treat that resembles a pancake, Clam Cakes and Chowdah Rhode Island style made from clear, natural quahog clam juice are all must-
tries. Coffee milk is the official state drink and is made with coffee and sugar syrup that is spun with frosty milk for an ice -cream free milkshake! Del’s frozen lemonade has a texture somewhere between Slurpee and Italian ice and is the go-to drink in the summer. For hot dog lovers don’t miss “hot weiners” that are the sloppy-joes of the frankfurter world. Sauceless and cheese-less pizza strips are favorites in Providence and Point Judith is renowned as the source for some of the best squid known as calamari in New England.