Best town to visit in Rhode Island

Top Picks for the Best Town to Visit in Rhode Island

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best towns to visit in Rhode Island! Whether you’re planning a vacation or just looking for a quick getaway, Rhode Island offers a variety of charming towns that are perfect for exploring. From picturesque beaches to historic landmarks, this small but vibrant state has something for everyone.

Our top picks for the best towns to visit in Rhode Island will take you on a journey through unique experiences and hidden gems. Join us as we discover the beauty and excitement that await in Newport, Providence, Westerly, Narragansett, Bristol, Jamestown, Tiverton, Charlestown, Portsmouth, Middletown, and beyond.

Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or delicious cuisine, Rhode Island has it all. Our Rhode Island travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to this charming New England state.

So, if you’re ready to explore the best town to visit in Rhode Island and discover the Rhode Island vacation spots that suit your interests, let’s get started on this exciting journey together!

Newport

Located on Aquidneck Island, Newport is a must-visit town in Rhode Island that offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant waterfront charm. With its fascinating Gilded Age mansions, stunning beaches, and a myriad of outdoor activities, Newport is a destination that captivates visitors from near and far.

One of the main draws of Newport is its collection of opulent Gilded Age mansions, which showcase the grandeur and wealth of the era. The Breakers, a breathtaking mansion built for the Vanderbilt family, is a must-see attraction that offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the elite. Visitors can explore the extravagant rooms, stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens, and imagine what life was like during the Gilded Age.

Aside from its architectural wonders, Newport is also known for its picturesque beaches. Easton Beach, known locally as First Beach, is a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. Second Beach, with its rolling sand dunes and gentle waves, is a favorite among surfers and nature lovers. Sachuest Beach, located within the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, offers a serene coastal setting and scenic walking trails.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Newport provides ample opportunities for sailing, hiking, and biking. The town’s waterfront location makes it an ideal destination for sailing enthusiasts, with sailing tours and charters readily available. The Cliff Walk, a stunning 3.5-mile trail that hugs the coast, offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the magnificent mansions along the way. Meanwhile, the Newport Harbor Walk invites visitors to stroll along the waterfront, admire the boats, and indulge in delicious seafood at the local eateries.

Top Attractions in Newport Description
The Breakers A majestic mansion that exemplifies the Gilded Age architecture and lifestyle.
Easton Beach (First Beach) A beautiful sandy beach perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
Second Beach A favorite among surfers and nature lovers, offering scenic views and gentle waves.
Cliff Walk A breathtaking coastal trail that showcases stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and magnificent mansions.
Newport Harbor Walk A delightful waterfront walkway that invites visitors to explore the vibrant harbor area.

Whether you’re a history buff, a beach enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Newport has something to offer every visitor. Immerse yourself in the opulence of the Gilded Age, bask in the beauty of the beaches, and embark on thrilling outdoor activities in this enchanting town.

Providence

As the capital city of Rhode Island, Providence is a bustling urban hub with a rich cultural history. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Rhode Island State House and enjoy the vibrant arts scene in the city. Providence also boasts an array of dining options, from trendy farm-to-table restaurants to classic Italian eateries in the Federal Hill neighborhood.

Explore Historic Landmarks

Providence is home to several historic landmarks that provide a glimpse into the city’s past. A must-visit is the Rhode Island State House, an architectural masterpiece and the seat of government. Its impressive marble dome and grand interior make it a true Rhode Island icon.

Experience the Arts Scene

Providence is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and performance venues. The Providence Performing Arts Center showcases Broadway hits and world-class performances, while the RISD Museum offers a diverse collection of art and design spanning centuries.

Dine in Style

Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the dining options in Providence. The city is a hub for culinary creativity, with a wide range of restaurants to suit all tastes. Don’t miss the chance to savor delicious farm-to-table cuisine at Ellie’s, a local favorite, or indulge in classic Italian dishes at Scialo Bros. Bakery in the Federal Hill neighborhood.

Historic Landmarks Arts Scene Dining
Rhode Island State House Providence Performing Arts Center Ellie’s
Benefit Street Historic District RISD Museum Scialo Bros. Bakery
John Brown House Museum AS220 North

Westerly

Nestled in the southwestern part of Rhode Island, Westerly is a hidden gem that offers a mix of natural beauty and charming coastal town vibes. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or outdoor adventures, Westerly has something to offer for everyone.

One of the highlights of Westerly is the picturesque Misquamicut State Beach. With its golden sands and clear blue waters, this beach is the perfect spot to soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning ocean views.

Downtown Westerly is another must-visit area, brimming with unique shops, art galleries, and local restaurants. Take a stroll along the historic streets, explore the eclectic mix of boutique stores, and indulge in delicious seafood and other culinary delights.

For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Woody Hill Management Area is a paradise waiting to be explored. This sprawling nature reserve offers miles of scenic trails that wind through lush forests, tranquil ponds, and open fields. Whether you prefer hiking, birdwatching, or simply immersing yourself in nature, this hidden gem in Westerly is the perfect destination.

Westerly Highlights:

  • Misquamicut State Beach
  • Downtown Westerly with its shops, art galleries, and restaurants
  • Woody Hill Management Area and its scenic trails
Best Time to Visit How to Get There Popular Activities
Summer By car, Westerly is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Boston and a 2-hour drive from New York City. Relaxing on Misquamicut State Beach, exploring downtown Westerly, hiking at Woody Hill Management Area
Fall The autumn foliage in Westerly and the surrounding areas is breathtaking, making it a great time to visit and enjoy nature. Scenic drives, hiking and exploring the colorful forests
Spring As the weather warms up, Westerly comes alive with blooming flowers and vibrant colors. Strolling through downtown Westerly, visiting local parks and gardens

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventures, or a taste of local culture, Westerly is one of the best places to visit in Rhode Island. Explore its hidden gems, immerse yourself in its natural beauty, and create unforgettable memories in this charming coastal town.

Narragansett

Located on the southern coast of Rhode Island, Narragansett is a picturesque coastal town that offers a perfect getaway for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts. With its stunning beaches and vibrant surfing scene, Narragansett attracts visitors from near and far.

If you’re looking to soak up the sun, Scarborough State Beach is a must-visit. This popular spot offers miles of pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.

To catch panoramic ocean views and learn about the town’s maritime history, make sure to visit the iconic Point Judith Lighthouse. This historic landmark has been guiding ships since the 19th century and provides a picturesque backdrop for memorable photos.

Surfing Scene in Narragansett

Narragansett is renowned for its vibrant surfing scene, attracting surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a novice looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer seeking exhilarating breaks, Narragansett has something for everyone.

The town boasts popular surfing spots such as Narragansett Town Beach and the break at Ruggles, where you can catch some impressive waves. If you’re new to surfing, there are several surf schools and rental shops that offer lessons and equipment.

After a day in the water, head to the vibrant downtown area of Narragansett, where you’ll find a variety of dining options to satisfy your taste buds. From delicious seafood shacks serving fresh catches of the day to upscale waterfront restaurants offering gourmet cuisine, Narragansett has it all.

So why wait? Pack your beach essentials, grab your surfboard, and embark on a memorable journey to Narragansett, one of the must-visit towns in Rhode Island.

Bristol

Situated on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, Bristol is a historic town that offers a captivating glimpse into Rhode Island’s rich maritime history. With its charming waterfront district and picturesque streets, Bristol is a must-visit destination for tourists seeking an authentic Rhode Island experience.

One of the highlights of Bristol is its collection of historic sites, including the iconic Blithewold Mansion. Built in the late 19th century, this mansion boasts stunning gardens and offers guided tours that provide insight into the lives of the wealthy families who once called it home.

For maritime enthusiasts, the Herreshoff Marine Museum is a must-see attraction. It showcases the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, a renowned boatbuilding firm. Visitors can explore the exhibits, which include beautifully restored boats and artifacts that showcase Bristol’s shipbuilding legacy.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Bristol doesn’t disappoint. With its prime location on Narragansett Bay, visitors can enjoy leisurely boating excursions or try their hand at fishing. The bay’s calm waters and scenic views provide the perfect backdrop for a day of relaxation and exploration.

Oldest Continuous Fourth of July Celebration

One of Bristol’s claims to fame is its hosting of the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in the United States. Every year, the town comes alive with parades, concerts, and fireworks as people gather to commemorate the nation’s independence. The patriotic spirit fills the air, and the festivities offer a unique way to celebrate this historic day.

Throughout the year, Bristol embraces its vibrant community spirit with various events and festivals, including art shows, farmers markets, and concerts in the park. These gatherings provide opportunities for locals and tourists alike to come together and enjoy the town’s lively atmosphere.

So whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply immersing yourself in the vibrant community spirit of a charming New England town, Bristol should be on your Rhode Island travel itinerary.

Jamestown

Located on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay, Jamestown is a scenic town known for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, visit the historic Beavertail Lighthouse for stunning ocean views, or explore the trails at Fort Wetherill State Park. Jamestown is also home to several charming shops and restaurants that offer a taste of local cuisine.

Top Attractions in Jamestown

When visiting Jamestown, don’t miss these must-see attractions:

  • Beavertail State Park – Explore the park’s scenic trails and enjoy panoramic views of the bay.
  • Fort Wetherill State Park – Discover the historic fort and soak in the breathtaking vistas.
  • Jamestown Windmill – Visit the iconic windmill, a symbol of Jamestown’s rich history.
  • Dutch Harbor Boat Yard – Discover the marina, enjoy boating activities, and admire the picturesque harbor.

Local Cuisine in Jamestown

Experience the flavors of Jamestown at these local eateries:

  1. Lobster Shack – Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, including delicious lobster rolls.
  2. Chopmist Charlie’s – Enjoy a waterfront dining experience with a menu featuring classic New England cuisine.
  3. Marina Cafe & Pub – Savor pub-style fare and craft beers in a cozy atmosphere.
  4. Slice of Heaven – Treat yourself to homemade baked goods and specialty coffee drinks.

Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historic landmarks, or a taste of local cuisine, Jamestown offers a delightful escape in Rhode Island. Plan your visit to experience the charm and tranquility of this picturesque town.

Tiverton

Situated on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, Tiverton offers a mix of picturesque landscapes and historic charm. Visitors can explore the historic Tiverton Four Corners village, known for its quaint shops and art galleries, or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront at Grinnell’s Beach. The town is also home to several wineries and vineyards, making it a great destination for wine enthusiasts.

Plan your visit to Tiverton and discover the beauty of this hidden gem in Rhode Island. Whether you want to browse unique artwork, relax on the beach, or indulge in a wine tasting experience, Tiverton has something for everyone.

Explore Tiverton Four Corners Village

Start your journey in Tiverton by exploring the historic Tiverton Four Corners village. This charming area is home to a collection of 18th-century buildings that now house artisan shops, galleries, and cafes. Browse the unique handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork created by local artists, and don’t forget to sample some delicious local treats from the cafes and bakeries.

Relax at Grinnell’s Beach

For a day of sun, sand, and relaxation, head to Grinnell’s Beach. This pristine waterfront spot offers stunning views of the bay and ample space to spread out and soak up the sun. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch on the beach, or take a refreshing swim in the clear waters. With its calm atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Grinnell’s Beach is the perfect place to unwind.

Discover Tiverton’s Wineries

Tiverton is known for its flourishing wine industry, and a visit to the town wouldn’t be complete without sampling some local vintages. Head to one of Tiverton’s wineries or vineyards for a wine tasting experience that showcases the region’s unique terroir. Learn about the winemaking process, sip on award-winning wines, and enjoy the scenic vineyard views. Cheers to a delightful day in Tiverton!

Charlestown

Charlestown is a hidden gem located on the stunning southwestern coast of Rhode Island. With its beautiful beaches and natural areas, this small seaside town is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility away from the crowds.

One of the highlights of Charlestown is East Beach, a pristine stretch of sandy shoreline that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing swim, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the coast, East Beach is the perfect spot to unwind and connect with nature.

A short distance from the beach, you’ll find the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. This expansive sanctuary is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including migratory birds, deer, and foxes. Explore the refuge’s well-maintained trails and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Rhode Island’s coastal ecosystem.

No visit to Charlestown would be complete without a stop at the charming General Stanton Inn. As one of the oldest inns in the country, this historic landmark is a testament to the town’s rich heritage. Take a step back in time as you savor delicious cuisine and relax in the inn’s cozy ambiance.

In addition to its natural beauty and historic sites, Charlestown also offers ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and kayaking. Embark on a scenic boat tour, cast a line into the abundant waters, or paddle along the picturesque waterways that are teeming with wildlife.

Charlestown truly captures the essence of Rhode Island’s hidden gems. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or craving outdoor adventures, this charming seaside town is a destination that should not be missed. Pack your swimsuit, embrace the serenity, and create lasting memories in Charlestown.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a charming town located on Aquidneck Island, known for its historic sites and outdoor recreational opportunities. Whether you’re a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, Portsmouth has something for everyone.

Historic Sites

One of the highlights of Portsmouth is the historic Glen Manor House. This elegant mansion offers guided tours that take you back in time to the Gilded Age. Explore the beautifully preserved rooms and learn about the fascinating history of this architectural gem.

Outdoor Recreation

For nature lovers, a visit to the Green Animals Topiary Garden is a must. This unique garden features over 80 sculpted trees and shrubs, creating whimsical shapes and patterns. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden and marvel at the artistry and precision of the topiaries.

If you prefer outdoor activities, head to the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. This scenic refuge offers hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Sakonnet River. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as migratory birds, deer, and even seals.

Coastal Walks

Another way to experience the natural beauty of Portsmouth is through its coastal walking trails. Enjoy leisurely walks along the shoreline and take in the picturesque views of the ocean. Breathe in the fresh sea breeze and let the tranquility of the surroundings wash over you.

Top Attractions in Portsmouth

Attraction Description
Glen Manor House A historic mansion offering guided tours.
Green Animals Topiary Garden A unique garden featuring over 80 sculpted trees and shrubs.
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge A wildlife refuge with hiking trails and scenic views.

With its rich history, natural beauty, and outdoor activities, Portsmouth is definitely one of the best places to visit in Rhode Island. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this charming town and create lasting memories.

Middletown

Middletown is a coastal town located on Aquidneck Island, offering beautiful beaches, parks, and historic landmarks. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores of Sachuest Beach, explore the trails at Norman Bird Sanctuary, or visit the historic Prescott Farm for a glimpse into Rhode Island’s agricultural history. Middletown also offers a variety of dining options, ranging from casual seafood shacks to fine dining establishments.

Things to Do in Middletown

  • Relax on the sandy shores of Sachuest Beach
  • Explore the trails and wildlife at Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • Visit the historic Prescott Farm and learn about Rhode Island’s agricultural history
  • Indulge in fresh seafood at local seafood shacks
  • Experience fine dining at Middletown’s top-notch establishments

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway, outdoor adventures, or a taste of Rhode Island’s history and cuisine, Middletown has something to offer every visitor. Explore the beautiful coastal town and immerse yourself in all that it has to offer.

Conclusion

Rhode Island is a treasure trove of charming towns, each offering its own unique attractions and experiences. From the historic streets of Newport to the scenic beaches of Charlestown, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this small but vibrant state. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural landmarks, or a relaxing beach getaway, Rhode Island has it all.

Start your journey in Newport, where you can explore Gilded Age mansions and soak up the sun on beautiful beaches. Then, head to Providence for a vibrant urban experience, filled with historic sites and a thriving arts scene. Don’t miss the hidden gem of Westerly, with its mix of beautiful beaches and charming downtown streets.

For coastal beauty, visit Narragansett and Jamestown, where you can enjoy stunning ocean views and explore picturesque waterfronts. Discover the rich maritime history of Bristol, and indulge in wine tasting in the picturesque town of Tiverton. If you’re seeking a tranquil beach escape, Charlestown is the perfect destination with its beautiful beaches and natural areas.

Finally, explore the historic sites and outdoor recreational opportunities in Portsmouth and Middletown. With so many must-visit towns in Rhode Island, you’ll be spoiled for choice. So pack your bags, consult our Rhode Island travel guide, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the best places this beautiful state has to offer.

FAQ

What are the best towns to visit in Rhode Island?

Some of the best towns to visit in Rhode Island include Newport, Providence, Westerly, Narragansett, Bristol, Jamestown, Tiverton, Charlestown, Portsmouth, and Middletown.

What are the main attractions in Newport?

Newport is known for its Gilded Age mansions, beautiful beaches, and vibrant waterfront. Visitors can tour iconic landmarks such as The Breakers and explore the charming streets of downtown Newport. The town also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including sailing, hiking, and biking.

What can I do in Providence?

Providence, the capital city of Rhode Island, offers a bustling urban hub with a rich cultural history. Visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Rhode Island State House and enjoy the vibrant arts scene in the city. Providence also boasts an array of dining options, from trendy farm-to-table restaurants to classic Italian eateries in the Federal Hill neighborhood.

What is there to see and do in Westerly?

Westerly, located in the southwestern part of Rhode Island, offers a mix of beautiful beaches, charming downtown streets, and outdoor activities. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores of Misquamicut State Beach, explore the shops and art galleries in downtown Westerly, or hike the trails at the nearby Woody Hill Management Area.

What makes Narragansett a must-visit town?

Narragansett is a coastal town known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant surfing scene. Visitors can soak up the sun at popular spots like Scarborough State Beach and take in panoramic ocean views from the iconic Point Judith Lighthouse. The town also offers a variety of dining options, from seafood shacks to upscale waterfront restaurants.

Why should I visit Bristol?

Bristol is a historic town with a charming waterfront district and a rich maritime history. Visitors can explore historic sites such as Blithewold Mansion and the Herreshoff Marine Museum, or enjoy outdoor activities like boating and fishing on the bay. Bristol is also famous for hosting the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration in the United States.

What can I do in Jamestown?

Jamestown is a scenic town known for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, visit the historic Beavertail Lighthouse for stunning ocean views, or explore the trails at Fort Wetherill State Park. Jamestown is also home to several charming shops and restaurants offering a taste of local cuisine.

What is there to see and do in Tiverton?

Tiverton offers a mix of picturesque landscapes and historic charm. Visitors can explore the historic Tiverton Four Corners village, known for its quaint shops and art galleries, or take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront at Grinnell’s Beach. The town is also home to several wineries and vineyards, making it a great destination for wine enthusiasts.

Why is Charlestown considered a hidden gem?

Charlestown is a small seaside town known for its beautiful beaches and natural areas. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores of East Beach, explore the trails at the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, or visit the charming General Stanton Inn, one of the oldest inns in the country. Charlestown also offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and kayaking in its scenic waterways.

What are the main attractions in Portsmouth?

Portsmouth is a charming town known for its historic sites and outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can tour the historic Glen Manor House, explore the Green Animals Topiary Garden, or enjoy hiking and wildlife spotting at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. The town also offers scenic views of the Sakonnet River and several coastal walking trails.

What can I do in Middletown?

Middletown, a coastal town on Aquidneck Island, offers beautiful beaches, parks, and historic landmarks. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores of Sachuest Beach, explore the trails at Norman Bird Sanctuary, or visit the historic Prescott Farm for a glimpse into Rhode Island’s agricultural history. The town also offers a variety of dining options, ranging from casual seafood shacks to fine dining establishments.

What should I know about Rhode Island’s towns as a whole?

Rhode Island is a treasure trove of charming towns, each offering its own unique attractions and experiences. From the historic streets of Newport to the scenic beaches of Charlestown, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this small but vibrant state. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural landmarks, or a relaxing beach getaway, Rhode Island has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the best towns this beautiful state has to offer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *