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What to see in Rhode Island


Although it is the smallest of the US states, there is plenty of attractions in Rhode Island to keep visitors entertained. A popular getaway on the east coast, this picturesque state offers visitors memorable sites and experience satisfying a varied number of interests.

Rhode Island is popular with those who have a love for the outdoors. 400 miles (644km) of shoreline and more than 100 beaches provide the perfect settings for relaxing and sunny vacation spent soaking up the sunshine.

For the more active, Rhode Island has plenty of lush woodland preserved in 53 state parks. This makes the state ideal for camping, hiking, and cycling. Nearby Block Island is only a ferry ride away and offers excellent bird watching and beachcombing prospects.

A favourite among visitors to Rhode Island are the lavish 19th-century mansions of America's wealthy families, slices of opulent history frozen in time. The National Museum of American Illustration is adored by art lovers, as is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum with its many textile and fine art exhibitions.

The cities of Providence and Newport are both worthy of a visit, offering insights into their previous colonial pasts via a number of fantastic museums. Both cities have beautiful sidewalks and atmospheric old neighbourhoods to explore, as well as excellent restaurants and bars.

State Capitol

Rhode Island's magnificent Georgian-marble state house was inspired by London's St Paul's Cathedral and the US Capitol. It has the distinction of sporting one of the largest self-supporting domes in…

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Rhode Island School of Design Museum

The small but comprehensive museum attached to the Rhode Island School of Design features many changing exhibitions, particularly relating to textiles. The museum's permanent collection includes the…

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Roger Williams Park Zoo

Providence's zoo is situated in 16 hectares (40 acres) of beautiful woodlands and is accessed from Elmwood Avenue on the south edge of the city. The Roger Williams Park Zoo focuses on conservation…

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Newport Mansions

The Bellevue Avenue Historical District in Newport, Rhode Island, is home to some of the grandest, most ostentatious mansions in the American architectural canon. Eleven in total, including Kingscote,…

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Block Island

Block Island lies barely 12 miles (19km) from the shore of the modern east coast. A tiny treasure island, peaceful pleasure and laidback relaxation are favourite pastimes and it's virtually unspoiled…

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National Museum of American Illustration

Established in 1998, the National Museum of American Illustration is devoted exclusively to American illustration artwork. The museum is housed in the beautiful mansion of Vernon Court, with its Gilded…

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