Born and raised in Rhode Island and it will always be my “home“. I lived there for 29 years so I would consider myself a native. Rhode Island truly has one of the best summers ever, whether you go to the beach or a park, the season sure brings joy to everybody there. During the fall, the trees starts changing to hues of orange, red, and yellow. Walking on crunchy leaves and the air starts to get brisk is one of my fond memories. Aside from summer, autumn in Rhode Island is definitely my favorite season. Late spring is nice, but early spring can be brutal because it may still be snowing. Winter in Rhode Island, the main reason why I left; living in New England sure had its perks, but the downfall was the harsh winters. The only thing I really loved about winter there was skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, and cross-country skiing, but that’s about it. I do not miss shoveling, cold air that burned your skin, and losing power/being stuck in the house for a few days. The cold winters does make Rhode Islanders appreciate the summers a lot more. I‘ve compiled a list of 10 things you must do in Rhode Island; local favorites!
1. Take The Block Island Ferry to Block Island –
You must see the serene Block Island. In the summer, this place gets really busy but it’s worth it. There are two kind of ferries that head there from the mainland; the high-speed ferry which takes about a half hour and the traditional ferry which takes 55 minutes. On the traditional ferry, you could bring your own vehicle. We liked to take our scooter so we could ride around the island. They also have scooter rentals available. There’s quite a few restaurants and bars; we usually like to go to the beach and get a pineapple drink from Ballard’s. The island is very peaceful and it’s fun riding around and seeing ocean everywhere you go. Check out their website here: Block Island Ferry
2. Go To Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House –
Rhode Islanders love their clam cakes, New England clam chowder (pronounced chowdah), and stuffies (stuffed quahogs). This is a local favorite located in Oakland Beach. Wait in line (there’s always a line) and once you get your food, head on over to the beach for a mini picnic. There are many places in Rhode Island that serves clam cakes, clam chowder, and stuffies. However, this particular restaurant seems to be the most popular among the locals. Check out their menu here: Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House
3. Get Lemonade At Del’s Frozen Lemonade –
When summer arrives, Del’s Lemonade stands start to open up. Growing up, I remember getting that iconic striped green, white, and yellow paper cups filled with lemon or strawberry flavored slushy ice. Add a pretzel stick and you’re golden. It’s a refreshingly popular drink and you must try it! Check out their website here: Del’s Frozen Lemonade
4. Pumpkin, Apple, & Blueberry Picking & Bonus **Scituate Art Festival** –
There’s quite a few farms in Rhode Island. In the summer, I loved picking blueberries. During the fall, apple and pumpkin picking is very popular. A lot of the farms, turn their farms and corn fields into horror mazes and offers haunted hayrides. If you go in October during Columbus day weekend, I suggest going to the Scituate Art Festival. It’s an iconic autumn event full of art and food amidst the woods and foliage. Check out their website here: Scituate Art Festival
5. Snow Tubing in Yawgoo Valley –
Rhode Island doesn’t have any mountains unfortunately. In order to go skiing or snowboarding, you would have to go north to Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine. However, you could go to one of the highest hills in Rhode Island and do some snow tubing! You sit in an inflatable tire and slide down the hill. In the summer, you could go on the waterslides! It’s super fun and exhilarating! Kids and adults love it. Check out their website here: Yawgoo Valley
6. Downtown Providence and Thayer Street –
Providence is up and coming, the food scene is getting better and better. There’s so many restaurants that popped up since I left, it’s a foodie’s dream. I may need to write about just this topic in a separate blog post! I’ve always loved Thayer Street. It’s a street located in the college area of Providence, there are restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s a fun spot to walk around and people watch.
7. Olneyville New York System –
Weiners! Weinahs! another Rhode Island staple. The way to order these mini hot dogs is “all the way” on a bun with onion, mustard, and meat sauce. I like to get a side of cheese fries and coffee milk! Check out their website here: Olneyville New York System
8. Explore Newport –
Newport is a very popular town with the tourists. It’s a beach town with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. I love bar hopping and going to the beaches there. Fun fact: I got married in Newport! Check out the historic mansions that brings you back to The Great Gatsby’s time. A few of my favorite things to do in Newport is, sailing, trolley tours, Ocean Drive, and Fort Adams State Park. Newport has hosted great events such as the reggae and food & wine festivals. Check out the website: Newport Buzz
9. Visit Narragansett and Galilee –
My family and I loved taking trips to this fishing village. We would go to the seafood market and purchase lobsters, clams, crabs, and fish. We would go to Chaplin’s Seafood Deck and order fish and chips. It’s a great spot to watch the boats go by. We also love going to the beaches there; however, in the summer, parking is limited and expensive.
10. Parades –
In my opinion, Rhode Island throws the best parades. From Pride in Providence, St. Patrick’s Day in Newport, Fourth of July in Bristol, Gaspee Day parade, you’re guaranteed to have fun!
Whether you’re a native looking for something to do or a tourist planning a visit, I assure you that you will have fun doing these. I highly recommend checking these events and places out to get a true feel of being a Rhode Islander! If you’re looking for things to do in Florida (my new home) check out my blog post about my 2017 top 10 favorite places in Florida and 7 free things to do in the Fort Lauderdale area
Thanks for reading,