Get ready to embark on an exhilarating adventure in Rhode Island! Despite its small size, this vibrant state is brimming with incredible opportunities to indulge in outdoor escapades, immerse yourself in captivating history, and savor the delectable local cuisine. Whether you're seeking a thrilling weekend getaway or planning an extended trip, Rhode Island's best small towns offer an enticing gateway to uncovering the hidden gems of this remarkable state. Prepare to be amazed as you dive into a world of new and intriguing experiences that will leave you wanting more.
Little Compton was founded by the Plymouth Colony, the first permanent European settlement in New England. A trip here lets you explore the waterfront, including the smaller beach of South Shore. Goosewing Beach is another option, with a bit more of a rocky landscape. Both options are perfect for watching the sunset. Also, consider surfing, attending one of the clambakes, and touring Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyards.
The coastal town of New Shoreham is an excellent option for anyone who loves a good view. Climbing up the Mohegan Bluffs is a nice workout that yields an impressive view of the waterfront, especially at the end of the day. Off in the distance is South East Lighthouse. Plan to do some hiking here—the town covers 7,000 acres of land. The most popular choices are Rodman's Hollow Trail and Clayhead Nature Trail, both of which present lots of opportunities to see wildlife. This town on Block Island is also home to dozens of freshwater ponds that are perfect for fishing.
Make it a point to have some family fun here by visiting Atlantic Beach Park. It's home to the Herschell-Spillman Carousel, which dates back to 1915. There's a full, classic arcade here, too. Visitors can borrow a lounge chair or take to one of the rocking chairs on the boardwalk to watch the waves come in. Take in some craft brews at Grey Sail Brewing while here, or enjoy a fine dining experience at Ella's Fine Food and Drink.
North Kingstown has plenty to explore, including the Wickford Village, a tiny, historic hamlet tucked into the heart of the city. Here, you'll find an annual arts festival during the summer months and numerous small jewelry, housewares, and artisan shops. You can also explore the art galleries and check out the antique shops. Check out Serendipity for the perfect gift to take home or Binnsy Boutique for a new look.
The beaches in Narragansett are a good starting point for a relaxing vacation, but there's much more to do than catching some rays. Go surfing or swimming at Roger Wheeler State Beach, or take a boat ride out into the water to fish. After a bit of fun, enjoy a meal at Matunuck Oyster Bar, one of the most well-recognized seafood destinations in the city. You can also grab some ice cream at Nana's Ice Cream, right off the boardwalk.
The town of Burrillville may be best known for Harrisville Village, a quaint area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community also offers some exceptional lakes and walking trails. Freedom Park is an excellent choice if you want to do some fishing. The Black Hut Management Area Trailhead is also right off Spring Lake Road. It provides a long hiking opportunity into densely wooded areas.
Tiverton is a small community right on the waterfront. It's home to Fogland Beach, a noted black stone beach that creates an excellent area for swimming, finding seashells, and kayaking along the shoreline. Many love this area because the hiking and walking trails along the water take you into a wooded area and nature preserve. The view of the Sakonnet River is extraordinary on a clear day.
Hopkinton, which was incorporated in 1757, is an excellent small town if you want to camp, go backpacking, or spend some time biking. There are five trails for biking here, including some designated for mountain biking. Grills Sanctuary and Kenyon Crossroads are two fantastic options to get started with though you can link to the numerous parks nearby to expand your trip.
In Jamestown, you'll find Beavertail State Park, which is home to a lighthouse of the same name. A visit here is sure to provide some dramatic views of the waves crashing into the rock seawalls. While here, enjoy some fantastic brews at The General's Crossing Brewhouse or enjoy the oysters and other fresh fish options at 1 Ferry Wharf.
Foster is quite a small town, but it's known as the home of Nickle Creek Vineyard, a seasonal, family-owned, and operated destination. Set up some time for a wine tasting or walk the grounds to take in the beautiful vineyards up close. You can start your day with a meal at Shady Acres Diner, which serves up classic and affordable fare.
It may be quite the rural experience, but Chepachet is an excellent choice for those who enjoy antiquing and sampling food as it was made decades ago. Town Trader is the center-of-the-city antique shop noted for its toys and handcrafted furnishings. Old Stone Mill Antiques and Treasures is an excellent choice for vintage goodies. You may also want to check out the local honey from Lightning Ridge Farm while here.
Blackstone Valley, partially located in Lincoln, has long been an important location in the region. It was the location of the first cotton-spinning factory, called Slater Mill, which you can check out today. You'll also find the Captain Wilbur Kelly Museum of Transportation in Blackstone River State Park — this one has free admission! The park offers more than 627 acres of recreation area for fishing, ice skating, boating, and hiking. You can go horseback riding here, too.
The Frosty Drew Observatory and Science Center is one of the best reasons to visit Charlestown. It's open throughout the year and offers a range of shows at its Sky Theatre. A number of hands-on exhibits are available, too. You can also spend some time at East Beach while in this community, which is a calm area that's good for swimming.
Richmond is a quaint community noted for its more remote areas. For those who love to golf, the Meadow Brook Golf Course is a good option. Often referred to as a hidden gem, the course has subtle slopes and beautiful, contoured greens. The longest hole is a Par 5 that plays at 600 yards. There's also the country club to enjoy while here.
When the weather is warm in Exeter, you can spend some time at one of the area parks or even enjoy a beer at Tilted Barn Brewery — there's always fun to be had here! On a warmer weekend, make it a point to fish at Beach Pond, too. Exeter is home to the Yawgoo Valley Ski Area and Water Park, a ski resort with a wide range of hills, including a few for beginners.