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Why Visit Rhode Island? The Ocean State Has Something for Everyone

Rhode Island's coast!

Newport Beach is just one beautiful site! Image by Lucy Copp.

Rhode Island may not be the most obvious vacation spot. If it wasn’t my home state, I would certainly need to be convinced why I should take my next long weekend to visit the tiny state wedged between Massachusetts and Connecticut.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do: Convince you. Because Rhode Island has charm for everyone!

For the History Buffs

If you’ve been less inclined to visit “Little Rhody” because of its diminutive size or its unsavory official names — State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — then stop there! Rhode Island is “The Ocean State,” one of the original 13 colonies, and — for all you history buffs out there — the first colony to declare independence from the British. We may be small, but we’re feisty. That spirit of independence persists today. Rhode Islanders are truly proud to be from this small but historic state.

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College Hill. Image by Lucy Copp.

For the Culture Seekers

Within its 48-mile-long and 37-mile-wide borders, Rhode Island has been home to a spectrum of culturally diverse immigrant communities — both in the past and present. Historically, Italians are our largest population, and tourists flock to many great Italian restaurants on Providence’s Federal Hill. Many Portuguese also settled here. Portuguese pastry shops are nestled throughout the state, selling the most sublime treats you’ll ever try. (Barring any actual visits to Portugal, which I’m sure many of you have embarked upon.)

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Downtown Providence. Image by Lucy Copp.

For the Scholars

If you are interested in touring academic campuses, you have a lot to choose from. Providence is home to Brown University, Providence College, and Johnson and Wales University, among others. One of my family’s favorite things is a walk through The Christopher Memorial Arboretum at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. There you can enjoy a stroll through 140 different species of deciduous and evergreen trees.

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Downtown Providence. Image by Lucy Copp.

For the Romantics

Rhode Island has a tidal shoreline of 384 miles, truly an incredible coastline that’s appreciated  by beach-goers as well as those lucky enough to have an aerial view. But, mostly, this is for the romantics like myself, for which the coast is as evocative as a first kiss.

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Newport beach. Image by Lucy Copp.

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Newport mansion. Image by Lucy Copp.

The 3.5-mile cliff walk along the eastern shore of Newport is a favorite of mine. The Cliff Walk is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District. Along the walk you can admire a spectacular coastline, a variety of wildflowers, and be transported back into the Gilded Age as you admire the summer “cottages” like the Astor’s Beechwood or The Breakers, a Vanderbilt mansion. Newport is truly a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

Definitely do not leave Newport without a shopping trip along Thames Street, where you can find all kinds of clothing, books, antiques, and jewelry while licking an ice cream cone and watching sailboats!

For the City Lover

Providence, my hometown and the capital, has undergone a renovation in the last 15 years that has led to its being called “a legitimate culinary capital” by Travel and Leisure Magazine! That’s right, we have some amazing food. Try Hemenway’s by the water or Rue De L’Espoir for a quieter gathering on the East Side. Our downtown has also become a hotspot for shopping, sporting events, and evenings out in one of America’s oldest capitals.

If you’ve been to Rhode Island (and I don’t mean driven through on I-95), share what you loved and what you’d recommend to others! Or ask me some questions. and I’ll happily give suggestions!

Lucy Copp
Blogger
Lucy Copp is a native of the Ocean State, also known as Rhode Island. When Lucy was nine-years-old, her family took off to Quito, Ecuador where they lived for two years. More than simply a craving for travel and adventure, Lucy values independence and loves that rush of excitement and satisfaction she feels when she’s able to move around freely and confidently on her own. This September, she begins a Masters of Visual Anthropology at the University of Southern California to continue to satiate her love of Language and Culture.

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