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Top 30 Attractions in Rhode Island

  • 7 /10
    One of the greatest fortifications situated on a coast is Fort Adams, Rhode Island, just across the harbor from Newport. This is a tremendous historical treasure in United States History that housed soldiers between the years of 1824 and 1950, and today it's an excellent place to stop, explore, and learn about the history of this magnificent architectural master work. Situated on Narragansett Bay, this was a natural location for an innate harbor and a perfect location for Rhode Island's citizens to thwart an enemy attack ...

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  • Tennis lovers will be delighted when they arrive in Newport, Rhode Island, because it's the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Its primary purpose is to pay tribute to the greatest players of this excellent sport, and, a historical note, the complex was actually built in 1880 by James Bennett and the Hall of Fame was founded in 1954. The complex is known as the Newport Casino. The first championship game was actually held in this facility in 1881, and many tournaments have been played on these beautiful grounds ...

    Read more about the International Tennis Hall of Fame

  • When traveling to Rhode Island, one of the most enjoyable places to spend the day is the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence. This is one of the oldest zoos in America because it opened in 1872 and has been home to an assorted array of animals through the years. It is home to over 160 various species of animals, and is housed in over 40 acres.

    There are a variety of excellent exhibit in the Roger Williams Park Zoo, including:

    - An excellent African exhibit to find some of the most exotic species including elephants, giraffe, zebra, aoudads, and many more on this spectacular safari adventure

    - A Tropical rainforest display that has monkeys scampering through the canopy, along with flamingoes, a giant anteater porcupines, an anaconda and much more in this lush environment ...

    Read more about the Roger Williams Park Zoo

  • For those who are fascinated with Italian, French, Gothic, English, or German architecture, the Belcourt Castle is fascinating because it incorporates all three designs. This "summer cottage" was built in 1894 by Oliver Belmont in Newport, Rhode Island, and its 50,000 square feet in size. Building this castle cost $3.2 million, and more than 30 servants were employed during this time.

    Going on a tour through this magnificent structure is quite fascinating and gives the visitor the opportunity to enjoy this amazing structure. It has patterned after Louis XIII's Versailles hunting cabin ...

    Read more about the Belcourt Castle

  • 7 /10
    In the late 1800s and around the turn of the century numerous summer "cottages" were built along Bellevue Avenue, and The Elms is one such "cottage" in Newport, Rhode Island. It was the home of Edward Berwind who made his fortune in coal, and it was completed in 1901. The design is similar to a château in France at Asnières-sur-Seine called d'Asnières and the gardens are truly magnificent because the landscapers worked closely with the architect to ensure the continuity of design. In 1901, this home cost $1.5 million and was part of what was called the "Gilded Age" ...

    Read more about the The Elms

  • For travelers heading to New England, make sure to stop at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence. The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the most distinguished design schools in the area, and is associated with the museum. This incredible museum was actually established in 1877 and it contains a number of permanent collections in addition to the traveling collections that are touring.

    When visiting the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, be sure to visit the following collections:

    - One collection, called the Painting and Sculptures Gallery, and it is home to over 2500 pieces of art from America and Europe ranging from the medieval time through the 1960s ...

    Read more about the Rhode Island School of Design Museum

  • Besides all the mansions on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island, is the Newport Art Museum that was founded almost 100 years ago, and it's listed as the premier American Stick Style building as a Historic landmark. The Griswold House is also a part of this museum and is currently operating as the gallery, and it's run by the Newport art Association, which is the oldest ongoing association of art in America.

    Currently, guests can enjoy a variety of artwork in this Newport Art Museum, such as the following:

    - Many of the exhibits are centered on the art of New England and particularly Newport with featured works by George Inness, William Richards, John La Farge, Howard Cushing, Helena Sturtevant and many more ...

    Read more about the Newport Art Museum

  • When traveling in New England, one of the villages in Rhode Island, called North Kingstown, is home to Smith's Castle, which has also been designated as an Historic landmark. This castle was built in 1678 and in 1993 was also designated as the Cocumscussoc Archeological Site because of numerous relics and objet d'arts found in the area. This building is actually a replacement from the original 1637 building that was demolished during the King Phillip's War by the Narragansett Indians, and was the initial trading post ran by Roger Williams.

    Smith's Castle was later sold to Richard Smith, along with the land around it, and this is when the house was named and enlarged and designated as a castle ...

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  • When a group of Sephardic Jews from Portugal settled in Rhode Island in 1763, the Touro Synagogue became the oldest Synagogue in America, and known as the representation of religious freedom for Americans. The significance of this Synagogue spans from the late 1400's because Jews in Spain during that time were forced accept Catholicism and they fled to various areas in the America's for religious freedom. In 1658 fifteen Jewish families fled to the New World to join Roger Williams' settlement in Rhode Island seeking this religious freedom and Jeshuat Israel Congregation was founded ...

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  • One of the numerous historic sites in Rhode Island is the Slater Mill Museum located in Pawtucket. This is part of the Slater Mill that was the first cotton spinning mill in America that was powered by water and used the Arkwright method to spin the cotton. The mills founder was Samuel Slater who produced a variety of machines that were used to spin cotton in the 1790s. This included the machines that would card, draw, and spin the cotton yarn, and numerous families and children worked in this mill for many years ...

    Read more about the Slater Mill Museum

  • Of all the lighthouses in Rhode Island, the Beavertail Lighthouse is considered the foremost lighthouse in the state. It was built in 1749 and sits at the Narragansett Bay entrance in Jamestown's Beavertail State Park. There have been many restorations of this magnificent lighthouse due to hurricanes, and other normal wear and tear of aging, but it still provide that critical light to help the boats navigate around the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. It takes the light about seven seconds to make a full rotation and it continues 24 hours every day, and it's equipped with a foghorn that sounds during foggy days and nights ...

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  • Samuel Colt bought a farm and a church near Bristol, Rhode Island, and this 454 acres eventually became the Colt State Park. Shortly after purchasing this spectacular land, he had a summer house constructed that he called "The Casino" and he added a large barn to house his award-winning Jersey cows and bulls. The entrance was designed after Versailles' Petit Trianon and had a pair of full sized bull statues to welcome guests and guard the entrance. This beautiful estate was converted to a park in 1968 when the state purchased the property ...

    Read more about the Colt State Park

  • During the incredible Gilded Age of the late 19th century, numerous mansions were constructed on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island and the Beechwood Mansion is one of the most beautiful of these so-called "summer cottages". This particular estate was originally built by Daniel Parrish in 1851, but later on it was purchased by two brothers, George and John Astor, who manufactured flutes and started the legendary Standardbred horses.

    The Beechwood Mansion has some incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Newport cliffs. This beautiful mansion offer tours by the Beechwood Theatre Company who play the roles of the family and servants of the Astors ...

    Read more about the Beechwood Mansion

  • For travelers touring around Providence, Rhode Island, the Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum is an excellent place to spend some time and enjoy the day. This house was originally built in 1865 by Governor Lippitt, and several generations actually continued to live in this house until the late 1970s and serve the community. In addition, this structure was designated as an Historic landmark in 1976. The house was donated to the Preserve Rhode Island society and became a museum in the 1980s.

    When visiting the Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum, be sure to see the following areas:

    - One of the unique treasures in this museum is the spectacular space of the Grand Hall, which has some of the best craftsmanship and attention to detail of any building in this period ...

    Read more about the Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum

  • Calling all children whose parents are dragging them to New England! The Providence Children's Museum is a really fun place to go while in Rhode Island. Learning about the history of the American Revolution, and visiting various mansions and museums is very interesting, but sometime there needs to be a break for some fun, and this is the place to see some great exhibits and participate in some exciting activities.

    Since there are various events and activities throughout the year at this Providence Children's Museum, be sure to check the calendar for what's happening, such as:

    - One of the most popular storytellers and singer of children's songs is Keith Munslow, who will provide an exciting performance with some great music ...

    Read more about the Providence Children's Museum

  • 7 /10
    One of the most unique places to see in Providence, Rhode Island, is the Avon Cinema, which is an Art Deco Theater and one of the oldest and grandest in America. Originally, this site was the Toy Theater in 1915, but it was closed and used as a parking lot for a number of years. Later it re-opened in 1938 and it continued to delight audiences with an array of films from all over the world. During World War II, the owners decided that on American films would be shown at this film; afterwards it became an art house that primarily showed European films primarily from Italy, England, and France, along with a variety of American movies ...

    Read more about the Avon Cinema

  • 7 /10
    Put the walking shoes on, and enjoy one of the most spectacular walkways, the Cliff Walk, in Newport, Rhode Island. This three and a half mile walk along the shore and cliffs is spectacular and is identified as a National Recreational Trail. This trail starts at Bailey's Beach and continues past Bellevue Avenue all the way down to First Beach.

    For visitors to the Newport area, take a journey along the Cliff Walk to see some of these magnificent sites:

    - Hikers and strollers can get a great view of some of the most famous "summer cottages" such as the Astor's Beechwood, the Belcourt Castle, the Marble House and many more along the shores ...

    Read more about the Cliff Walk

  • * Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

    You can also rate and vote for your favorite Rhode Island sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Rhode Island by visiting the individual Rhode Island attraction pages.