The Top 7 Reasons Rhode Island Has the Absolute Best Summers in the U.S.

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Tucked into the northeast corner of the U.S. lies a petite paradise overflowing with coastal allure. Rhode Island has scenic shores, culinary delights, and small-town charm. Though it may be the smallest state, it packs an outsized punch for summer fun. This little charm may just end up being one of your go-to destination spots. Let’s dive into the top 7 reasons Rhode Island has the best summers.

Providence, Rhode Island
With Rhode Island’s diverse landscapes, there is something for everyone to check out.©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Natural Wonders Beckon


Rhode Island has diverse landscapes – from salt marshes to forested hills to breathtaking ocean vistas. The famed Cliff Walk thrills with dramatic views of crashing waves and Gilded Age opulence. This 3.5-mile public walking trail along the coastline offers Instagram-worthy panoramas around every bend. You can also walk along and glimpse the sprawling backyards of Newport’s grand mansions. Feel the sea spray on your face as waves crash into the rocky cliffs below.

For outdoor adventure, Arcadia Management Area’s 14,000 acres entice hikersanglers, and nature lovers. Spot rare birds in the grassy fields, venture out on miles of wooded trails, and cast your line for a fresh catch on the Wood River. Quiet paddles along this pristine waterway allow you to bask in the natural tranquility. Also, keep an eye out for beavers going about their business of building intricate dams and lodges.

Manhattan clam chowder
Clam chowder is one of the delicious items on the food menus across Rhode Island.©iStock.com/bhofack2

Culinary Treasures Abound


Summertime makes the most of Rhode Island’s fresh seafood and produce bounty. Savor just-caught local lobster transformed into mouthwatering dishes by talented chefs. Crispy fried calamari, grilled fish tacos, and clam chowder are just a small sample of ocean-to-table options. Experience farm-to-table cuisine at restaurants and food festivals showcasing the best of each season.

Also, most people don’t want to leave Rhode Island without treating themselves to Del’s frozen lemonade, the ultimate thirst quencher on a steamy afternoon. This tart, old-fashioned slushy treat is a Rhode Island tradition. Pull up to a Del’s stand along the shoreline for the perfect sweet and sour refreshment. Your taste buds will thank you.

Narragansett Beach, Rhode Island. Tower landmark building in distance.
Narragansett Beach is a beautiful scenic place to drive by or relax near.©Laura Stone/Shutterstock.com

Scenic Drives and Road Trips


Cruise along winding coastal routes like Ocean Drive for nonstop Atlantic views. Watch the waves crash and sailboats bob as you take 180 degrees of the ocean as far as the eye can see. Feel the sea breeze rustle through your hair as you wander from Narragansett to Newport.

Journey to Watch Hill for quintessential New England seaside charm. Victorian-era cottages and a historic lighthouse create picture-postcard scenes. Stroll the boardwalk and peek into boutiques before relaxing on the beach. Take it easy pedaling along the East Bay Bike Path with spectacular river panoramas as you ride from India Point Park to Bristol Harbor. Additionally, Rhode Island’s scenic roads and trails invite discovery around every bend.

The modern carousel at the Roger Williams park in Providence, Rhode Island. The enclosed joy ride has a blue dragon that's front and center. He's surrounded by gorgeous, trotting, carved horses.
Rhode Island has vintage merry-go-rounds that are perfect for a family fun day.©Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock.com

Family Fun for All Ages


Rhode Island delights kids of all ages, from world-class art exhibits to vintage merry-go-rounds. At the RISD Museum, creative hands-on activities bring out the inner artist. Gaze at over 86,000 works celebrating art and design through the ages. For outdoor family fun, climb aboard a swan boat and pedal through the tranquil ponds of Roger Williams Park.

Spend a day exploring Roger Williams Park Zoo, home to over 100 animal species. Hand-feed colorful lorikeets in the Australian exhibit. Say hello to adorable elephants. You can also see the wild cats prowling and apes swinging overhead in naturalistic habitats.

At night, witness an artistic spectacle at WaterFire Providence’s flaming bonfires floating magically along downtown rivers. Gaze into the flickering flames accompanied by live folk music and dance performances. Not to mention, the scent of wood smoke, the firelights’ glow, and the city’s sounds create an unforgettable multi-sensory experience. Adventure awaits at every turn.

Ancient castle with towers and architecture details. Gilded age of american history. French Renaissance chateau.
Mansions of the Gilded Age are a must-see in Rhode Island.©Milovzorova Elena/Shutterstock.com

Cultural Riches Run Deep


Mansions of the Gilded Age transport you back in time in Newport. Marvel at the opulence of The Breakers’ 70 rooms decorated with rare marble, alabaster, and gilded trimmings. Get a glimpse into upper-class lifestyle as you stroll through the sprawling rooms and manicured lawns. Nearby in Providence, take a food tour of Federal Hill to taste Italian heritage and come alive in the cuisine and culture.

Events like the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals celebrate this creative state’s vibrant arts and culture all summer. Sway along to talented musicians’ sets against the stylish backdrop of Newport’s yacht-filled harbor. Additionally, Rhode Island reveals its storied past and diverse traditions, from Native American rituals to European art forms. History comes to life through immersive experiences.

Ocean rolling in to Narragansett Town Beach at sunset.
Narragansett Beach has 19 acres of acreage and breathtaking sunrises. ©Erin E Dunn/Shutterstock.com

Classic Coastal Charm

Lively seaside escapes line Rhode Island’s spectacular shoreline. Unwind on tranquil Charlestown Breachway where calm waves meet white sandy beaches. At Narragansett Beach, join the bustling crowds and ride the thrilling swells. As the sun sinks into the sea, stay for alfresco seafood feasts, glowing beach bonfires perfect for s’mores, and peaceful waterfront strolls. Also, enjoy breathtaking sunrises that paint the sky in pinks and oranges. With endless options for an aquatic adventure, Rhode Island’s coast envelopes you in classic seaside charm.

Animals in Rhode Island
Seals are a common sight in Rhode Isand. ©iStock.com/AndreAnita

Wildlife to See During the Summer in Rhode Island

In addition to its wealth of scenic landscapes, Rhode Island’s natural habitats are home to an array of wildlife waiting to be discovered. Summertime offers prime opportunities for animal encounters. Spot ospreys and herons fishing along the coast, then venture inland to forests and fields where deerfoxes, and coyotes dwell.

Source: AZ Animals