Top 27 Places to Visit and Things to do in Rhode Island

Little Rhody has clams, mansions, WaterFire providence, and much more for you. Rhode Island, nicknamed the Ocean State, is loved for its numerous oceanfront beaches, rich history, the famous WaterFire display, and an unusual culinary treat. This tiny state – about 48 miles long and 37 miles wide — is home to several grand mansions, farms, rivers, vineyards, and ferries. The Island has 400 miles of Atlantic coastline and boasts being the sailing capital of the world. Be it Providence or Narragansett Bay, Newport Harbor or Ninigret Park, there is plenty to discover here. One of the most densely populated states, it is culturally diverse and a popular choice for vacation and getaways. Explore more with our list of things to do in Rhode Island. 

International Tennis Hall of Fame 

Tennis hall of fame is one of the Rhode Island attractions you must experience to check off one of the ‘Rhode Island things to do’ bucket lists. With more than a dozen full-size tennis courts, the institution promotes the history of tennis. It celebrates its champions, thereby serving a crucial role in the growth of the sport, globally. Visitors will be intrigued by the wide collection of artifacts related to the sport, including rackets, photographs, trophies, apparel, and the history of the evolution of the sport over time. The hall of fame hosts several tournaments, being a part of the US Open series and the only grass-court event. 

International Tennis Hall of Fame.jpg
By Caroline Culler, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 194 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 849-3990. 

Enjoy the amazing “WaterFire Providence”

WaterFire Display, one of the popular Rhode Island attractions, is an urban festival and a spiritual ceremony that reflects upon preserving communal unity. In the evenings, downtown is transformed by burning braziers with the changing silhouettes of the volunteer fire tenders.  

The riverine display welcomes the public to walk by the river, revel in the beautiful firelights, get engrossed in the aromatic wood smoke scent, and enjoy music worldwide. This world-class mega event is held May through November, with lightings typically on Saturday evenings once or twice a month, attracting an average of 40,000 people a night.  

WaterFire Providence.jpg
By Adnan Islam, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: 4 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903, US | Timing: Wednesday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm, Monday and Tuesday: closed | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 273-1155  

Cliff Walk 

Newport’s Cliff Walk tops the list of things to do in RI. Stroll along the enthralling 3.5-mile public walkway to catch some of the heart-stopping views. Cliff Walk, heaven with panoramic ocean views on one side, splendid mansions on the other, is a treat to every eye and soul. Be prepared for a mild rock-climbing as you walk up the terrains. The path gets tough, but the reward you get is unmatchable coastal views. 

If you ever find yourself wondering what to do in Rhode Island, just hop on your shoes and go for a walk or a jog. You can start the journey from Memorial Boulevard just before Easton’s Beach and continue south with entrances at Narragansett Avenue by Forty Steps, Webster Street, Shepard Avenue, and Ruggles Avenue. For a more challenging climb, choose the path from Belmont Beach to Reject’s Beach.  

Sunset - Cliff Walk, Newport, Rhode Island, USA - 15 Agosto 2015 - panoramio.jpg
By Giorgio Galeotti, CC BY 3.0, Link

Address: US | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 845-5544 

Roger Williams Park Zoo 

Roger Williams Park Zoo, the country’s third-oldest zoo, has more than 160+ animal species of allows guests to watch animals from around the world. You can encounter Komodo dragons, African elephants, Masai giraffes, zebras, bears, pandas, snow leopards, anteaters, sloths, flamingoes, alligators, and more in this beautiful 40-acre land.  

Roger Williams Park Zoo offers an exotic experience of dining with animals. While at the park, you can feed animals in their yards and get them ready for the day. In addition to zoo, the place also has carousel trains, pony rides, and food trucks serving tasty foods to enhance your stay. Your trip is incomplete without stopping by this amazing wildlife abode. 

Giraffa camelopardalis -Roger Williams Park Zoo, USA-8a.jpg
By Kyle Bedell, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907, US | Timing: Thursday to Monday: 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday: closed | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 785-3510 

Try your Luck in a Casino 

Casinos are a popular destination among locals and visitors of the Island. There are many regular casinos and two full-size casinos that provide live and virtual table games, video slot machines accompanied by live entertainment, dining, and much more. Try your luck at these casinos and take home some rewards. Sometimes it is fun to bring out the gambler in you to have some fun. 

RI - Newport - Newport Casino - Newport Casino

Hit the Beautiful Watch Hill Beach and others 

Entertainment, great food, and some more entertainment! This runs in a loop at Watch Hill — a quaint little area that is almost surrounded by ocean, making you feel as though you are on an island. This place has some top-notch restaurants offering mouthwatering cuisines, award-winning estates, inns, boutique shops and is a perfect wedding destination.  

Watch Hill Beach will engage and entertain every age group with activities like swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, fishing, walking, running, surfing, and paddleboarding. You can have a great time all by yourself or with your friends and family. 

Watch Hill Light (52412).jpg
By Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 151 Bay St, Westerly, RI 02891, US | Google Map Location:  

RISD Museum 

If you are an Art and Design Enthusiast, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will steal your heart! Housed in Providence, RISD has more than 10,000 works of art and design dating from ancient times to the present. These include paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, costumes and textiles, and furniture from all over the world. People can explore the galleries and explore the works of art representing diverse cultures. New artworks are displayed regularly, so there is always something new if you are here for the first time or a frequent visitor. 

RISD Museum

Address: 20 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903, US | Timing: Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday and Friday: 12:00 pm to 07:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 454-6500 

Visit Newport Mansions 

Take a tour of the beautiful architecture and décor of Rose Cliff Mansion to experience time travel. The grandiose building has the largest private ballroom in the city and has been featured in numerous films and documentaries. This snow-white terra-cotta palace is open to the public as a historic house. If you are a history buff, do explore other Newport Mansions such as the Hunter House, and the Breakers. 

Marble House, Newport RI.jpg
By dchelyadnik, CC0, Link

Address: 548 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website  for the latest timings | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 847-1000 

Fort Adams State Park  

Fort Adams, a massive American fortress situated at the mouth of the Newport Harbor has an exceptional idyllic view of the Harbor and the Bay. Fort Adams State Park also served as a base for the US Navy until the early 20th century.   

The place offers a range of activities and services, including saltwater bathing, fishing, boating, soccer, rugby, camping, and as a venue for events and weddings. The scale and grandeur of this humongous fort can be a great backdrop for weddings or any other events leaving you and your guests spell-bound and with lasting memories. If you are a music buff, do not miss Fort Adams annual summer concerts! Jazz festivals and folk festivals draw thousands to enjoy the music and beautiful surroundings.  

Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island sign and flag.jpg
By Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 90 Fort Adams Drive Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 8 am to 6 pm | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 841-0707 

Rhode Island Clam Shack 

Little Rhody is known for its seafood. There’s just something about dining in a clam shack after a day at the beach. Clam cakes, lobsters, oysters, scallops, and many more such lip-smacking options can be found at the shacks- a Rhode’s summertime staple. Brace yourself to this scrumptious local cuisine and know why it’s been a favorite in the Ocean State for generations!  

New England clam bake.jpg
By inuyaki, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

You can dine at Aunt Carrie for the historic of clam shacks and never forget to leave room for desserts at the end. Blount Clam Shack and Flo’s Clam Shack are also some of the many great options available.  

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum

Beavertail Lighthouse Museum is one of the unmissable places to visit in Rhode Island. A government-building-turned museum established in 1942 to surveil marine traffic traveling into the coastline of Rhode Island is located on the southernmost tip of Jamestown and is now open for the public to view the Lighthouse’s collection of information, artifacts, and conversation about the history and site of the third-oldest lighthouse in North America. 

Travelers are often seen relaxing by sitting or walking along the park and enjoying the shoreline view after the tour. 

Dawn, Beavertail Lighthouse, RI (8687634658).jpg
By Timothy Burling, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: Beavertail Road Jamestown, RI 02835, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10:30 am to 4:30 pm | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 423-3270  

Providence Performing Arts Center 

This lavish 1920s theater is a multi-use theater, engaged in entertaining people by hosting Broadway shows, plays, concerts, musicals, and other performances for close to a century. It is a popular venue for locals and tourists to enjoy musical events. One of the best ways to experience the true essence of this place is by attending one of the events. Being one of the popular Rhode Island places to visit, the theater should be on your checklist. You may also explore the surrounding for some great culinary treats.  

Providence Theater (32053152083) crop.jpg
By Paul Sableman, CC BY 2.0, Link

Address: 220 Weybosset St, Providence, RI 02903, US | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website for the latest timings | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 4212787 

Naval War College Museum  

This place is one of the 10 museums operated by the US Navy. It is open to the public year-round. The building is used to preserve and exhibit the history of naval activities since colonial times and the science and art of naval warfare since ancient times to inspire naval personnel and the general public. This place offers you a chance to learn about the country’s Naval history. Ensure to carry documents of identification for entry into the base. 


Address: Luce Ave, Newport, RI 02841, US | Timing: Monday to Friday: 10 am- 4 pm, Saturday – Sunday: closed | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: +14018414052 

Enjoy the Nightlife  

The tiny region has plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout the year.  Depending on the night you can catch a concert or a performance at the theater or a comedy show or hit the dance floor at a nightclub. There is always something for everyone here! The city’s infamous “Bar Street” is an epicenter of nightlife on Rhodes with trendy bars and restaurants. As the night advances, you can catch up for dinner or drinks at the local pubs and eateries.   

The Providence Rink, Rhode Island.jpg
By Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Watch Hill Carousel 

Watch Hill Carousel is said to be the oldest continuously operating carousel in the US. Originally built in the 1800s, it is said to have survived some of the devastating calamities for over a century, including the infamous hurricane of Rhode Island in the 1900s. This place has witnessed countless laughter and given hours of joy to families. 

This historic place is a must for children. Riding the flying horses, followed by an ice cream treat is a local tradition. Spend time at this magical place with your children and create ever-lasting memories.  

Watch Hill Merry-Go-Round (Flying Horse Carousel) 4

Address: 151 Bay St, Westerly, RI 02891, US | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 388-8136 

Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium  

Don’t ever worry about what to do in Rhode Island! Just drive to this amazing place to explore the world under the sea – home to local habitats and ocean creatures. It has a lot to offer to its guests. You can attend their nature programs, book the center for events like birthdays or weddings or walk through the meadows to a boardwalk through fresh and saltwater marshes to the majestic view of the bay. 

The show topper is the Palmieri Pollinator Garden, designed to prevent the extinction of local species and maintain ecological balance. Also, do not miss and stop by the Nature Shop to take home some interesting gifts. This place has an entry fee for visitors. 

Audubon Society of RI Sign

Address: 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI 02809, US | Timing: Summer Hours (Mid-April – Mid-October) Monday to Sunday: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 949-5454

The Swiss Village (Surprise Valley Farm)  

Surprise Valley Village, also known as Swiss Village to locals, was created by railroad mogul Arthur Curtiss James who wanted to replicate a tiny village of Switzerland in the US. Once a summer estate, it is now a home to rare breeds like Tennessee Myotonic Goats, California Mutant Variegated Sheep, Arapawa Goat, etc.  

This place has animal facilities, procedure labs to preserve germplasm of endangered breeds of livestock, infirmary, etc. For security reasons, the farm is open to the public on a certain day of the year. But anyone driving down Harrison Avenue can see those animals. 

Address: 152 Harrison Avenue Newport, RI, 02840 US | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic. Please check the website for the latest timings | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 848-7229 

The Elms

One of the largest mansions in Rhode Island, the Elms was once the summer home of businessman Edward Julius Berwind. It has aninteresting history of being one of the first houses wired for electricity without any backupin the US. With huge hallways and ceilings, tourists are often seen lost in this magnificent architecture, style, and landscape. The Elms is a symbol of elegance and fine taste. You can walk around and learn about the artwork and history behind this creation.  

RI - Newport: The Elms - Garden facade

Address: 367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 5pm| Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 847-1000 

Learn surfing at Peter Pan Surfing and SUP Academy 

Peter Pan is a biggie in the world of surfing. Acclaimed as Rhode Island’s longest-running surf operations, Peter’s offer private instruction with well-trained surfers all year long. If you desire to surf those huge waves, then Narragansett Town Beach is the spot to be at in the summer. The company provides the finest surfboards along with wetsuits for lessons. You can choose a suitable package and get started.  

Peter Surfing

Address: 74 Narragansett Ave, Narragansett, RI 02882, US | Timing The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic, please check the website | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 575-0003 

Marble House 

Marble House, a summer home, is one of the top three must-see spots. This beautiful mansion is an architectural revolution that played a vital role in shifting from wooden palaces to opulent stone palaces. The palace is open for people to tour and learn about the history.  

Marble House, Newport Rhode Island.jpeg
By MVASCO, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 596 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 8471000 

Norman Bird Sanctuary 

Norman Bird Sanctuary is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center that helps people make meaningful connections with nature. The 325-acre sanctuary has seven miles of hiking trails that passes through diverse habitats overlooking the beach and Sachuest Point.  

Guests can watch rare seasonal birds and local wildlife throughout the year. In addition, Norman Bird Sanctuary offers Summer Camps, field trips, and hosts special events. You can reserve this gorgeous place with a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop for weddings, rehearsal dinners, or any special occasion.  

Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, Rhode Island 3.jpg
By Swampyank, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address:  583 Third Beach Road Middletown, RI 02840, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 846-2577 

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry 

Martha’s Vineyard, a small island located south of Cape Cod is a scenic retreat. Martha’s Fast Ferry is the best way to soak in the breath-taking scenery of the “Ocean State”. Enjoy the sundeck or sit in air-conditioned comfort, and you will be lost in the beauty of this place. To avoid the Cape Cod traffic and save time in travel, Martha’s Fast Ferry is the most convenient means of transport. Martha’s Vineyard is one of the exceptional places to go in Rhode Island.

RI Fast Ferry

Address: 1347 Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown, RI 02852, US | Timing: Monday to Sunday: 8 am to 8 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 295-4040 

Visit the Sweet Tooth heaven Pastiche Fine Desserts 

Pastiche, a paradise for your sweet tooth, is known for its variety of tasty tarts and cakes. There are desserts to suit every mood and weather. You can go for a fruit tart in summers and a cranberry raspberry tart when the chill sets in. Do not miss trying Classic Vanilla, all-American chocolate cake while you are at it. 

This cozy European-style cafe and bakery serves freshly made delicious desserts inside its historic building. Whether you’re looking for a quick sweet treat or want to order a delectable cake for a special occasion, Pastiche is a perfect choice. They also serve some of the most impressive coffee drinks! 

Address: 92 Spruce St, Providence, RI 02903, US | Timing: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 am-10:30 pm, Monday: closed | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 861-5190 

Tour the beautiful garden of Fantastic Umbrella Factory 

This 19th-century farmyard is a shopper’s paradise and an international bazaar with items handmade by local artisans. You can explore this gorgeous Island landmark and pick some unique and adorable gifts and products from stores at the Umbrella Factory. Visitors tend to shop extra because of the exceptionally good collection. This place is open year-round has a lot to offer, right from shopping to eateries to gardens. 

Address: 4820 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, RI 02813, US | Timing: Summer Hours: 10 am to 5 pm | Google Map Location:  | Phone number: (401) 364-1060 

Rough Point  

Rhody is a place of abode for several mansions. Rough Point is peculiar because of its one-of-a-kind personal collection of European and Asian art. Rough Point is a mansion and gallery that archives an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts.  

Enjoy one of the most dramatic oceanside landscapes in town with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Guests are welcomed with guided tours and allowed to self-explore the place. 

Rough Point, Newport RI.jpg
By John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, Link

Address: 680 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm, Monday closed | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 847-8344 

Eat in the historic White Horse Tavern 

Longing to satiate your palate? Don’t think twice before landing in this 350-year-old gorgeous contemporary-style restaurant on the Island. If you are a seafood lover, then get ready for the feast! They serve delicious fresh fish, lobsters, artisan cheese, and high-quality meat from local farms.  This America’s Oldest Restaurant, a colonial tavern, offers great ambiance, food and requires you to dress appropriately. 

White Horse Tavern in Newport RI.jpg
By Swampyank, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Address: 26 Marlborough Street Newport, RI 02840, US | Timing: Sunday to Thursday: 5 pm to 9 pm, Friday to Saturday: 4 pm to 9 pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 849-3600 

Explore the Providence with La Gondola 

If you are looking for a romantic night out with your partner or a fun time with family and friends or tour the renaissance city, La Gondola is the way to go. Gondolas are flat-bottomed rowing boats that takes you on providence waters and lets you experience the city from a unique perspective which will remind you of Venice in the heart of the city. They offer a range of services from touring the city to accommodating large parties on gondolas to make your evening more memorable.  

Gondola on the Providence River in Providence, Rhode Island.jpg
By Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Address: 1 Citizens Plz, Providence, RI 02903, US | Timing: Monday to Friday: 1pm to 10pm, Saturday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm | Google Map Location: | Phone number: (401) 421-8877 

This quirky tiny state has many more attractions than other big states; there’re so many things to do in Rhode Island that it deserves to be popular in its own right. Plan your holiday in advance to experience a hassle-free trip to this beautiful land. We certainly hope you enjoy immensely and return refreshed and rejuvenated.