A Rhode Island staycation is a great way to get away without actually leaving the state. You’ll have more fun, stress less, and keep more money in your pocket, too. Here are 5 adventures that are just a hop, skip and a jump away.
From spring until late fall, you can walk the halls and grounds of grand homes and experience what it was like to live in the opulence of the 18th and 19th century. The architecture, furnishings and art mimic the grand palaces of Europe, but the owners were America’s most affluent.
Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Rosecliff and the Green Animals Topiary Garden offer a glimpse into the history of our country and those living on Rhode Island at the time.
See Rothchild’s “cottage”, a 70 room Italian Renaissance- style palazzo or Vanderbilt’s cottage built with 500,000 cubic feet of marble. Wander through the whimsical topiary garden with 80 animals, birds, and carefully sculpted elaborate designs. You could easily spend a week exploring these historic grounds, so bring your walking shoes.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, visit Block Island. With miles of beautiful beaches and spectacular views, you can’t do better than this.
The island is only seven miles long by three miles wide so you can rent a bike and tour the entire island. Well-marked trails exist with QR codes on markers along the way. Just use your phone’s camera to access more information.
You can choose from two tours. One tours the south and the other tours the north and includes some of the island’s most spectacular scenery.
Block Island is an excellent choice for a romantic getaway, a day or two at the beach with the kids, or just for a change of scenery.
Newport’s Cliff Walk runs 3 1/2 miles along the rocky shoreline with some challenging areas along the trail. You’ll need to use caution and good shoes are a must, but it’s well-worth the effort it takes to traverse this scenic trail.
The trail winds along the shore behind the spectacular Newport Mansions. You can imagine the lives of the rich and famous as they enjoyed garden parties facing the sea.
Each segment of the cliff walk offers a glimpse into how our earth formed, too. You’ll see black shale, sandstone, and slate. Dots of oxide give Ochre Point its name and you’ll also see beds of Newport granite.
Grab the kids, put on your walking shoes, and enjoy this free walk in the sun along the scenic Newport shoreline.
Who doesn’t love a visit to the zoo? The Roger Williams Park Zoo offers African animals, a petting zoo, wetland trails, and a nature play and exploration area for children and their families.
This zoo has more than 100 species of rare animals from around the world, including many endangered species. You’ll learn about tropical and regional animals, conservation efforts, and see animals up close to truly appreciate their magnificence.
From giraffes to camels, moon bears, snow leopards, red crowned cranes, and red pandas, this zoo has it all.
The lighthouse is free to explore and offers panoramic views of Narragansett Bay. It’s the third-oldest lighthouse in North America and it’s surrounded by a state park. You can visit the tide pools and see starfish and crabs. There’s also abandoned World War II bunkers in the grassy field to the north of the lighthouse.
A 1938 hurricane revealed the remains of the stone foundation of the first light tower from 1749. The on-site museum, built in 1898, was the residence of the assistant keeper, who maintained the beacon and foghorn systems.
Rhode Island offers many things to do and see so why not plan a staycation and relax in your own backyard? These are only a few of the many interesting and affordable things to do this summer. Do you have a favorite local destination? Let us know by leaving a comment here or on Facebook!