Welcome to Rhode Island!

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country but it’s big on personality. From the lovely shores of Block Island to the gilded grandeur of Newport to the thriving art and college scene of Providence and everything in between, there’s always something to enjoy in this tiny hamlet of a state. Get ready to eat well, learn tons, fall in love with the natural beauty and so much more during the next few days in this tiny corner of the world!

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Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Rhode Island

Welcome!

Welcome to Rhode Island, a tiny state with a big legacy. There’s more to see than a dot on a map would ever have you believe, whether you’re wandering Newport to connect with lighthouses and mansions, or rambling through the ivy walls and quirky coffee shops in Providence, or catching a ferry to the crashing shores of Block Island, this state is a postcard & a love story all rolled in to one.

Finding Your Way

Rhode Island is a small state with lots of small towns, so getting around isn’t hard. If you’re in Newport proper, the city itself is adorably walkable, cobblestones & all. If you’re going a little further out, the Trolley is a great choice, taking you to landmarks like the Cliff Walk & the Mansions & runs every 15-20 minutes or so. The trolley is only $2 per ride or a one day pass for $6 - but beware, it’s cash only paid on the trolley. Providence is a college town at heart, so there is a pretty reliable and affordable bus system called RIPTA you can use to get from place to place. And of course, we can’t forget the ferries to get from Providence to Newport or Block Island. There are also cabs & Lyfts available if that’s more what you’re after. However, getting between cities and areas is definitely best done by car, so we usually recommend a rental car for getting around when exploring the whole state rather than just one city. It’s faster than public transportation and cheaper than Lyfts.

Airport Deets

The major airport in Rhode Island is the Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport located right in Providence. Located about 15 minutes from downtown Providence and 30-40 minutes from Newport, it’s very conveniently located no matter where you want to go.

History

Newport has lived at the heart of America since before America even existed. This tiny seaside town established itself due to its location early own & with the addition of the Newport Pell Bridge connecting it to the rest of the country, it would begin to soar. The tycoons of the Industrial Age would flourish & grow here, entering in the gilded age of yesteryear. Even once that had come to an end, Newport hung on to its unique personality, becoming home to celebrities & artists galore as it became a beloved secret tucked away on the edges of New England. As for Providence, it was a city built on freedom, founded by someone escaping religious persecution. This led to Providence begin the first colony to declare independence from England and that lust for knowledge and growth helped to turn the town into what it is today, a haven for brilliant and inquisitive people, walking the halls of institutions like Brown & RISD.

Why Am I Here?

You come to Newport to feed the heart and Providence to feed the mind. Be prepared to wander cobblestone streets, explore cliffs as the waves crash, sail the high seas, explore mansions, and so much more. This little town corner of the country is a perfect escape from the hustle & bustle of the outside world.

Weather

Due to its coastal location in the Northeast, Rhode Island experiences all four seasons. The winter is blustery & snowy, ranging from the low 20’s to the high 30’s. The spring is rainy with temperatures from the low 40’s to the high 60’s. The summers are bright & warm with a wonderful breeze of the water, seeing temperatures in 60’s to 80’s. The falls round off the year with awe inspiring leaves & a brisk range from the 50’s down to the 30’s.

Local Delicacies

You’re right on the coast, so it’s no wonder that the seafood is incredible - think clam chowder, stuffies, clams casino. The signature drink of RI is Coffee Milk; 100 years old, it is coffee & sugar syrup spun with frosty milk. The signature snack of Newport though has to be Del’s frozen lemonade. It doesn’t matter the season, it’s always a treat. And lastly, if Chicago has thick crust & Philly has the cheesesteak, Little Rhody has the Hot Weiner - a concoction between a hot dog & a sloppy Joe that locals take very seriously.

Souvenirs

Anything nautical is a signature of Rhode Island. One of our favorites is bracelets by Kiel James Patrick (KJP). As we mentioned above, Coffee Milk is beloved here as is frozen lemonade - we recommend buying a bottle or two of Dave’s Coffee Milk or a frozen lemonade mix from Del’s.

Style

When exploring Newport, think stylish beach-farer, Jackie O, relaxed & elegant. The wind is no joke, so bring lots of layers no matter the season. As for Providence, they’re a much more laid back town, with flannels in the falls, sundresses in the summer, and Patagonia and fleece come winter. And don’t forget comfy shoes for all of the walking!

Must Know

Newport is steeped in history. Keep your eyes open, you’ll be stumbling across everything from the oldest US tavern to the oldest house of worship to the oldest schoolhouse in the country just to name a few. According to Travel & Leisure, Providence has frequently ranked #2 for the most attractive locals of any major metropolis in the US. And if you’re in town on the right night, don’t miss WaterFire, a proper spectacle of an art installation where the town literally lights the river on fire!

The town was Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A., Earth, Solar System, Milky Way

- Kurt Vonnegut