The Ocean State is prime for exploring – especially by boat. With Newport as the hub of all things yachty, there is heritage and honor boating around Rhode Island, out to Block Island, and around Narragansett Bay to its pretty harbors. Rhode Island is home to lighthouses, islands, little rivers and harbors, and grander resort towns – all inviting and boater friendly.
Newport Rhode Islanders claim they are the yachting capital of the world. It’s a historic happening town with a waterfront harbor chock full of beautiful boats, and fun bars overlooking the floatilla. Newport is also famed for its magnificent mansions from the Gilded Age. Definitely visit Newport for a few days to discover all the gems -oyster bars, yachty shopping, clam joints, and definitely get out on the water – on a charter, or a scenic boat tour. The America’s Cup sailing experience is exciting, and pays tribute to the many years Newport was host to the America’s Cup Race. See our review of Newport – the best boaters town in New England.
Block Island is the coolest location in Rhode Island, 12 miles out to sea. Take a ferry, or your own boat out to this magical, fun casual, scenic spot. Block can be romantic, or a party time, a beach and bike vacay, an adventure, or all of the above. See our review of the best of Block Island.
Wickford Cove in Rhode Island is the smallest town in the smallest county in the smallest state. Just 20-minutes from Newport, across two bridges, on the western shores of Narragansett Bay, don’t bypass Wickford’s charming historic town. Its full of beautiful homes, gardens, an art museum, a grand estate and several Bed & Breakfasts in mansions near the harbor, plus fun dining and shops. Walk Wickford’s self-guided Marker Tour of the historic homes then visit Wickford Maritime Museum. Wickford on the Waterfront serves salty drinks, oysters or Stuffies – quahogs shells stuffed with local clams. Tate’s serve hearty Italian across the street.
Arriving by boat in Wickford, pick up a public mooring, reserve with Wickford yacht Club, or go to Safe Harbor Wickford for dock (reserve in advance for limited) space.
Bristol is another delightful old town in Rhode Island on the eastern shores of Narragansett Bay. The Harbor Master are inside a Castle – a prominent stone edifice – Herreshoff Marine Museum – on the waterfront by the Prudence Ferry Dock. Go inside this wonderful old fortress to learn more about Wickford. Stroll Bristol’s historic Hope Street along the waterfront, by the Linden Place Mansion, and the quaint shops, then have seafood along the water or a burger at Judge Roy Bean’s pub.
For a smallest state, Rhode Island is big on pretty waterfront villages along its 400 miles of coastline. You’ll encounter lots of maritime heritage, friendly Islanders, and a fun atmosphere on this 48 x 37 mile island state. See our reviews of Newport Rhode Island and Block Island Rhode Island.
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