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Welcome to the Rhode Island Visitor's Information Booth:






Newport County

Providence & Northern Rhode Island

South County & Block Island







Rhode Island 'The Ocean State'

Sailing in Rhode Island

Sailing is a major activity in the Ocean State. Newport offers a number of sail charter boats, even an America's Cup boat.

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in America with only 1,212 square miles of total area, but it's one of the largest in coastline area, with over 400 miles. Compare that to 18 for New Hampshire, and you know why it's called the "Ocean State". The state is divided into three regions: Newport & The South Coast; Providence & Northern Rhode Island; and Block Island & South County.

A number of major Hollywood films have been shot here recently. Rhode Island was chosen because of it's unusual architecture and scenic backdrop. Some of these productions include Amistad, There's Something About Mary, True Lies, Reversal of Fortune, and a new, popular television series, Providence.

Newport County [back to top]
Newport has long been known as "America's First Resort". Discovered as a summer playground during the "gilded age" of the 1800s, many of America's first millionaires of the industrial revolution chose to build extraordinary, opulent "summer cottages" on Newport's Bellevue Avenue. These mansions are now a major visitor attraction with several open to the public, offering guided tours on a regular schedule. Two of the most popular are Hammersmith Farm, the summer white house of the John F. Kennedy administration, and the Breakers , summer mansion of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Newport is a scenic, bustling New England small town with narrow streets, historic houses, art galleries, and numerous restaurants and shops. Many of the shops, galleries and restaurants are located along Bowens Wharf, Bannister's Wharf, and Long Wharf on the Harbor.

Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island

The Newport and Jamestown Bridges form the scenic entry point to southern Rhode Island from Connecticut.

A few of Newport's major attractions include the Cliff Walk, a stunning 3.5 mile walk along ragged ocean cliffs and shoreline. The Naval War College Museum has battleship replicas and fascinating exhibits of naval warfare. There's also the Tennis Hall of Fame. You don't have to play tennis to enjoy its beauty and the interesting testimonials to the greatness of the game.

Newport is the festival capital of New England, with events going on all year, especially during the summer. The world famous Newport Jazz Festival is held every year in August, this year from August 13-15. And the Ben & Jerry's Folk Festival will be held August 6-8.

To appreciate this area fully, spend some time out of Newport proper, and explore the rest of Newport County. Head across the Newport Bridge to historic Jamestown, and visit the Watson Farm on North Road. Here you can take a two-mile walk on a self-guided trail with breathtaking views. The history of this town can be experienced at two museums here, the Sydney L. Wright Museum and Jamestown Museum. Tiverton is known as an antiques town, and a drive from Tiverton down to Little Compton on Route 77 will take you to the Sakonnet Vineyards, where you can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and self-guided walks.

Providence & Northern Rhode Island [back to top]
Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, is a small city that's big on culture, architecture, dining and nightlife. This small, accessible New England city has been recently re-born, physically and culturally, and is the centerpiece of a new television show. The downtown now features Waterplace Park and River Walk , a Venice of New England, with gondolas and Venetian style bridges, a river walkway and four acres of beautiful landscaping. There are art galleries and unique shops to browse, nightclubs and restaurants, colleges, and more. For the kids, you'll enjoy Providence Children's Museum, a hands-on interactive museum, which includes a time travel adventure, and a wet and wild water exploration. You can also visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo, with over 900 animals and the planetarium.

Northern Rhode Island is dominated by the Blackstone River Valley, a semi-rural area of real New England beauty and charm. The river itself offers an opportunity for kayaking and canoeing. For a complete river tour you can take a guided cruise aboard the Blackstone Valley Explorer in Pawtucket. Cumberland is home to the Diamond Hill Vineyards, offering free wine tastings and tours. The small town of Chepachet is home to the Brown & Hopkins Country Store , the oldest country store in America. Chepachet features many antique shops to visit and explore.

Rhode Island Lighthouse

From Block Island and South County to Northern Rhode Island, you'll find scenic areas to enjoy.

South County & Block Island  [back to top]
Block Island is one of the "Last Great Places" in the western hemisphere according to the National Nature Conservancy. Just 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, most of Block Island is exactly as it was many years ago, with wide open spaces and spectacular sites like Mohegan Bluffs and Rodman Hollow. At Mohegan Bluffs, you'll rise to about 200 feet above sea level, where you'll enjoy panoramic views of the island. Unspoiled beaches are the main attraction here, and they surround  the island. There are a number of quaint inns, B&B's and other lodgings on the island, in addition to shops and restaurants.

Block Island is accessible year round by ferry service from Point Judith, and seasonally you can get ferry service from Providence, Newport, New London, Connecticut and Montauk, Long Island. Bringing a car is expensive and unnecessary. Getting around on the island is best done on foot or by bike. For longer distances, many inns offer courtesy cars, or you can take a cab, which is reasonably priced.

South County is situated along the magnificent southern coastline of the Ocean State, a shoreline that offers approximately 40 beaches. The great outdoors is the main attraction in South County, an area of thousands of acres of pristine forests, parks, preserves, lakes, and rivers. Fishing, bird-watching, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities make this a nature lover's paradise. The close proximity of the back-country areas to the beach areas also make it easy to split your time between the seashore and the country. The small towns here are scenic and charming, featuring quaint inns and B&B's, restaurants, shops and antiques. Watch Hill, Westerly and Charlestown, are just a few of the special spots you can visit while in South County.

To quickly find attractions, restaurants and shops in Rhode Island, use the Find Attractions search engine. To quickly locate lodgings, use the Find Lodging search engine.

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