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Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island is truly defined by its relationship with its waters. Narragansett Bay attracted the state’s original settlers, who endowed the smallest state with the largest concentration of historic sites in America. Today, water forms the gorgeous coastline and gives back in ways that make Rhode Island – located three hours northeast of New York City and an hour south of Boston – beautiful, unique and ripe with opportunity and history.

Capital city Providence is the buzz of the culinary world, recently named by Travel + Leisure, Architectural Digest and CNN as one of the most livable cities with some of the best restaurants in the country. A wealth of colleges and universities including Brown, the Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson and Wales – home to the world’s largest culinary school – and others provide the energy that makes this “Renaissance City” spectacular.

The city has become a hub of creativity and expression, where art, music and other cultural attractions rule. To wit is artist Barnaby Evans’ WaterFire, which has drawn over 10 million visitors to Providence with its simple beauty. Featuring 80 sparkling bonfires that sit in braziers atop the three rivers of Providence, WaterFire fills the city with a golden glow and glorious aroma, while street performers, restaurants and musicians celebrate alongside visitors.

The nearby city of Warwick is home to Rhode Island’s “original water fire” – the burning of the British schooner H.M.S. Gaspee in 1772. It is long considered one of the first shots leading to the American Revolution, and Warwick celebrates with a month-long celebration, Gaspee Days, every June.

To the north, Blackstone Valley’s historic mill buildings have been transformed into affordable workspaces where all types of artists thrive. Within view of many of those converted mills is Slater Mill, where in 1793 the American Industrial Revolution – fueled by water-powered mills – began. Now a museum and visitor center, Slater Mill is the welcoming point to a region alive with the natural beauty and activities along the Blackstone River, colourful ethnic restaurants and historical attractions.

Forty-five minutes away, the sailing hub of Newport is home to sport’s most prestigious trophy, the America’s Cup. Newport has a young and vibrant vibe, and opportunities abound for shopping, dining, sports, historic and culinary tours, music concerts and art festivals. During the Gilded Age, Newport’s rocky coastline became home to hundreds of summer “cottages” of New York families such as the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Today, these spectacular mansions are open for tours and special events.

Narragansett Bay, the crown jewel of Rhode Island, was named one of the top 12 adventure destinations in the world by National Geographic in 2012. The bay attract tens of thousands searching for beauty and adventure, especially along South County’s shoreline. Rhode Island offers more than 400 miles of beautiful beaches, many of which remain natural and underdeveloped, making them home to rare species of migratory birds and wildlife. Twelve miles off the south coast is Block Island, named one of the last great places on Earth by the Nature Conservancy for its population of rare wildlife, nature trails and rocky cliffs and coastline.

Each season brings a new set of opportunities to enjoy life in the Ocean State. The smallest state is rich with opportunities to experience sports and leisure, art and music, and culture and history in spectacular and unforgettable ways. Whatever you wish, Rhode Island delivers.

Rhode Island Highlights

Best bargains

Seaside resorts in the off-season.

Breathtaking scenery

Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island and the sunset along Ocean Drive in Newport.

Don’t leave without tasting...

Del’s Lemonade, johnnycakes (cornmeal flatbread), Iggy’s Doughboys and coffee milk.

Favourite souvenirs

Coffee syrup to make coffee milk.

Must-see museum

Rhode Island School of Design and the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University, both in Providence.

One awe-inspiring building

Breakers Mansion in Newport.

Roadside attractions

The Big Blue Bug along Route I-95.

Shopping heaven

Wickford Village, Wayland Square, Wickenden Street and Bowens Wharf are all little villages with unique shops.

You might be surprised by...

The smallest state has over 400 miles of pristine coastline and 20% of the nation’s Historic Landmarks.

You’ll know you’re here when...

Any place you want to go is only 20 minutes away.

Trip Ideas in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Cities

Official Rhode Island Travel Site

Rhode Island Tourism Division

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