Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the union, but it has an extensive shoreline of beaches and rock cliffs, dotted with moneyed towns where mansions and historic districts await. There are parks and gardens to explore as well as opportunities for hiking, boating, fishing, and more. Rhode Island has a lot of history and beautiful scenery that make it an essential stop for anyone traveling to New England.

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01Newport

Newport, Rhode Island, is a famous seaside resort town with a rich sailing history. It was founded way back in 1639 and, today, many of the historic mansions are open to the public. These tours are always interesting, but visit during the holiday season for something extra special. There are plenty of outdoor activities in Newport, too, including sailing, sandy beaches, and the three-mile Cliff Walk where you can take in gorgeous views of the ocean and rocky beaches.

Coastal Home in Newport, Rhode Island DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images