Best Time to Visit Rhode Island + Things to Do By Season (2024)

Rhode Island may be the smallest U.S. state, but it packs a lot into its land area. Here you will find a host of scenic, coastal landscapes; historic landmarks; and cultural attractions. 

I’ve visited Rhode Island during all four seasons and can say the state has plenty to offer at any time of year, whether you’re looking for a day at the beach, a food tour, a seal-watching cruise, or a long hike in nature.

But when is the best time to visit Rhode Island?

In this post, I break down the best things to do during each season to help you decide when to visit this stunning New England state.

These are my top Rhode Island recommendations at a glance:

🌸 Spring (March, April, May)

Mid-range: Hotel Viking, Newport
Luxury: Ocean House, Watch Hill

🌼 Enjoy Daffodil Days in Newport or Bristol
🌳 Admire the flowering trees and historic sites of downtown Newport
🌊 Hike Newport’s Cliff Walk
🚢 Take the ferry from Point Judith to Block Island

When is the Best Time to Visit Rhode Island?

The best time to visit Rhode Island is in the spring or fall. This is when you have the benefit of pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

  • Rhode Island gets very crowded in the summer when everyone flocks to the beaches and other attractions.
  • With Rhode Island’s location on the coast, winters can get very windy and cold, and lots of places shut down this time of year.

Temperatures in the spring and fall are generally not too hot or cold, especially in late spring (May and June) and early fall (September and October). 

Personally, I have a preference for Rhode Island in the spring, with the flowering trees and fresh blooms everywhere, but fall can be equally beautiful, especially when the colorful foliage is at its peak. 

That being said, I have experienced Rhode Island during all seasons, and there are perks to going at any time of the year. In this post, I outline all the best things to do in Rhode Island during each season — keep reading for more details!

The best parts of each season in Rhode Island

  • Spring (March, April, and May): Explore Rhode Island when the flowers begin to bloom and temperatures become milder while beating the summer crowds.
  • Summer (June, July, and August): The perfect time to experience Rhode Island’s beaches and other coastal activities.
  • Fall (September, October, and November): See Rhode Island’s colorful fall foliage and enjoy fewer crowds than in the summer.
  • Winter (December, January, and February): Stay in a cozy hideaway and participate in holiday celebrations.
Best time to visit Rhode Island: Spring in Newport

When is the Worst Time to Visit Rhode Island?

If you don’t enjoy the cold, the worst time to visit Rhode Island is in the winter months of December, January, and February. 

Since Rhode Island is on the coast, it can get very snowy and windy during this time of year. Many people love the holiday festivities and cozy atmosphere of winter, but it’s not for everyone.

Conversely, Rhode Island is a prime summer destination (June, July, and August) because of its excellent beaches and historic coastal towns. However, this is also when the state gets the most crowded and you are likely to run into more traffic and longer lines everywhere. 

If spending time on the beach isn’t on your list of priorities, you may opt to visit Rhode Island in the fall or spring instead when temperatures are pleasant and fewer people are around.

Why Should You Visit Rhode Island?

You should visit Rhode Island because:

  • It’s beautiful! Rhode Island has it all: Sweeping ocean views, seaside cliffs, pristine beaches, lush forests, and historic towns.
  • It’s a seafood lover’s paradise: Clam chowder, stuffies, lobster, and more.
  • There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy: Hiking, boating, fruit-picking, lighthouse hopping, birdwatching, concerts, and art installations.
  • There are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy: Historic mansion tours, concerts, museums, and sports games.
  • You can say you visited the smallest U.S. state! Rhode Island is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long. For comparison, you could fit 222 Rhode Islands inside of Texas.

Best Things to Do in Rhode Island in Spring (March, April, and May)

Let me preface these lists by saying that many of the activities I mention for each season could be enjoyable during other parts of the year, too. Once you know when you want to visit Rhode Island, you may want to pull items listed under each season.

Here are activities that would be optimal for spring:

Enjoy daffodil days

There’s nothing quite like seeing thousands of bright yellow daffodil blossoms after a long winter. You can spot these flowers all over Rhode Island, but there are a couple of places that take daffodil displays to the next level.

The town of Bristol hosts Daffodil Days at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in April. This 33-acre seaside estate plants more than 50,000 daffodils. While there, stop for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon pastry at the Beehive Cafe.

Newport also has its own Daffodil Days, where they celebrate the arrival of more than one million daffodils throughout the city, including storefronts. Castle Hill Inn has a particularly magnificent display of more than 40,000 daffodils at their property by the sea.

Take a scenic bike ride

There are more than 60 miles of off-road cycling trails in Rhode Island, with bike paths ranging from hilly and rigorous to flat and scenic. No matter what type of ride you’re interested in, there are plenty of options to choose from.

A few of the best bike paths in Rhode Island include Blackstone River Bikeway, East Bay Bike Path, Ten Mile River Greenway, and South County Bike Path.

Best time to visit Rhode Island: Daffodil season in April

See the flowers and animals on Block Island

Block Island gets the most visitors in the summer, but if you go in the spring, you’ll be rewarded with daffodils and many other gorgeous blooms throughout the island. 

One of the best places to go on Block Island this time of year is 1661 Farm & Gardens, where you can see a variety of animals you wouldn’t expect in New England, including camels, llamas, fainting goats, black swans, lemurs, and red kangaroos.

Block Island is also a birdwatching paradise, as one of the most important migratory bird habitats on the East Coast, so bring your binoculars along and keep your eyes open for feathered friends.

Go horseback riding

Spring is the perfect time for a leisurely horseback ride in the countryside. There are several places where you can go on a riding tour in Rhode Island, including:

  • C and L Stables near Goddard Memorial Park in Warwick

    Note: Consider capping off your tour with doughboys or clam cakes and chowder from Iggy’s Dougboy and Chowder House.
  • Rustic Rides Farm for a scenic tour of Block Island
  • Liberty Farm in Burrillville for carriage rides (a great date idea!)

Enjoy a river cruise

Tour the waterways of Rhode Island’s capital city with Providence River Boat Company. 

These 50-minute narrated tours explore the Providence River, Riverwalk, Waterplace Park, and the Providence Harbor, while highlighting historical, nautical, and architectural points of interest.

🚢 Book your river cruise here!

Have a picnic in the woods

Enjoy a peaceful spring picnic at Lincoln Woods State Park, Rhode Island’s first state park.

This scenic park spans more than 600 acres, including a freshwater lake, dense forests, and rugged granite outcroppings. There are 92 single picnic sites and four covered shelters in the park.

After your picnic, enjoy hiking the various trails, swimming, fishing, and boating.

Rocky coastline of Rhode Island

Explore hiking trails

Spring is a great time of year for hiking in Rhode Island, when the weather starts to warm up but isn’t hot like summer.

Beavertail State Park and Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown offer scenic walking trails with amazing views.

Block Island is filled with awesome trails, including Rodman’s Hollow, a peaceful hike through a glacial outwash basin with opportunities for birdwatching. The North Light and Sachem Pond trail takes you to North Light, where you can explore the bluffs and admire the ocean views.

Plan rainy-day activities

April showers bring May flowers, right? Since you may run into rain during a Rhode Island spring, consider a number of fun indoor activities to help pass the time.

Check out the Ryan Amusements arcade in Newport featuring more than 50 games.

Kids and adults ages eight and up can create their own blown glass masterpiece at Gather Glass Blowing Studio in Providence.

In South County, visit The Fantastic Umbrella Factory, a 19th-century farmyard with several eclectic shops, including the Small Axe Productions gift shop, the Rustic Gardens plant shop, and a general store with funky trinkets.

While in South County, stop by Charlestown Rathskeller for a bite to eat. The restaurant is a former speakeasy that’s been around since 1933 and is said to be one of the most memorable dining locations in southern New England.

Rhode Island in the summer

Best Things to Do in Rhode Island in Summer (June, July, and August)

If you’re considering a trip to Rhode Island during the summer months, here are some of the best things to do:

Taste fresh seafood

Rhode Island is known for several seafood dishes that are especially appealing in the summer:

  • Rhode Island-style calamari: Squid is sourced from Rhode Island’s surrounding waters, and the rings and tentacles are crispy-battered and tossed with garlic, butter, and pickled cherry peppers. This dish was declared Rhode Island’s official appetizer in 2014. 

    Recommended places to try: Hemenway’s in Providence, George’s of Galilee in Narragansett, or Twin Oaks in Cranston
  • Clam cakes: These local favorites are crispy on the outside and filled with quahogs, Rhode Island’s signature shellfish (also known as hard clams) on the inside. They are traditionally served with another Rhode Island staple, clam chowder, for dunking.

    Recommended places to try: Monahan’s Clam Shack in Narragansett, Blount Clam Shack in Warren, or Dune Brothers Seafood in Providence
  • Stuffies: This is the Rhode Island way of saying “stuffed quahogs.” The quahogs are baked and served on the half shell and are typically made with a mixture of celery, onions, clams, bacon, breadcrumbs, chopped clams, clam juice, and seasonings. 

    Recommended places to try: Anthony’s Seafood in Middletown, Amaral’s Fish and Chips in Warren, or Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House in Warwick
Del's lemonade in Rhode Island

Try Rhode Island’s refreshing, signature drinks

Alongside the delicious seafood, you’ll also want to sample some of Rhode Island’s best summer drinks:

  • Del’s Lemonade: This iconic drink was founded in Cranston, Rhode Island, and has been around since 1948. The lemonade is still served in a distinctive, wax-coated paper cup — a timeless summer treat to enjoy.
  • Coffee milk: Rhode Island’s signature drink is made by mixing coffee syrup with milk. Coffee milk is such a part of Rhode Island’s culture that it even became the official state drink in 1993.
  • Coffee cabinet: If you add coffee ice cream to coffee milk, you’ll get a “coffee cabinet,” another favorite item to indulge in during a Rhode Island summer.

Experience the oldest Fourth of July celebration

If you’re feeling patriotic, consider a visit to Bristol, Rhode Island for the Fourth of July holiday. The town is home to the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the U.S., which goes all the way back to 1785. 

Bristol’s celebration officially starts on June 14 (Flag Day) and finishes with the 2.5-mile Military, Civic, and Firemen’s Parade on July 4. 

There are numerous events scheduled between those dates as well, including a concert series at Independence Park, a fireworks show over Bristol Harbor, a Firemen’s Field Day, and a Fourth of July Ball.

Rhode Island beach

Hit the beach

Rhode Island doesn’t have the nickname “Ocean State” for nothing. With the state being mostly surrounded by water, there are plenty of phenomenal beaches where you can spend a warm summer day.

  • Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly: This beach on Rhode Island’s southwestern shoreline is known for its wide expanse of soft sand.
  • Napatree Point Beach, Westerly: For a more remote, quiet experience, visit this beach that stretches along a narrow peninsula and is a favorite place for birdwatchers.
  • Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett: This is a favorite place for beachgoers, with its easy walking distance to the shops and restaurants of Narragansett.
  • Easton’s Beach, Newport: This beach is a great choice if you’re visiting Newport and want a break from sightseeing to relax on the sand.
  • East Beach, Watch Hill: This secluded beach is surrounded by dunes and coastal vegetation, making it feel a bit more natural and untamed. Swifties will also appreciate that this is the beach near Taylor Swift’s mansion.

See an outdoor concert

Rhode Island hosts several outdoor music events in the summer, including the Newport Jazz Festival, which has featured jazz icons for decades near Newport’s scenic harbor. 

Providence’s WaterFire show features live music and bonfires on the city’s rivers. Roger Williams Park, also in Providence, hosts the renowned Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Pops concerts.

Waterfront venues like Bold Point Park in East Providence also offer open-air performances for a variety of music genres.

Pick fresh summer fruit

There’s nothing like fresh fruit in the summer, and Rhode Island is loaded with farms that offer pick-your-own options. Here are a few farms to check out:

  • Rocky Point Blueberry Farm, Warwick: Blueberries
  • Narrow Lane Orchard, North Kingstown: Apples, nectarines, peaches, blackberries, and blueberries
  • Salisbury Farm, Johnston: Raspberries, strawberries, and tomatoes

Take the ferry to Block Island

People flock to Block Island in the summer, located about 12 miles from the Rhode Island coastline. Hop on the ferry from Point Judith for a day trip that will make you feel like you’re away from it all.

Block Island is known for its stunning beaches, rolling hills, and scenic bluffs. Spend some time relaxing on Crescent Beach, hike along Mohegan Bluffs for breathtaking views, or bike the island’s scenic roads

It’s also worth spending some time exploring the quaint downtown with its charming shops and restaurants.

Rhode Island's cliff walk

Explore Newport’s outdoor attractions

Newport is a hot spot in the summer, but if you’re okay with crowds, it’s one of the best times to visit this historic city, especially its many outdoor attractions. Some of the best things to do in Newport in the summer include:

  • Cliff Walk: This 3.5-mile, scenic pathway provides stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a line-up of impressive Gilded Age mansions on the other. This path winds along the coastline the entire way, where you can admire the rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and peaceful coves.
  • Thames Street: This street in downtown Newport is dotted with boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants where you can enjoy fresh seafood and pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs. 
  • Newport Harbor: Take a leisurely walk along the picturesque harbor where you can see the many sailboats and yachts. Hop on the water shuttle to Fort Adams and walk the entire perimeter of the fort to enjoy beautiful water views.

    Along Newport Harbor, you will also find Bowen’s Wharf, a historic waterfront that now includes a blend of boutiques, restaurants, and cultural sites.
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame: Play or watch a game of tennis at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which features a collection of exhibits in honor of the sport, but also includes several well-maintained grass courts that visitors are welcome to reserve.

Go lighthouse hopping

Summer is a great time to visit one or more of Rhode Island’s 21 lighthouses, when the strong winds by the ocean feel refreshing and not chilly.

Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown is the third-oldest lighthouse in the U.S., built in 1856. The onsite museum showcases the lighthouse’s storied past and Rhode Island’s maritime heritage, and the views of Narrangsett Bay and the rocky coastline are pretty amazing, too.

Other noteworthy lighthouses to check out are Point Judith Light, Castle Hill Light, and Ida Lewis Lighthouse (named after the famous lighthouse keeper).

Want to see as many of Rhode Island’s lighthouses as possible? Book a tour with Save the Bay to see the 17 lighthouses along Narragansett Bay.

Rhode Island home

Best Things to Do in Rhode Island in Fall (September, October, and November)

Visit an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch

Picking apples and pumpkins is a timeless fall activity, and Rhode Island has plenty of amazing farms where you can pick your own throughout the season.

Some of the top-rated apple orchards in Rhode Island include Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield, Phantom Farms in Cumberland, Barden Family Orchard in North Scituate, and Dame Farm & Orchards in Johnston. (You can get pumpkins at most of these places, too!)

Other prime locations to look for the perfect pumpkin include Salisbury Farm in Johnston and Cucumber Hill Farm in Foster.

Take a hike

Even though Rhode Island is called the Ocean State, more than half of the state’s land area is made up of forests, offering lots of great options for hiking.

Long Pond/Ell Pond Hike, Hopkinton
Length: 2.2 miles 
Trailhead: North Road

This challenging hike in Long Pond Woods will have you climbing over rock formations and up rocky cliffs until you are met with rewarding views of Long Pond and Ell Pond below.

Arcadia Management Area, Hope Valley
Length: 2.7 miles                                      
Trailhead: Austin Farm Road (Ben Utter Trailhead)

There are 11 trails ranging from easy to moderate at Arcadia Management Area, Rhode Island’s largest recreational area with 14,000 acres. The 2.7-mile Ben Utter Trail is a fairly easy hike that takes you along a river and past the remains of an old grist mill and Stepstone Falls.

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Middletown
Length: 3 miles                  
Trailhead: Sachuest Point Visitor Center

This 242-acre wildlife refuge has easy trails with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s an especially popular place for birders since the refuge is home to more than 200 bird species seasonally.

The Cliff Walk, Newport
Length: 3.5 miles              
Trailhead: Memorial Boulevard

Newport’s Cliff Walk has been designated a National Recreation Trail. While it’s not a wooded hike, this trail is unique because of its stunning views of the ocean on one side and the historic Gilded Age mansions on the other. About two-thirds of the Cliff Walk is easy, but parts of the southern half of the trail are very rugged and rocky.

Scenic landscapes of Rhode Island

Drive scenic roads

It’s no secret that New England is beautiful in autumn, and Rhode Island is no exception. A few of the best scenic drives in the fall include:

Newport and Ocean Drive
This winding road provides picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fort Adams State Park. 

Note: If you’re driving on a sunny afternoon, begin at the Fort Adams end of Ocean Drive to avoid the glare of the setting sun.

Blackstone Valley: Scituate Loop
This scenic drive goes around parts of the Scituate Reservoir, the water source for much of Rhode Island.

Route 138 through Hope Valley and North Kingstown
This route will take you past scenic farmland and the historic University of Rhode Island.

Go birdwatching

Fall is a great time for birdwatching in Rhode Island, especially in the southern part of the state. 

Napatree Point Conservation Area in Watch Hill has been designated a “globally important bird area” by the National Audobon Society and is home to several endangered species. Be on the lookout for terns, oystercatchers, hawks, and falcons.

Ninigret Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown consists of forested and wetland habitats and includes Rhode Island’s largest coastal salt pond. Here you can find songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl.

For a unique birdwatching experience, try kayaking (with Narrow River Kayaks) through John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in Narragansett. Birds to look for include black ducks, egrets, herons, waterfowl, and other shorebirds.

Fresh seafood in Rhode Island

Take a food tour

One of the best ways to experience a place is to taste the local food. You can make this goal even easier by booking a Rhode Island food tour to sample different dishes at once. 

Rhode Island Red Food Tours is a popular food tour company with tours in Newport and Providence:

  • Newport Neighborhood Food Tour, where you’ll discover diverse, out-of-the-way neighborhood eateries.
  • Downcity Providence Food Tour, offering a mixture of sea-to-table, Parisian-inspired, Greek, and other mouthwatering menu items.

Book a ghost tour

Planning a trip to Rhode Island around Halloween? Book a ghost tour to give you the real heebie-jeebies.

For spooky stories and dark secrets about Newport, book an evening with Ghost Tours of Newport.

Consider an equally creepy tour of Rhode Island’s capital with Providence Ghost Tour, which offers both walking tours and a Haunted River Cruise in partnership with Providence River Boat Company.

In Westerly, learn about haunted happenings with Seaside Shadows Haunted History Tours

See a WaterFire show

WaterFire is an award-winning art installation on the three rivers of downtown Providence, which has seen over 10 million visitors and has become a symbol of pride for the city. You’ll see more than 80 sparkling bonfires and torch-lit vessels traveling down the rivers while varying music from around the world plays in the background. 

For an up-close view of WaterFire from the water, book a cruise with Providence River Boat Company. 

WaterFire shows vary throughout the year. Visit the WaterFire website for the fall lighting schedule.

Visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo

Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo is the third-oldest zoo in the United States, dating back to 1872. The zoo has a wide array of animals, including elephants, giraffes, snow leopards, and monkeys.

Around Halloween, you can experience the zoo’s Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, featuring thousands of artistically carved pumpkins that represent areas in Europe, Africa, Asia, and beyond.

Ride the Blackstone Valley Polar Express

If you’re traveling to Rhode Island with kids, consider a magical ride on the Blackstone Valley Polar Express in Woonsocket. This 90-minute train ride will take you to the North Pole with singing, games, a reading of the classic story, “The Polar Express,” and a visit from Santa along the way. 

While Christmas-themed, the Polar Express ride only runs from the beginning of November until about a week before Christmas, so it’s technically still a “fall” activity. You’ll want to reserve tickets as soon as possible as they sell out quickly.

Rhode Island in the winter

Best Things to Do in Rhode Island in Winter (December, January, and February)

Warm up with clam chowder and cups of cocoa

Winter is the perfect time to try some Rhode Island clam chowder. The state has its own style of clam chowder that is characterized by its clear broth and its use of quahogs.

Follow up the chowder with a cozy cup of cocoa and you’ll feel warmed from head to toe.

Experience the magic of the holiday season

The holidays are filled with festive celebrations and activities in Rhode Island.

The Newport Historical Society hosts a Holiday Lantern Tour with stops at the city’s decorated historic homes and includes historic details about how early Newport residents celebrated Christmas. 

In Westerly, check out the Starry Nights holiday art installation downtown. 

For a luxurious dining experience, reserve a table at the Ocean House, which creates a French Alps-inspired “gondola village” during the holidays. 

The Ocean House also hosts a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration right by the Atlantic Ocean.

In Providence, check out the Holiday Lights Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo, or book tickets to see The Nutcracker or The Christmas Carol at the the Providence Performing Arts Center or the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Holiday season in Rhode Island

Go ice skating outdoors

While you can go ice skating indoors at any time of the year, winter is the only time when you can enjoy the magic of an outdoor rink.

The BankNewport City Center at the Providence Rink is a popular outdoor rink with the city’s skyline in the background. Ice skating is open from November to March.

The Washington Trust Community Skating Center is a 12,000-square-foot outdoor rink in downtown Westerly, and the Newport Harbor Island Resort Ice Rink in Newport is another great choice if you want beautiful sunset views while skating.

Enjoy a seal watch

The environmental group Save the Bay offers two-hour cruises along Narragansett Bay where you can see both scenic lighthouses and popular hangouts for the resident population of harbor seals. 

Seals love the chilly waters of winter, so this is actually one of the best times to go on a seal watch.

Discover the RISD Museum

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum, known as the RISD Museum, is a prominent cultural institution in Providence, with a rich history dating back to 1877. 

The museum is home to an extensive and diverse collection of artwork spanning different cultures, time periods, and mediums. 

Spend hours exploring exhibits from the Americas; ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt; many parts of Asia, and more. 

Admission is $20 for adults and free for ages 18 and under, but if you go on a Sunday or a Thursday evening, admission is free!

Explore the Providence Children’s Museum

Another indoor activity that’s perfect for a cold winter day with kids is a visit to the Providence Children’s Museum. The museum provides a dynamic and interactive environment for kids to learn a wide range of tasks and fun facts.

Some of the museum’s exhibits include:

  • Water Ways to play with ice, mist, and water
  • Thinkspace to explore shapes and patterns
  • Coming to Rhode Island to learn about immigrants to Rhode Island
  • Innovation Lab to put on your scientist or engineer hat and create inventions of your own

Tickets to the museum are $14 per person.

See a show

Providence is home to two historic downtown performance spaces where you can book tickets to a variety of shows.

The Providence Performing Arts Center first opened in 1928 and is a grand restored theater hosting an array of Broadway productions, concerts, ballet performances, comedy shows, and more. The interior of this performance hall might be just as impressive as the performances themselves.

The Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS) has been around since 1950 and is a tribute to Rhode Island’s military veterans. Here you can also book tickets to Broadway shows, ballets, and concerts.

The Breakers mansion in Rhode Island

Tour indoor historic sites

Winter is the perfect time to escape the cold and tour some of Rhode Island’s best indoor historic sites. 

Some of the most famous sites are Newport’s Gilded Age mansions, including The Breakers and Marble House. Take a guided audio tour of the mansions to learn about the families who once called these places home.

To learn more about Newport’s maritime heritage, visit the Museum of Newport History in the historic Brick Market.

In Providence, take a tour of the Governor Henry Lippitt House, a National Historic Landmark and one of the best-preserved Victorian-era houses in the United States.

Watch a hockey game

If you’re a sports fan, book tickets to see the Providence Bruins play at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence. 

The Providence Bruins are the top minor-league hockey team in the Boston Bruins organization, with many players going on to have careers in the National Hockey League.

Check out their winter schedule here.

Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island

Where to Stay in Rhode Island

These are some of the most unique and highly rated hotels at Rhode Island’s best destinations.

📍Hotel Viking, Newport

This historic hotel is within easy walking distance from downtown Newport. The hotel itself boasts a lot of character and charm, and there’s a cafe across the street that serves delicious coffee and pastries.

📍The Wedding Cake House, Providence

Stay in this lovingly restored Victorian mansion with beautifully decorated rooms and a cozy continental breakfast served on the terrace.

📍The 1661 Inn, Block Island

This well-maintained resort offers several different types of rooms to fit varying budgets. It’s located within walking distance of the ferry and across the street from the 1661 Farm & Gardens. The resort is also near Ballard’s Beach.

📍The Break Hotel, Narragansett

Enjoy this nautically themed hotel with spacious rooms, many with balconies that have sunset or ocean views. The hotel is just a short drive from the Narragansett Towers and Narragansett Town Beach.

📍Ocean House, Watch Hill

If you’re looking for luxury, look no further than Ocean House on the bluffs of Watch Hill. This seaside resort is the first and only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star hotel in Rhode Island, with an incredible spa and fine dining restaurant on site.

Find Other Places to Stay in Rhode Island

Use the interactive map below to find other places to stay in Rhode Island that fit your location, budget, and amenities preferences.


Here are answers to other common questions about Rhode Island.

What is the best month to visit Rhode Island? 

April, May, June, September, and October are excellent months to visit Rhode Island, when temperatures are pleasant and the crowds aren’t as large as during the busy summer months.

How many days do you need in Rhode Island? 

If you are living or staying in Connecticut or Massachusetts, there are lots of day trip options to Rhode Island, including Providence, Newport, and Narragansett. 

If you’re visiting Rhode Island from out of town and want to see as much of the state as you can, I would give yourself five to seven days to explore several of the key towns and natural spaces at a leisurely pace.

Is Rhode Island worth visiting? 

Yes! Rhode Island is a beautiful state with plenty of historic and scenic attractions to enjoy. When I lived in Connecticut, I would often spend weekends in Rhode Island to get that idyllic New England coastal experience.

What is Rhode Island’s biggest tourist attraction? 

Newport’s Gilded Age mansions, especially The Breakers, are some of the most popular attractions in Rhode Island. Newport’s Cliff Walk is also a major selling point for the city.

Another well-known location in Rhode Island is Watch Hill, the location of Taylor Swift’s seaside mansion and the famous Ocean House hotel.

What are unique things to do in Rhode Island? 

Here are some of the best things to try:

  • If you’re feeling adventurous, go clamming, or at least order a stuffie at a restaurant. Note that if you are not a Rhode Island resident, you will need to obtain a tourist shellfishing license for $11 to go clamming.
  • Take the ferry to Block Island and go see the exotic animals at 1661 Farm & Gardens.
  • Watch one of the WaterFire events in downtown Providence.
  • Visit The Fantastic Umbrella Factory in South County.

When is the cheapest time to visit Rhode Island? 

Visiting Rhode Island during the “off season” from late fall through early spring should give you cheaper rates for accommodations.

When is the best time to visit Providence, Rhode Island? 

Similar to Rhode Island as a whole, I’d recommend visiting Providence in the spring or fall to take advantage of milder temperatures and fewer crowds. But as you can see in this post, there is plenty to do in the summer and winter, too!

When is the best time to visit Newport, Rhode Island? 

I’ve been to Newport at various times of the year, and I personally enjoyed being there in the spring the best. The blossoming trees and flowers are simply beautiful during that time.

Best time to visit Rhode Island: The Spring

Conclusion: Best Time to Visit Rhode Island

The “best time” to visit Rhode Island is in the spring and fall, when you have the benefit of fewer crowds and mild temperatures, not to mention the gorgeous flowering trees or the stunning fall foliage.

But there are good reasons to visit Rhode Island at any time of year. Summer is a major draw if you want to enjoy Rhode Island’s beautiful beaches, and winter is a great time to go if you want to experience the holiday festivities or go on a seal-watching cruise. 

Regardless of when you choose to visit, you’re bound to have a wonderful time in the Ocean State.

These are the resources I recommend:
✈️ Flights: Skyscanner
🛌 Hotels:
🚗 Rental cars: DiscoverCars
🎟 Tours: Viator or GetYourGuide

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