Top 10 Things to do in Rhode Island

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Rhode Island is the smallest state by square miles in the entire United States of America. Despite its small size, Rhode Island packs tons of beautiful, fun, and thrilling adventures throughout the state. The state capital of Rhode Island, known as Providence, is one of the most beautiful parts of New England. If you’re more into the nature scene, Rhode Island has plenty of options for you. Read on for Rhode Island’s top 10 attractions.

The flames of the WaterFire Providence event in Rhode Island

1. WaterFire in Providence

WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island, is a fantastic event that takes place on the rivers flowing through the city. 80+ fire-engulfed statues float through the waterways, lighting up the night with spectacular colors and warmth. WaterFire has grown to be one of the most sought after events in the United States, and should definitely be in your itinerary if you’re visiting Rhode Island.

Address: 100 Canal Walk, Providence, RI 02903
Hours: WaterFire usually starts at sunset, and the lighting stops at just past 12:00 am. You can attend the WaterFire festival between May and November usually, but the schedules for the year can be found at their website.
Price: Although it’s technically free to attend the WaterFire events, it’s highly encouraged that you donate $3.00 to $5.00 to help the organization. Since it’s a non-profit organization, the company is self-funded and has to find a way to continue providing these amazing shows for the public.

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island
Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island

2. Roger Williams Park Zoo

Another fun family activity in Providence, Rhode Island is the Roger Williams Park Zoo. If you’re into animals, nature, and fun facts, this is the zoo for you. Roger Williams Park Zoo has all kinds of animals, from Alpaca to Zebras. They also have many not so heard of animals, like the White-Faced Saki and the Red Panda. You can ride camels, visit the Carousel Village, and much more. With multiple reasonable pricing options, Roger Williams Park Zoo just might be the place for you.

Address: 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907
Hours: The zoo is open from April through September from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and from October through March from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Price: The zoo offers memberships or single visit options. Membership for one year costs $55.00 per adult or $109.00 per family. Single visit options are as follows: 1 Adult (13+) costs $17.95, 1 child (2-12) costs $12.95, and 1 senior (62+) costs $15.95. Children of one year old or younger are free.

By Kenneth C. Zirkel from Wikimedia Commons

3. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum

Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the RISD Museum is a product of one of the most well-known art schools in the United States. With an artistic design throughout the building itself, there’s no shortage of unique perspectives and pieces of artwork. High ceilings and pillar columns can be seen throughout the museum, as well as new and old paintings, statues, and crafts. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum is a must-see for any art lover.

Address: 20 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903
Hours: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Price: Admission costs for the museum are $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens over 62, and kids from 0-18 are free.

Herreshoff Marine Museum in Rhode Island
Herreshoff Marine Museum

4. The Herreshoff Marine Museum

Located in Bristol, Rhode Island, the Herreshoff Marine Museum is a must for any sea and boat enthusiast. The museum is made after the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company which produced many steamboats and sailing yachts in its day along with eight America’s Cup winners. Rhode Island’s oldest ship, Sprite, belongs to the Herreshoff Museum. If you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water paired with loads of excited marine history, the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Rhode Island is your best bet.

Address: 1 Burnside St, Bristol, RI 02809
Hours: The museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day of the week, except on national holidays.
Price: Adults pay $15 a ticket, while the military, senior citizens (65+), and students (10+) all pay $10. Children under 10 years of age are free.

Lighthouse on Block Island Rhode Island
Lighthouse on Block Island Rhode Island

5. Block Island

Located about 10 miles south of mainland Rhode Island, Block Island offers a beautiful rocky water landscape in the Atlantic. Stretching just over 6 miles long and 3 miles wide, this unique island has tons to offer if you’re willing to make the trip. There’s plenty of sandy beaches, some less populated than others. With so many picturesque ocean views, Block Island is also a popular wedding destination. If you have a desire to see the Atlantic, and the hidden treasures of Rhode Island, Block Island should be high on your list.

Address: New Shoreham, RI 02807
Hours: Ferry departing times for Block Island vary, see the websites below to book your trip.
Price: Tickets to Block Island generally cost $45.00 to $75.00 via ferry.
Websites: &

Blithewold Mansion in Rhose Island
Blithewold Mansion

6. Blithewold Mansion

Another beautiful attraction in Bristol, Rhode Island is Blithewold. This massive mansion and garden are tucked away on its own 33-acre lot right on Narragansett Bay. With tons of beautiful views of the bay and plenty of different species of plants, you’ll never have a shortage of exciting adventures. Oh, and you can’t miss the 45 room mansion either. This multi-story house has many family heirlooms throughout it, and every room offers its own unique view from the window.

Address: 101 Ferry Road, Bristol, Rhode Island, 02809
Hours: Blithewold is open from April to mid-October. Its hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are as follows: Adults cost $15.00, senior citizens cost $14.00, and youth 6-17 cost $6.00. Blithewold also offers many unique pricing options for military, families, and students.

View of Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island from the sea

7. Fort Adams

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, Fort Adams is the longest standing fort of its kind in the entire United States. It was named after President John Adams, who was in office at the time of its creation. Although it’s no longer used by the U.S. military, Fort Adams provides tours through one of the most historical buildings in the history of this nation. If you’re someone who loves the military, or even history in general, Fort Adams is a must see.

Address: 90 Fort Adams Drive, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI 02840
Hours: Tour times for Fort Adams in spring from April 1st to May 26th start at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Summertime tours from May 27th to October 31st start at 10:00 am and go through 4:00 pm.
Price: Admission for adults costs $12.00 per ticket, and children’s tickets (6-17) cost $6.00. Senior citizens and military will receive a $2.00 discount off guided tours.

Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island
Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island

8. Newport Cliff Walk

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of nature and beautiful historic architecture, then the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island is an ideal destination for you. Three and a half miles of rocky ocean shores and stunning New England style buildings decorate either side of this fantastic walkway. The Cliff Walk is a breath-taking experience that you’ll surely never forget!

Address: Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island, 02840
Hours: Sunrise to sunset, every day of the year.
Price: FREE.

Beavertail lighthouse and state park at dawn on a cold fall morning.

9. Beavertail Lighthouse Museum

Another beautiful museum on this list is the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum in Jamestown, Rhode Island. This beautiful lighthouse is one of the oldest in the nation, and it offers unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean for those who climb the staircase to the top. There’s even a little gift shop to purchase souvenirs.

Address: Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835
Hours: The museum is open 7 days a week from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Price: It’s free to visit the lighthouse, but a $5.00 donation is recommended for all climbers to help preserve its beauty.

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry

10. Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry is one of the quickest ferry boats in the United States, and it has plenty to offer. You can choose to sit on the sundeck and enjoy all the amazingly breathtaking views, or you can stay inside the air-conditioned cab space. The ferry offers many amenities like flat-screen TV’s and tons of leg room and luggage space. Whether you’re traveling to Martha’s Vineyard, or if you just want a day on the sea, Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry is for you.

Address: 1347 Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown, RI 02852
Hours: Departure times vary throughout the day, so be sure to check the website when booking your tickets.
Price: Adults (13-19) pay $89.00, senior citizens pay $84.00, and children (0-12) cost $66. There are also special tours and one-way tickets available on the website.

Although Rhode Island is the smallest state by land mass, it offers some of the most beautiful coastal scenery and amazingly treasured New England architecture in the nation. After reading about all of these destinations, don’t you think it’s time to give Rhode Island a try? Go ahead and see all these scenic, historical attractions and more in the beautiful state of Rhode Island! Don’t forget to check out our top 10 things to do in Connecticut while you are in the area!

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