Blake Walsh

20 Ridiculously Beautiful Places In Rhode Island

  • Published 2023/10/08

Often overshadowed by its larger New England neighbors, Rhode Island, the “Ocean State,” is a gem waiting to be discovered.

Though the smallest state in the U.S., it boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

From the opulent mansions of Newport to the serene beaches of Block Island, Rhode Island offers a diverse array of experiences packed into its compact geography.

Dive into our curated list of 20 must-visit spots and embark on a journey through Rhode Island’s myriad wonders.

The Cliff Walk, Newport

Trail of The Cliff Walk, Newport

Paul Brady Photography /

Newport’s Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile-long coastal trail that marries the natural beauty of the Atlantic shoreline with the architectural grandeur of Newport’s historic mansions.

As you stroll, the crashing waves complement the opulence of the Gilded Age.

The path also offers spots for quiet reflection, with benches overlooking the vast ocean.

Local flora and fauna add to the experience, making each step a discovery.

Block Island

Sunny day at Block Island

Jane Damiani /

A serene escape from the mainland, Block Island boasts pristine beaches, rolling bluffs, and winding nature trails.

The Mohegan Bluffs, with their dramatic cliffs dropping to the sea, offer unparalleled views.

The island’s charm is accentuated by its quaint shops and eateries.

Ferries frequently shuttle visitors, making it an accessible paradise.

WaterFire, Providence

Night scene during WaterFire

James Kirkikis /

WaterFire is not just an event; it’s an experience.

As dusk settles over Providence, the rivers come alive with the glow of crackling bonfires.

Accompanied by evocative music and the aromatic scent of wood smoke, this art installation transforms the city.

Street performers and food vendors add vibrancy to the riverside evenings.

The Breakers, Newport

Exterior of The Breakers, Newport

solepsizm /

The epitome of Gilded Age opulence, The Breakers stands as a testament to the Vanderbilt family’s wealth.

This Italian Renaissance-style mansion boasts 70 rooms adorned with rich marbles, gilded woods, and intricate mosaics.

Guided tours offer insights into the Vanderbilt lifestyle.

The oceanfront location and manicured gardens further enhance its appeal.

Beavertail State Park, Jamestown

Aerial view of Beavertail State Park, Jamestown

Wangkun Jia /

Overlooking the point where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic, Beavertail State Park offers panoramic vistas.

The iconic Beavertail Lighthouse, the third oldest in the U.S., stands sentinel.

Its onsite museum narrates maritime tales, while nearby tide pools teem with marine life.

Roger Williams Park, Providence

A lake at Roger Williams Park, Providence

Carrie A Hanrahan /

This urban oasis sprawls over 435 acres, encompassing a zoo, botanical center, and serene lakes.

Whether you’re picnicking under ancient trees, exploring themed gardens, or paddle-boating, the park promises rejuvenation.

The park’s carousel and bandstand host events, making it a community hub.

Sakonnet Vineyards, Little Compton

Nestled in the idyllic Rhode Island countryside, Sakonnet Vineyards invites visitors to savor award-winning wines amidst picturesque surroundings.

The vineyard’s history is as rich as its varietals. Seasonal events, from grape harvests to concerts, keep the vineyard buzzing.

The onsite café offers delightful pairings.

Colt State Park, Bristol

Sunset at Colt State Park, Bristol

Kayla Brady /

A verdant expanse on Narragansett Bay’s western shore, Colt State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Its manicured lawns, fruit groves, and saltwater marshes beckon visitors.

The park’s chapel and historical museum add depth to visits.

Four miles of bike trails cater to cyclists.

Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport

Exterior of Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport

Elbert Baez /

Perched on a scenic islet, the Rose Island Lighthouse is more than a beacon; it’s a slice of history.

Visitors can tour this 19th-century structure and opt for a unique overnight stay.

The island’s history, from military fort to quarantine station, intrigues. Birdwatching opportunities abound.

Green Animals Topiary Garden, Portsmouth

Lion topiary at Green Animals Topiary Garden, Portsmouth


A whimsical wonderland, this garden showcases over 80 topiaries, from elephants to giraffes.

As the oldest topiary garden in North America, it melds horticultural artistry with childlike wonder.

Workshops and seasonal events engage visitors. The views of Narragansett Bay are an added bonus.

Narragansett Beach

Waters of Narragansett Beach

Juma28 /

This sandy retreat is a surfer’s paradise and sunbather’s dream.

With its golden sands, azure waters, and vibrant boardwalk, Narragansett Beach is a summertime favorite.

Surf schools cater to beginners, while local eateries serve delectable seafood.

Evening concerts often grace the shore.

The Elms, Newport

Exterior of The Elms, Newport

Wangkun Jia /

Modeled after a French château, The Elms is a masterpiece of architectural elegance.

From its sunken gardens to its ornate ballroom, every corner tells a story.

Behind-the-scenes tours reveal servant life, while the carriage house displays vintage vehicles.

The tranquil grounds are perfect for leisurely strolls.

Rough Point, Newport

Mansion at Rough Point, Newport

Keith J Finks /

Once the home of tobacco heiress Doris Duke, Rough Point offers a glimpse into a life of luxury and art.

The mansion, perched on rugged cliffs, houses a stellar collection of European art and antiques.

Gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, bloom in splendor. Special exhibitions rotate seasonally.

Wickford Village, North Kingstown

Stepping into Wickford Village is like traveling back in time.

Its historic streets, lined with boutiques, galleries, and waterfront cafes, exude an old-world charm.

Seasonal festivals, from art shows to holiday parades, enliven the village.

Kayak rentals offer a unique water perspective.

Fort Adams State Park, Newport

The walls of Fort Adams State Park, Newport

365 Focus Photography /

This coastal bastion, with its star-shaped design, is steeped in military history.

Beyond its historic walls, the park offers panoramic views of Newport Harbor.

Guided tours delve into the fort’s past, from its construction to its role in various wars.

The annual folk and jazz festivals draw crowds.

Stepstone Falls, West Greenwich

Waters of Stepstone Falls, West Greenwich

Lloyd Wallin Photography /

Hidden within the Arcadia Management Area, Stepstone Falls is a tranquil cascade surrounded by dense woodlands.

The gentle flow of water over stepped rocks makes it a picturesque spot. Nearby trails, suitable for all skill levels, invite exploration.

The area’s biodiversity is a treat for nature enthusiasts.

Tiverton Four Corners

A building at Tiverton Four Corners

Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A hub of art and culture, Tiverton Four Corners is a historic village that celebrates creativity.

With its art galleries, boutiques, and gourmet food shops, it’s a delightful blend of history and modern artisanal flair.

Workshops and classes foster creativity. Seasonal events, from craft fairs to music nights, enliven the village.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol

Exterior of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, Bristol

Yingna Cai /

Overlooking Narragansett Bay, Blithewold is a tapestry of historic architecture and botanical beauty.

The mansion narrates tales of the family that once resided here.

The bamboo grove and rock garden are visitor favorites.

Seasonal events, from concerts to workshops, keep the estate vibrant.

Watch Hill

Lighthouse at Watch Hill

Allan Wood Photography /

This coastal gem is a blend of sandy beaches, upscale boutiques, and the iconic Flying Horse Carousel, one of the oldest in the U.S.

From Napatree Point, sunsets are breathtaking.

The village’s history, from a watchpoint during the Revolutionary War to a luxury resort, fascinates.

Boutique hotels offer luxurious stays.

Lincoln Woods State Park

The waters of Lincoln Woods State Park

Bianca Klaener /

A sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts, this park offers everything from hiking and fishing to horseback riding.

The freshwater beach provides a refreshing respite.

The park’s bouldering spots attract climbers, while its tranquil ponds are perfect for fishing.

Picnic areas and playgrounds make it family-friendly.

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