Things to do & places to visit in Rhode Island, United States

Rhode Island cover image
With the perfect combination of great seaside views, colorful local culture, and endless family activities, Rhode Island is a big vacation destination in a small package. Whether you are into art and culture, beautiful seaside sights, or great family-friendly activities, there is sure to be something for you in Rhode Island. If you're staying in Newport, try a breathtaking tour of the harbor in the Schooner Madeleine, or enjoy a bit of history at Fort Adams State Park. The Newport mansions are one of the most popular attractions around, and the nearby Cliff Walk is a great place for a hike. Narragansett is home to the lovely Narragansett Town Beach and Point Judith Lighthouse, and if you hop on the Block Island Ferry you are only a short trip away from Block Island, where you can enjoy the sights of the Mohegan Bluffs or party it up at Capt. Nick's Rock and Roll Bar. Take a drive up to Providence for some great shopping at Providence Place Mall and to visit the unforgettable Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Rhode Island #47 destination in United States 2023. The average rating score is 4.48 based on 55.4k traveler reviews, of 545 attractions. Timezone: America/New_York, current date and time: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 4:26.

Top things to do (32)

Top destinations in Rhode Island 35

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Top places to visit (30 attractions) view more »

  1. 5.0 Rhode Island Bay Cruises (878 reviews)
    - Great cruise! Brian is THE BEST ‘HOST’! Do it!
    Spent 2-3 hours Ferries
    Rhode Island Bay Cruises image
    Rhode Island Lighthouses & Newport Harbor Tours Take a narrated cruise past 10 Rhode Island Lighthouses in Narragansett Bay along with a complete Newport Harbor Tour. This 30 mile cruise also takes you past 10 beautiful islands, under the breathtaking Jamestown & Newport Bridges, past mansions, historic Fort Adams and many other famous Rhode Island sights. Whether you live in Rhode Island or are here on vacation, Rhode Island Bay Cruises will provide you and your guests with the best way to see Narragansett Bay! There is no other sightseeing cruise like it in New England! See more..
  2. 5.0 Mohegan Bluffs (746 reviews)
    - A must see, but don’t try to bike it.
    Beaches • Hiking Trails • Geologic Formations
    Mohegan Bluffs image
    Two-hundred-foot cliffs with great views of the Atlantic. See more..
  3. 5.0 Colt State Park (466 reviews)
    - Brief visit
    State Parks
    Colt State Park image
    We enjoyed our brief visit to this park while vacationing in Newport. There is a wonderful paved path that follows the shoreline and can be combined with other trails through the woods. Though it was midweek, there many people of all ages enjoying picnics, sunbathing and other activities though parking was not a problem. I would likely be walking my dog here everyday if we lived nearby. See more..
  4. 5.0 National Museum of American Illustration (413 reviews)
    - WOW, You can lose yourself here with wonder
    Sunday: Spent 1-2 hours Art Museums
    National Museum of American Illustration image
    The NMAI is currently closed to due renovations, opening in the late Spring. Please check back for additional information at that time. The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is situated in Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion (1898). Vernon Court is on the Natl. Register of Historic Places with interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The NMAI focuses on original illustration artworks created to be reproduced in books, periodicals, advertising and in other print media. Featured artists include: Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith, NC Wyeth and 150 others. Free parking for museum visitors is available in our lot located on Victoria Avenue. See more..
  5. 4.5 The Breakers (6.144 reviews)
    - Newport Staple
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Speciality Museums
    The Breakers image
    A symbol of the Vanderbilt family's status in turn-of-the-century America, The Breakers is one of the most luxurious of Newport County's summer mansions. Exploring the ornate interiors typically takes about two hours, which you can do at your own pace with a downloadable audio guide. Don’t miss the stunning sea views from the colonnaded terrace. Afterward, stroll along the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, which boasts spectacular views of the coastline. For more opulence, you can also tour the other lavish villas in the surrounding Bellevue Avenue district. – Tripadvisor See more..
  6. 4.5 Cliff Walk (5.543 reviews)
    - One day walk about Newport
    Points of Interest & Landmarks • Historic Walking Areas • Hiking Trails
    Cliff Walk image
    Located near the back lawn of The Breakers and other historic mansions like Rough Point, this scenic 3.5-mile walk along Newport's coastline connects the western end of Easton Beach to the eastern end of Bailey’s Beach. Stroll along the Cliff Walk to spot a variety of wildflowers and birds, and enjoy commanding views of Narragansett Bay.It’s mostly an easy walk, but watch out for the southern section, which can get slightly tricky along the rocky shore. Newport gets especially busy during summer weekends—plan your visit during spring or fall, or on weekdays for fewer crowds. – Tripadvisor See more..
  7. 4.5 Ocean Drive (2.982 reviews)
    - Amazing drive on the coast
    Historic Walking Areas • Scenic Drives
    Ocean Drive image
    The marked scenic route along the dramatic Atlantic shoreline that circles Newport. See more..
  8. 4.5 The Elms (1.886 reviews)
    - Loved it!
    Temporarily closed - Closed until Apr 1, 2023 Speciality Museums
    The Elms image
    The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, as the Gilded Age was nearing its end, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a Newport house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d'Asnieres (c. 1750) outside Paris. Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds' collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th-century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades. In 1962, The Elms was saved by The Preservation Society of Newport County from almost certain demolition. A National Historic Landmark, The Elms is a fine example of the taste and style of the late Gilded Age. Several scenes from HBO's hit series "The Gilded Age" were filmed in The Elms. See more..
  9. 4.5 Marble House (1.771 reviews)
    - Marbleling
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Speciality Museums
    Marble House image
    Marble House was built between 1888 and 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. It was a summer house, or "cottage," as Newporters called them, but also a social and architectural landmark that set the pace for Newport's transformation from a quiet summer colony to a legendary resort of the Gilded Age. Mr. Vanderbilt was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who established the family's fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad. His wife, Alva, was a leading hostess in Newport society during the Gilded Age, and envisioned Marble House as her "temple to the arts" in America. The house was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, one of the premier architects of the Gilded Age, who found inspiration in the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The cost was reported in contemporary press accounts to be $11 million, of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Several scenes from HBO's hit series "The Gilded Age" were filmed in Marble House. See more..
  10. 4.5 Newport Mansions (1.615 reviews)
    - Three Mansions in Newport
    Speciality Museums • Architectural Buildings
    Newport Mansions image
    Get a glimpse into the lavish lives of New England's elite through this unique collection of historic house museums. There are 11 properties that date back to the mid-18th century to the Gilded Age, including The Breakers—one of the most famous mansions in Newport—Marble House, The Elms, and Rosecliff. Book a guided tour that will take you through the various mansions or make a stop there on a trolley tour of Newport. A few of the mansions are also bordered by the popular Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile path along the coast where you can hike to get fantastic views of Narragansett Bay. – Tripadvisor See more..
  11. 4.5 Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry (1.453 reviews)
    - Lighthouse cruise is a must do!
    Sunday: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM Spent More than 3 hours Public Transportation Systems • Ferries
    Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry image
    We operate the newest most luxurious fast ferry to Martha's Vineyard. The "Julia Leigh" offers all Business Class seating with interior luggage areas and the most advanced Ride Control System in the world offering the smoothest ride possible. Depart from Quonset Point, Rhode Island and avoid all the Cape Cod traffic - we will save you 3-4 hours in travel time each way! Closest daily ferry to Connecticut, New York & New Jersey. Dockside parking $15/day. Seasonal ferry service operating May through October. See more..
  12. 4.5 Roger Williams Park Zoo (1.191 reviews)
    - Good animal exhibits & armadillo encounter- BRING MASK FOR INDOOR SITES
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Zoos • Parks
    Roger Williams Park Zoo image
    Located amid 40 acres of beautiful woodlands, the Roger Williams Park Zoo provides visitors the opportunity to see animals from all over the globe – some more than a million years old. Naturalistic surroundings are home to more than 100 species of animals including a Komodo dragon, as well as zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes, snow leopards, bears, flamingoes, sloths, and more! Kids from two to 102 have the opportunity to feed giraffes and harbor seals, as well as an array of farmyard animals. For something slightly out of the ordinary, visit our new Explore and Soar area offering an exhilarating zip ride, a train excursion through the woodlands, and ice cream station. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is home to many endangered species. As a result, the Zoo participates in cooperative conservation and breeding programs to help ensure the future survival of many endangered species. See more..
  13. 4.5 Fort Adams State Park (1.144 reviews)
    - Great example of Ford building for those history buffs
    Sunday: 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM Historic Sites • Parks
    Fort Adams State Park image
    Managed by the Fort Adams Trust, a 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization, in partnership with the RI Department of Environmental Management, this National Historic Landmark is now open to the public. The Fort Adams Trust provides public and private guided tours and youth group overnights. Additionally the Trust hosts weddings, lobster bakes, private site rentals and a variety of special events throughout the year. Most notably Historic Fort Adams is the home of the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals each summer. See more..
  14. 4.5 Rosecliff (1.043 reviews)
    - Great Gatsby
    Temporarily closed - Closed until further notice Speciality Museums
    Rosecliff image
    Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, toward the end of the GIlded Age, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. The house was completed in 1902, at a reported cost of $2.5 million. Its elegant ballroom is the largest in Newport, and Mrs. Oelrichs hosted fabulous entertainments there, including a fairy tale dinner and a party featuring famed magician Harry Houdini. The facade of Rosecliff recently was shown during HBO's hit series "The Gilded Age." See more..
  15. 4.5 Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art (975 reviews)
    - Great art museum in downtown Providence
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Art Museums
    Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art image
    This innovative and internationally renowned museum showcases more than 80,000 works of art from Paul Revere's silver and caricatures of 18th century Europe, to French Impressionists and the avant-garde works of recent alumni. A 12th-century Japanese Buddha has its own room with benches for meditating. See more..
  16. 4.5 Thames Street (804 reviews)
    - Most Popular Street in Newport
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    Thames Street image
    Popular Newport street filled with many shops. See more..
  17. 4.5 Historic Federal Hill (678 reviews)
    - Diversity, Charm and...FOOD!
    Neighborhoods • Historic Walking Areas
    Historic Federal Hill image
    Sip a strong espresso at an outdoor cafe, grab a quick pizza for lunch or dine in style at a gourmet Italian restaurant in this historic section of the city, also know as Little Italy. You'll know you have arrived by the huge arched gateway, with a bronzed pinecone, which marks the entry to the neighborhood. See more..
  18. 4.5 Providence Performing Arts Center (613 reviews)
    - Providence Performing Arts Center
    Architectural Buildings • Theaters
    Providence Performing Arts Center image
    It is a very very old fashioned place. Nothing modern about it which I guess is the good part. I saw how the Grinch stole christmas. I think its good to take families because its such a different experience watching the live performance than a movie theater. Drinks and snacks overpriced but aren't they everywhere? I would recommend this place. See more..
  19. 4.5 Newport Visitors Information Center (612 reviews)
    - Great Way To Save On Parking
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Spent < 1 hour Visitor Centers
    Newport Visitors Information Center image
    Make the Newport Visitor Information Center your first stop for all of your maps, materials, tickets and tour needs. Information specialists are available with complimentary maps and brochures on local events, attractions, lodging, shopping and dining. See more..
  20. 4.5 Bellevue Avenue (605 reviews)
    - A road well traveled!
    Points of Interest & Landmarks • Scenic Drives
    Bellevue Avenue image
    Part of the 10-mile Ocean Drive and home to many well-known mansions. See more..
  21. 4.5 International Tennis Hall of Fame (595 reviews)
    - Fun to see, even if you don't play Tennis
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Speciality Museums • Points of Interest & Landmarks
    International Tennis Hall of Fame image
    With more than 2,000 unique objects on display, from racquets, to attire, to trophies, as well as a variety of interactive exhibits, there is something for everyone inside the walls of the International Tennis Hall of Fame museum. See more..
  22. 4.5 Rough Point Museum (594 reviews)
    - I Loved Being Here and Can't Praise It Enough
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Speciality Museums • Historic Sites
    Rough Point Museum image
    Rough Point is a mansion and a museum with an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts and a sprawling historic landscape with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The property is experienced today largely as it was lived in during the lifetime of its most famous owner, the heiress Doris Duke. See more..
  23. 4.5 Narragansett Beach (559 reviews)
    - Pleasant day trip
    Narragansett Beach image
    Long flat beach, ideal for surfing. See more..
  24. 4.5 Block Island Ferry (556 reviews)
    - Only way to Block Island
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Ferries
    Block Island Ferry image
    The Block Island Ferry is your fastest link to Block Island, Rhode Island. Interstate Navigation Company, Inc. operates the Block Island Ferry, and is the only year-round ferry service to Block Island. Based in Point Judith, (Narragansett), Rhode Island, the Block island Ferry offers Traditional ferry service, (55 minute voyage) as well as the fastest ferry trip from the mainland on the High speed ferry service, (30 minute cruise)from Pt. Judith,. RI. Block Island Ferry also offers seasonal service from Fall River, Ma (2 hour cruise) & Newport, RI (1 hour cruise) to Block Island.If your trip to Block Island is for business, a family vacation, or an island weekend getaway, the Block Island Ferry will get you to Block Island quickly and easily. The Block Island Ferry is the only vehicle ferry service to Block Island. We transport passenger vehicles, commercial trucks as well as shipping freight. The Block Island Ferry is your full service ferry company. We have the most departures and convenient ferry schedule from the mainland which allows you greater flexibility when traveling to and from Block Island on our traditional or high speed ferry! See more..
  25. 4.5 Newport Vineyards (542 reviews)
    - Fire Dinner and tastings
    Sunday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Wineries & Vineyards • Farms
    Newport Vineyards image
    We have been several times and always love it !! Super friendly staff . Love the tastings and the outside is so pretty and relaxing. Tonight we went to the “Fire Dinner”. Omg !! Amazing!! Chef Andy is outstanding, all meals paired with beer and wine and the food is farmed fresh and fantastic. These sell out , so get tickets quick! See more..
  26. 4.5 Touro Synagogue (496 reviews)
    - Wonderful tour, incredible history
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 1:45 PM Spent 1-2 hours Historic Sites • Religious Sites
    Touro Synagogue image
    Dedicated in 1763, this is the oldest synagogue in the United States. See more..
  27. 4.5 Brown University (450 reviews)
    - Beautiful campus
    Universities & Schools
    Brown University image
    University located in Providence. See more..
  28. 4.5 Chateau-sur-Mer (433 reviews)
    Temporarily closed - Closed until further notice Historic Sites
    Chateau-sur-Mer image
    Chateau-sur-Mer is a landmark of High Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. It was the most palatial residence in Newport from its completion in 1852 until the appearance of the Gilded Age Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s. Chateau-sur-Mer was built as an Italianate-style villa for China trade merchant William Shepard Wetmore. Mr. Wetmore died in 1862, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his son, George Peabody Wetmore, who married Edith Keteltas in 1869. During the 1870s, the young couple departed on an extended trip to Europe, leaving architect Richard Morris Hunt to remodel and redecorate the house in the Second Empire French style. As a result, Chateau-sur-Mer displays most of the major design trends of the last half of the 19th century. Several scenes for HBO's hit series "The Gilded Age" were filmed at Chateau-sur-Mer. See more..
  29. 4.5 Beavertail Lighthouse and Park (427 reviews)
    - Great Little Museum, Enthusiastic Staff
    State Parks • Lighthouses
    Beavertail Lighthouse and Park image
    The site of America's third lighthouse and the first in Rhode Island dates back to 1749. See more..
  30. 4.5 Rhode Island State House (420 reviews)
    - One of the Largest Domes In the World!
    Sunday: Architectural Buildings • Government Buildings
    Rhode Island State House image
    This imposing marble building houses King Charles' 1663 charter of the Rhode Island colony. See more..
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More Things to do in Rhode Island 78

  1. Points of Interest & Landmarks
  2. Architectural Buildings
  3. Churches & Cathedrals
  4. Historic Sites
  5. Art Museums
  6. Speciality Museums
  7. History Museums
  8. Religious Sites
  9. Bridges
  10. Historic Walking Areas
  11. Marinas
  12. Piers & Boardwalks
  13. Waterfalls
  14. Wineries & Vineyards
  15. Nature & Wildlife Areas
  16. Cooking Classes
  17. Speciality & Gift Shops
  18. Taxis & Shuttles
  19. Health Clubs
  20. Thermal Spas
  21. Scuba & Snorkelling
  22. Boat Tours
  23. Horseback Riding Tours
  24. Monuments & Statues
  25. Neighborhoods
  26. Bodies of Water
  27. Theaters
  28. Geologic Formations
  29. Beaches
  30. Ferries
  31. Hiking Trails
  32. Game & Entertainment Centers
  33. Biking Trails
  34. Escape Games
  35. Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
  36. Walking Tours
  37. Shopping Malls
  38. Amusement & Theme Parks
  39. Children's Museums
  40. Flea & Street Markets
  41. Visitor Centers
  42. Sports Camps & Clinics
  43. Breweries
  44. Lessons & Workshops
  45. Islands
  46. Golf Courses
  47. Movie Theaters
  48. Art Galleries
  49. Antique Shops
  50. Educational sites
  51. Sports Complexes
  52. Government Buildings
  53. Aquariums
  54. Cemeteries
  55. Scenic Drives
  56. Libraries
  57. Playgrounds
  58. Arenas & Stadiums
  59. Farmers Markets
  60. Bars & Clubs
  61. Fishing Charters & Tours
  62. Lighthouses
  63. Distilleries
  64. Cultural Events
  65. Ghost & Vampire Tours
  66. Self-Guided Tours & Rentals
  67. State Parks
  68. Universities & Schools
  69. Gear Rentals
  70. Airport Lounges
  71. Bowling Alleys
  72. Yoga & Pilates
  73. Miniature Golf
  74. Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours
  75. Jazz Bars
  76. Concerts
  77. Cigar Bars
  78. Comedy Clubs
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Destinations nearby Rhode Island 20