Rhode Island is filled with history and offers many historic walks and self-guided walking tours. Check out a few of the best in Rhode Island and learn something about the history of our great state, and get some exercise too.
Four self-guided tours of the pier include the historic center, the whimsical towers and spectacular seawall, the cottage area of Earlscourt, and the sprawling Ocean Road historic district.
Packed with historic gems and stunning views, walk one or all four of these worthwhile areas.
This is a must-see scenic walkway that hugs the edge of Newport’s shoreline. It snakes behind the backyards of the Newport Mansions, but it’s worthwhile in its own right.
The trail is open year-round, but rugged in some spots. Nonetheless, you’re rewarded with some of the best views in the area and it’s free to explore.
Newport’s Mansions offer eleven properties and enough history to satisfy the most historically hungry. With more than 250 years of stunning architecture, gardens, and interior design, it won’t disappoint.
Since you have so much to choose from, definitely plan your walking tours. The Preservation Society of Newport County offers self-guided tours for The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff as well as the garden and the Green Animals Topiary Garden.
If you prefer a guide, visit Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House or Kingscote or enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour at The Elms.
The Pawtucket Foundation and Pawtucket Preservation Society developed this walking tour. It includes more than 40 historic structures, monuments, parks, and bridges. You’ll also enjoy spectacular views of the Blackstone River and Pawtucket Falls. You’ll need to call to make arrangements.
Providence offers three self-guided historic walking tours of the downtown, east, and west side areas. Each has an interactive map, highlights notable architecture, and describes the history of the city.
The downtown area is the geographical, political, economic and cultural core of Providence. It sits on three rivers and offers a great walkable riverfront and the spectacular Waterfire, May through September. It is home to some of the city’s most beautiful buildings and countless shops and restaurants.
This area features the expansive Roger Williams Park, Providence State House, and countless schools, libraries, historic houses, and commercial centers. It is the cultural hub of Providence and definitely worth a stroll.
The West Side was originally home to many immigrants working in area mills which created a very culturally diverse community. Consequently, you’ll find grand industrialist homes, many churches from various denominations, a mill, and even a castle in the area.
The City of Warwick traces its origins back to 1642 and sports many significant historic sites including the two villages of Apponaug and Pawtuxet, each with its own walking tour.
Apponaug is a mill village with a historic downtown and stately city hall. Walking through the streets feels like you’ve turned back the clocks to another century when things were simple and straightforward.
This is the oldest village in New England, so it’s certainly worth exploring. Industrialists chose the area, because it had ample water to drive their textile mills. The village is well-preserved and features many historic houses, Pawtuxet Bridge and Park, and a boathouse.
During the mid-18th to the mid-19th century, Wickford village was the second largest maritime community on Narragansett Bay. Home to about 25 ships’ captains and their families plus all the associated businesses, it’s packed with maritime heritage and many historic houses.
If you’re planning on driving to any of these sites ensure you have proper auto insurance coverage. Knowing you’re well-protected gives you the peace of mind you need to truly enjoy your walk.