10 Things to Do in Rhode Island This Spring
May 5, 2021
1. Picnic and Peruse the Grounds of the Newport Mansions
Last year, the legendary Newport Mansions unveiled a new opportunity to experience the grandeur of these luxe “summer cottages” in a whole new DIY way. The Stroll the Gardens and Grounds experience gives visitors the opportunity to picnic and explore the historic landscapes of The Breakers, Marble House and Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth. Spread out your favorite imported cheese and charcuterie just steps from Cliff Walk in view of the captivating Chinese Tea House at Marble House. Enjoy some mommy and me time at Green Animals. Explore the recently restored Serpentine Path at The Breakers – and capture some Instagram-worth shots along the way. The best part? The three properties can be visited on different days!
2. Asian Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo
Journey through a wonderland of more than 50 illuminated, larger-than-life lanterns at the world-class Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, home to more than 150 animals from around the world in natural settings. From dazzling and interactive displays to delicious Asian-inspired cuisine, this enchanting multicultural experience will dazzle all ages. This walk-through experience, happening Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 5:30pm until 10:00 pm, is here through July 4th..
3. Unplug in Tiverton
Rhode Island’s hidden gem, Tiverton, is a coastal community known for its hometown feel, captivating sunsets, historic village, and the epic fried clams that Evelyn’s Nanaquaket Drive In has been serving from its window since 1969. This waterfront clam shack is also one of few that offer authentic Rhode Island Clam Chowder, a broth-based delight quite distinctive from its creamier cousin. Travel down the winding, stone wall-lined Main Road to get to Tiverton Four Corners, a historic district that encompasses the main village center of town. Here you’ll find clusters of 18th century buildings, now home to shops, galleries, studios and charming spaces. Indulge your sweet tooth at Gray’s Ice Cream, where they’ve making homemade ice cream since 1923.
4. Walk Cliff Walk
A study conducted by Salve Regina University in Newport concluded that more than one million people traverse Cliff Walk each year, and that number sounds about right. Rhode Island’s most visited attraction, Cliff Walk is a 3.5-mile path tracing the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the manicured landscaped of Gilded Age mansions. Much of the patch is paved, but there are a few series of steps, plan accordingly. The more adventurous among us should seek out the southernmost end at Ledge Road, where you’ll find rocky terrain and a picturesque craggy coastline. Here, the sea extends as far as the eye can see. Camera required.
5. Brewery Hop
For the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island is huge on craft beer making. More than two dozen breweries call the Ocean State home, stretching from Westerly to Woonsocket. The Rhode Island Brewers Guild, the state’s official brewery association, created a digital “Rhode Island Brewery Passport,” which helps you navigate where you want your next porter, pilsner or pale ale. You can also ‘check in’ at local craft breweries and earn rewards. Gray Sail Brewing is a 30 barrel brew house and tasting room in Westerly, while at Proclamation Ale Co., you’ll discover a 2,000 square foot barrel-aging and wood cellar for sour and wild ales. Bottom’s up!
6. Fall in Love with Wickford
Norman Rockwell himself would fall for what many call Rhode Island’s most charming village. Wickford, part of North Kingston, is a cozy coastal enclave packed with shops and boutiques, antiques, galleries, studios and eateries. Scenic, historic and sensational, be sure to visit the tasting room and patio at Gooseneck Vineyards, where you can sample wines from around the world (you won’t find any vines here, just fab wines). Strolling along the tree-lined streets dotted with Colonial and Federal-period homes, poke around the docks, take a sunset paddle tour through Wickford Harbor and soak up those panoramic views.
7. Explore South County – By Air!
With the doors off and a headset on, take in the extraordinary Westerly coastline by helicopter! This 10-minute tour will take you to new heights as you go around scenic Watch Hill Point, trace the beautiful Westerly shoreline, glide past Misquamicut Beach, then over the luxurious Ocean House, and soar above Weekapaug. And of course, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Holiday House – best known as Taylor Swift’s estate.
8. Visit Block Island…Before Everybody Else Does
Spring is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to Block Island! Let’s face it: summer is spectacular at this enchanting island just about nine miles from the Rhode Island mainland, but it’s also crowded. This is the time of year to experience the Mohegan Bluffs Overlook and iconic stairs leading down to beach without a crowd, or wander the grounds (and take a selfie!) at both the Southeast Lighthouse and North Lighthouse. Rent a moped or a Jeep and let the winding roads take you to nowhere in particular. Rent a kayak and get a workout while paddling gently through the Great Salt Pond’s waterways. Or simply sip a cocktail in an Adirondack chair on the lawn of the Spring House. Now is the time!
9. Hello, Bristol!
Known as America’s Most Patriotic Town, Bristol is the embodiment of New England charm. Eighteenth century captain’s houses pepper the downtown district, where the typical double yellow line that runs in a street’s center is instead, red, white and blue. The town’s pride and joy, the Fourth of July Celebration, dates back to 1785 and the parade welcomes thousands each year, rain or shine. Mount Hope Farm, a 127-acre historic site, is home to walking trails, a country inn and year-round farmers market featuring the spoils from local farms and food producers as well as a rotating selection of artisan vendors. Coggeshall Farm recreates the daily experience of tenant farmers on a salt marsh farm in the late 18th century through live interpretation, programming, historic structures, heirloom plants and gardens, and heritage-breed animals, and Linden Place is a historic house museum built in 1810 and a captivating example of Federal period architecture.
10. Taste Your Way Through the Ocean State on Rhode Island Red Food Tours!
And of course, one of the best things to experience this spring is a Rhode Island Red Food Tour! Both our Downcity Providence Tour and our Newport Neighborhood Tour invites you to taste, bite and sip your way through little known historic neighborhoods at 5-6 restaurants on this fun and flavorful way to discover two amazing Rhode Island destinations. Have a small group, bachelorette/bachelor party or corporate group? We’re happy to arrange for a private tour. We look forward to hosting you!