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Top 17 hidden gems to visit in Rhode Island

  1. Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge – Fancy spotting some ospreys, egrets, or harbor seals? Look no further than this coastal preserve with great hiking trails and views of the Atlantic Ocean. And if you’re a fan of fishing, you might just get lucky on the rocky coastline.
  2. Watson Farm – This working farm has been around since the 1700s, and it’s the perfect place to explore picturesque grounds, interact with farm animals, and learn about sustainable farming practices. Take a guided tour or a hayride and get your hands dirty!
  3. Ballard Park – Forget your average park, this place has glacial erratics, quarries, and vernal pools. Join in the fun with free public events, such as outdoor concerts and theater performances. And don’t forget to look out for the wildlife while hiking the trails.
  4. The East Bay Bicycle Path – Hop on your bike and ride along this 14.5-mile paved trail that connects waterfront communities, including Bristol and Warren. Learn about the area’s maritime history, stop at scenic parks, and refuel at local restaurants along the way.
  5. Wilbur’s Point Conservation Area – Get ready for some breathtaking ocean views, as well as sightings of seabirds, shorebirds, and even whales during migration season. Explore the rocky shoreline and take in the beauty of this coastal area.
  6. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum – This 33-acre estate boasts a stunning mansion, beautifully manicured gardens, and a rare-species arboretum. It’s a great place to learn about history and horticulture, and don’t forget to snap a few photos for Instagram.
  7. Slater Mill – Learn about the American Industrial Revolution at this historic mill complex. See demonstrations of early textile-making processes and take part in concerts and festivals throughout the year. Who knew learning about the industry could be so fun?
  8. Fort Adams State Park – History buffs, get ready to explore military history and architecture at this historic fort. And don’t forget to take in the panoramic views of Narragansett Bay while enjoying a picnic. Plus, this park hosts some of the best music festivals and cultural events in the area.
  9. The Old Stone Bank – Built in 1854, this historic bank building now houses a museum showcasing Rhode Island’s art, history, and culture. Check out the exhibits on maritime history, arts, industry, and politics. It’s the perfect place to get your culture fix.
  10. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, located in Newport, is a paradise for tennis fans. With interactive exhibits and a tournament court for visitors to play on, the museum showcases the history of the sport and the greatest players, coaches, and events. The museum also boasts a collection of memorabilia and artifacts, including vintage tennis equipment, trophies, and tennis fashion.
  11. Beavertail Lighthouse Park, situated on the southernmost tip of Jamestown, offers visitors panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The park is home to a historic lighthouse that has guided mariners through the waters of Narragansett Bay since 1856. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, picnic areas, and rocky shorelines, where they can observe seabirds and marine life.
  12. Bristol Harbor, a vibrant harbor town located on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, offers a range of activities such as boat tours, fishing charters, and waterfront dining. Visitors can also explore historic sites, such as the Bristol County Courthouse, the Bristol Maritime Center, and the Bristol Historical Society Museum. The town features several parks, such as Colt State Park, perfect for picnics, biking, and hiking.
  13. The LaSalette Shrine, a spiritual retreat center located in Attleboro, Massachusetts, just over the Rhode Island border, is a peaceful oasis for spiritual reflection. Visitors can experience the natural beauty of the shrine, which features beautiful gardens, outdoor sculptures, and a chapel, as well as opportunities for prayer and meditation.
  14. Roger Williams Park Zoo, located in Providence, is a popular family destination that features over 160 species of animals from around the world, including primates, big cats, and reptiles. The zoo also boasts a botanical garden, a carousel, a train ride, and a zip-line adventure.
  15. The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace & Museum, located in Saunderstown, is dedicated to the life and work of Gilbert Stuart, one of America’s foremost portrait painters. The museum features exhibits on Stuart’s career and the art of portraiture. Visitors can tour the birthplace and studio of the artist, and view a collection of his paintings, including his famous portrait of George Washington.
  16. The Newport Art Museum, a contemporary art museum located in Newport, offers visitors a glimpse into the world of local and regional artists. The museum showcases works from a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. The museum also hosts exhibitions and educational programs, such as lectures, workshops, and art classes.
  17. The Newport Mansions, a collection of historic homes and estates, located along the scenic Ocean Drive in Newport, were built during the Gilded Age, the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and are known as the “summer cottages” of the wealthy. Visitors can tour the elegant interiors of the homes, which are adorned with beautiful furnishings, artwork, and architecture. The mansions also feature stunning gardens, designed by famous landscape architects, and are open to the public for tours.