When you’ve lived in and explored Rhode Island for any extended amount of time, it can be easy to look around this tiny state and think that you need to go elsewhere for entertainment and stimulation. Think again! With all of the industry, attractions, and new developments in Rhode Island, you can stay right here and still have new, challenging, and enjoyable experiences. Here are 11 things to do in Rhode Island when you feel like you’ve already done and seen it all!
1. Hope Artiste Village
Even if you have been to Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, chances are it is not the same as the last time that you saw it. The old mill that houses the various shops, restaurants, studios, workshops, as well as an indoor farmers market (Saturdays from November through April), is adding new businesses and artists all of the time. Be sure to check out BreakTime Bowl for a drink, snack, and duckpin bowling!
1005 Main St, Pawtucket, RI 02860
2. Conquer the Cliff Walk
Anyone who says that they have "done it all" in Rhode Island has surely spent some time on the Cliff Walk in Newport. But how many people can say that they have walked this 3.5 mile path from start to finish? Join the elite club of those who have conquered the Cliff Walk, even if you do it one section at a time. The terrain and views change so much between Memorial Boulevard and Bailey’s Beach that you truly are missing out if you have not had this experience yet. Keep in mind that while the majority is easy walking on a paved or dirt path, at times you may find yourself scrambling over small boulders and rocks, so dress accordingly. If you are attempting to do it all in one shot, make sure that you arrange transportation once you make it to the other end. Calling for a Lyft wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Looking for more gorgeous places to walk? Check out these
Rhode Island hikes
3. And the East Bay bike path!
After you’ve checked the Cliff Walk off your list of accomplishments, how about taking on the East Bay bike path? This 13.8 mile path stretches from India Point in Providence to Independence Park in Bristol, and allows you to experience the beauty of four Rhode Island towns up close.
4. And bike some more!
If you still haven’t had enough biking, the Blackstone River Bike Path is 16.5 miles long, with a continuous path from Cumberland to Woonsocket and 4.7 miles of slightly more fragmented bikeway from Pawtucket to Providence. This path sticks close to the Blackstone River, and there is beautiful scenery throughout this route.
5. Treat yourself
After all of that exercise, you should definitely take some time and treat yourself to a spa day. While this can often be a solo or couples activity, the Bodhi Spa in Newport offers the Water Journey, a series of pools, saunas, and steam rooms of varying temperatures meant to relax and detoxify. A $55 pass provides unlimited access for the day, and it’s the perfect place to relax with a group of friends, that special someone, or just on your own.
654 Thames Street, Newport, RI 02840
6. Swan Point Cemetery
This historic cemetery located on the East Side of Providence is beautifully kept, with winding roads shaded by tall trees (many of which are labeled for the would-be botanists out there!). Although a cemetery may not have been high on your list of places to walk or bike, it is the largest green space in Providence, and it provides a nice respite from daily life.
585 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906
7. Check for new restaurants
Quay recently opened in downtown Providence. While new restaurants are popping up all over the state, Providence is really booming. Artisan doughnut and bagel shops, beer gardens, Korean cuisine, gastropubs...If you haven’t checked out Yelp in a while for the new, hot restaurants, you’re missing out. Looking for some tried-and-true dining options? Here are the
most highly rated Rhode Island restaurants.
8. Local cook-off challenge
Even if you really have done everything there is to do in Rhode Island (we still doubt it), chances are the majority of the food on your table at dinner comes from all across the country, or even farther. Give yourself the local challenge: try to make a meal (or even a week of meals!), with only Rhode Island-grown/produced/raised ingredients. Head to your farmers market to stock up for the week, and get creative. You will come across some awesome products, meet some wonderful, hardworking vendors, eat fresh, seasonal food, and learn a little more about your state in the process.
9. Laugh it up
Rhode Island has a surprising and thriving comedy and improv scene. No matter where you live, you are never too far away from a great show that will have you in stitches. The Bit Players in Newport, Comedy Connection in East Providence, Providence Improv Guild...the list goes on.
10. Get collegiate
Rhode Island has about a dozen colleges and universities, and the events aren’t just for the students playing ultimate frisbee out on the quad. Check out the university websites for upcoming speakers and events. Many are open to the public, free, and interesting.
11. Be a tourist
Everyone loves to get away, and if your getaway is in Rhode Island, chances are it won’t take you long to get there! Pick a town that you haven’t spent muchst time in, and book an Airbnb or make other sleeping arrangements (you can stay in Tiverton’s historic schoolhouse, pictured above!). Choose a location that has features that appeal to you (close to the beach, great restaurants, vineyards, shopping, etc), and then go explore!
If getting away sounds like just the thing for you, check out these
Rhode Island rentals with a waterview!