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semi-backpacker
RHODE ISLAND
A small state that packs a big punch!

My family has been living in Rhode Island, the USA’s smallest state, for almost thirty years. Though I now live on the other coast, my heart and fondest memories will always be in New England.

Where is Rhode Island anyway?
Rhode Island, the “Ocean State,” has 400 miles of coastline and is nestled in New England, between Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is an easy 2-3 hour drive from New York City and less than an hour from Boston.

When is the best time to go?
Fall: The New England foliage, a site of reds, browns, greens, and yellows, is stunning in the autumn months. Most drives are scenic and your camera will go into overdrive! Beware, hotels book up quickly for these months, so plan in advance.

Summer: Most beaches open on Memorial Day weekend in May, allowing you to make the most of your visit. Given all the outdoor/nature attractions, I would recommend visiting Rhode Island at any time, but the winter. We don't really have any skiing or much to do for the colder months, but that may just be my opinion!

What about the Food?
This is the seafood capital of the world. What else do you expect from a state known for the plentiful ocean it’s surrounded by? (okay, so maybe I’m a little biased!) The best New England clam chowder and clam cakes in the world can be found here. Here are some recommendations:

Chelo's - Year after year they are voted #1 in clam chowder and clam cakes and I am in complete agreement! The atmosphere is casual, shorts or jeans -- come as you are! They have several locations in Rhode Island, but I would recommend their waterfront restaurant on Greenwich Bay in the city of Warwick. There's no experience more "Rhode Island" than eating seafood by the ocean!

The Eclectic Grill - For a fancier, more "dressed-up" option, I would suggest the Eclectic Grill in Providence. Rhode Island is known for its succulent Italian fare. Atwells avenue in Providence is lined with more Italian restaurants than you can imagine, each option more delicious than the next. The Eclectic Grill combines my love of seafood with impeccable Italian cuisine. To give you an example, the lobster raviolis are my absolute fave here. Once you finish eating, I would suggest walking the length of Atwells avenue (good exercise after a heavy meal!) and making your way to downtown Providence. In the summer months, the rivers and canals are bustling with outdoor entertainment and gondola rides (more to come on that later!)


Must-See Sites of Rhode Island

1.Block Island...this is a well-kept secret. Take the ferry from Point Judith. It's the most relaxing ferry ride ever. And then enjoy hanging out on the island. There are so many great beaches, hiking/biking trails, quaint New England shopping areas...and the seafood - well, you know how I feel about the New England Clam Chowder, which you can enjoy with a breathtaking ocean view.

2.Newport...this is where most tourists go, but well worth it. Great shopping, views, and boat rides. Tours of the mansions are a big hit, though I've never been on one. My fave place here is the Cliff Walk. Park your car and walk the Cliff Walk trail, it's an easy 2-mile (maybe 3-mile) walk, completely oceanside and passes through the backside of most of the mansions. A must-see.

3.Wickford...if you like Asian food, "Seven Moons" in the charming town of Wickford just can't be beat! They serve cuisines from 7 different Asian countries. It's like 7 restaurants in one...and the food is soooooo good. The town of Wickford is also very cute and by the water.

4.Narragansett...if you like Spanish food, "Spain Restaurant" is a must. It's by the ocean (see a theme with my recommendations??) and the sangria and paella are the best I ever had. I've been going there for over 10 years...YUM

5.Providence...the East Side offers eclectic crowds, most of which are Brown University students, but also a bevy of fortune tellers, tarot card readers, quirky shops, and casual dining. The Downtown area is a great place for shopping (Providence Place Mall) and in the summertime, a fantastic evening option. The Waterfire event is spectacular! Three rivers, a hundred sparkling bonfires, woodsmoke, arched bridges, street performers, gondola rides, and so much more! Check out the 2008 Waterfire schedule!


Other New England Sites worth checking out

Rhode Island is a small state, so most New England sites are within easy driving distance. Here are a few of my faves:

5.Cape Cod (Massachusetts)...Great beaches, charming New England shops and towns, but I would only go in the Fall months. The traffic in the summer is awful, because it's such a popular tourist spot. For the summer, I would recommend Martha's Vineyard. Hop the ferry from Cape Cod to the Vineyard. It can also get crowded, but because there are so many different areas, it doesn't feel as packed. There are great lighthouses, shops, and seafood.

6.Portland (Maine)...the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse is one of the most photographed in all of New England. Very pretty. Also, downtown Portland can be fun, though not enough to do for more than a few hours.

7.Franconia Notch (New Hampshire)...for the real active vacationers! The hiking at The Flume, The Basin, and nearby White Mountain are not for the faint of heart, but so worth it. The views are phenomenal, especially on a clear day and if you're lucky, you might even spot a moose! Though, for the record, I always try my best to NOT spot a moose, most tourists get a kick out of photographing them. Me? I'd probably jump in my car and hit the gas pedal. In any event, Franconia Notch is one of my favorite places and allows the tourist to "work off" any over-indulgent eating from some of the other destinations.
starlagurl
Woo thanks! I can't wait to go on Labour Day weekend!
semi-backpacker
That is a great weekend to go - you will have a blast!
starlagurl
I sent your list to my own personal guide, Mr. Mike from Vagabondish lives there. He's going to pick what I should do, so it should be fun timessssss!
semi-backpacker
RHODE ISLAND TRIVIA
Aka, "Little Rhody"
Did you know that...?


1. Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the United States. Its distances North to South are 48 miles and East to West 37 miles.

2. Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 near Newport.

3. The state was home to the first open golf tournament. The event occurred in 1895.

4. The Flying Horse Carousel is the nationís oldest carousel. It is located in the resort town of Watch Hill.

5. The first circus in the United States was in Newport in 1774.

6. Ann and Hope was the first discount department store in the United States the property was opened in Rhode Island.

7. George M. Cohan was born in Providence in 1878. He wrote, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy," "You're a Grand Old Flag," and a wide variety of other musical entertainment.

8. The Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport is the United States' oldest library building.

9. Portsmouth, RI is home to the oldest schoolhouse in the United States. The school was built in 1716.

10. Semi-Backpacker moved from New York to Providence when she was 2 years-old and has called it home ever since! All of her brothers and subsequent family members were born in Providence, Rhode Island. party.gif
starlagurl
Hahaha, so funny, my friend from RI would like this...
starlagurl
I just realized, I'm going SOONER than Labour Day weekend, oops, my summer schedule is all mixed up in my head. Kind of like my head in general.
semi-backpacker
Sooner than Labor Day? If you're here before July 19th, let me know, because I'm in Rhode Island now until then :-)
starlagurl
No no no, July 25 is the weekend I'll be there.
semi-backpacker
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Jul 4 2008, 10:04 AM) *

No no no, July 25 is the weekend I'll be there.



How was your trip???? Will you be posting pictures??
starlagurl
Oh thanks for asking! I will indeed post pictures! I didn't take very many but here we go (find my blog here: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/starl...l/18/tpod.html:

Dead fish:
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Beach:
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Marina in P-town:
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Me vs. lobster:
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Lazy fishing on the beach:
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Hardcore beachers:
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starlagurl
Thanks, I don't think there are sharks there at all, ever.

Judy? Are there?
semi-backpacker
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Aug 21 2008, 10:10 AM) *

Thanks, I don't think there are sharks there at all, ever.

Judy? Are there?



The pics are great!!! Makes me homesick (tear!)
starlagurl
Thank you, but are there sharks in that part of the world? I didn't think there were.
semi-backpacker
I don't think so. Though the Jaws movies are based on Martha's Vineyard!
starlagurl
Oh yeah, you're right. Hmmm, if there are in fact, sharks there, I'm pretty sure attacks are at an extreme minimum.
semi-backpacker
Definitely. Matter of fact, I've never heard of one happening out there...
semi-backpacker
Movies filmed in Rhode Island!

Another great reason to visit this beautiful state...to see the sites of all the great movies filmed here!

1974- The Great Gatsby
1975 - Jaws
1987 - The Witches of Eastwick
1994 - Dumb and Dumber
1996 - American Buffalo
1997 - Amistad
1998 - Meet Joe Black
1998 - There's Something about Mary
1999 - Outside Providence
2005 - Buddy
starlagurl
Ha! That's awesome. I love the Great Gatsby, aw.
semi-backpacker
I've actually never seen it. I'll definitely add it to my "lazy Saturday" movie rental list! :-)
starlagurl
Yeah it's a good one. Watch the newer one from the 1990s or whatever it was.
semi-backpacker
Sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation!
veraeland
Hah, thanks for the complete Rhode Island Tour tips. I can't wait to explore it. The following tour is i searched from Internet. I think it is quite good.
http://www.tours4fun.com/3-days-essex-cape...ode-island.html
semi-backpacker
QUOTE(veraeland @ Dec 1 2008, 03:59 AM) *

Hah, thanks for the complete Rhode Island Tour tips. I can't wait to explore it. The following tour is i searched from Internet. I think it is quite good.
http://www.tours4fun.com/3-days-essex-cape...ode-island.html


The link doesn't work...
semi-backpacker
QUOTE(mmayson497 @ Apr 3 2009, 09:12 AM) *

Agree the Cape Elizabeth/Portland Maine area is a must see. I found some good destination receommendations at mainecoastlife.com.



Maine is awesome...I wish I could have gone more often when I lived in New England.

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