Rhode Island  is the smallest state in the United States of America, tucked between Massachusetts and Connecticut in New England. Nonetheless, it has over 400 miles of coastline, courtesy of Narragansett Bay and islands such as Aquidneck Island, home to the city of Newport, the "City by the Sea".
There are five counties in Rhode Island:
There are 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island. Some of the major ones are:
- Providence - The largest city in the state and the main commercial center.
- Central Falls - One of the most densely populated cities in the world.
- East Greenwich - Founded in 1677, its historic district up and down Main Street features charming shops, excellent restaurants, and a community theater.
- Narragansett - Best beaches in New England.
- Newport - Located on Aquidneck Island and once the darling city of the American elite. Famous for yachting, mansions, and jazz.
- Pawtucket - Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution
- South Kingstown, including the villages of Kingston, West Kingston, Matunuck, Peacedale and Wakefield.
- Warwick - home of TF Green Airport, Rhode Island Mall, and "Gaspee Days"
- Woonsocket - Once known as "Little Quebec", it has the largest French-speaking population in Rhode Island. Today, French is rarely heard, replaced by English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
- Block Island - Island off southern coast of RI. This island packs great scenery and great beaches into a small, walkable and bikable area.
The state's full name, as established by the Royal Charter granted by King Charles II in 1663, is "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations". Despite east coast urban sprawl, there is still both gently-developed oceanside territory and farmland here. The name (pronounced "road island") is probably derived from the name Roode Eylandt given to it by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, because of its red clay. The state's population is just over a million, so even though it's the smallest state in the U.S., it is only ranked 43rd in population.
Rhode Islanders talk with a distinctly eastern-New-England accent, similar to Boston's famous broad a and dropped r.
Natives also have names for certain landmarks, sometimes with a historical aspect with it. For instance, the Henderson Bridge, which is a mini-freeway/bridge in the Providence area, is affectionately known as the "little red bridge" because before the present bridge was built, a red wooden bridge stood there. Central Falls and East Providence will be known, especially in newspapers, as CF and EP respectively. Barrington will sometimes be called Borington because there are no liquor stores there (it is prohibited by a town ordinance).
Rhode Island's national pastime is politics, which can get very emotional here. Rhode Island has the only surviving parliamentary democracy in the US. Combine that with an "everybody knows everybody" state of mind and you've got Rhode Island politics in a nutshell.
- Theodore Francis Green State Airport (PVD), Warwick. T.F. Green is serviced by many major US airlines, either non-stop or from a spoke. From Canada, offers service to Green Airport from Toronto Airport.
- Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) is much larger and is generally used for most international flights.
- Amtrak, +1 800-USA-RAIL,  has three train Rhode Island stations - Providence (downtown), Kingston (located in the town of South Kingstown and close to the beaches of Narragansett, and Westerly, the westernmost town in Rhode Island, at the Connecticut border). Providence is also on Amtrak's Acela and Regional routes continuing to the south and west to Washington and Virginia, but from the north Boston it is more economical to take the MBTA commuter rail, which now has weekend services. The Acela train takes just under 3 hours to arrive at New York's Penn Station on the way to points further south.
- From Boston, the MBTA, +1 617-222-5000,  goes to Providence via the T's Attleboro/Stoughton commuter rail line from South Station and ends at the Providence AMTRAK station at 100 Gaspee St. However, construction has begun on the new Warwick Intermodal Facility that will open around 2009. This facility will finally provide access to T. F. Green airport to MBTA commuters.
- R.I.P.T.A., Phone: +1 401-781-9400, . Services across all of Rhode Island with a central hub in Providence at Kennedy Plaza.
- Bonanza Bus Lines, .
- Greyhound Bus, .
Rental cars are available in downcity Providence, at T.F. Green Airport, and other places around the state.
With the construction of the Warwick Intermodal Facility, T.F. Green Airport passengers will have access to the MBTA, which will provide one stop ride to downtown Providence, and all other stops between there and Boston. The intermodal facility is scheduled for completion in 2009.
Bus travel within the state is coordinated by the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) . RIPTA operates 7 days a week with public transportation and RIde program for senior citizens and the disabled. They provide 27 sites for Park n’ Ride service throughout the state. On Air Quality Alert Days, they offer free services. On an average day $1.50 will get you from one end of the state to the other, and if you need a transfer, it's $.10. Buses run from Providence to Newport, Kingston village in South Kingstown, and other points.
If you're in Providence, you may want to forgo a car and walk. There is no on-street overnight parking in the city (although this is changing for some neighborhoods under a pilot program). Federal Hill, Downcity, and most of the East Side are quite walkable, and a number of bus routes serve the area. Use common sense when walking alone or at night, as you should in any city.
Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting in Newport.
Bright Night Providence - Dec. 31. Providence. Features hundreds of the best local sings, actors, dancers, acrobats, musicians, magicians and clowns.
Bristol 4th of July Parade, Bristol The oldest Independence Day celebration in the country, the parade attracts marching bands from all across the nation.
The Chocolate Delicacy, East Greenwich A small family owned confectioner's shop with Chocolates, Frozen Lemonade. All chocolates made on premises.
International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino in Newport Features the only professional tennis events played on grass in North America and the largest collection of tennis memorabilia in the world.
Jamestown Penguin Plunge - Jan. 1. Jamestown. Hundreds of tuxedo-clad swimmers take the frozen plunge into the water to raise money for charity.
Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket - The exhibits recreate the unique Woonsocket labor story of the rise of the Independent Textile Union which grew to dominate every aspect of city life.
Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence. The zoo features a park, a dinosaur exhibit, and blends history and culture with the animals each area house.
Six vineyards and wineries - which allow for scheduled tours and tastings. Including Diamond Hill Vineyards who offer custom labels for their wines.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade - Newport, is the place to be for St. Patrick’s Day.
WaterFire in Providence. A piece of environmental art, it consists of up to 100 bonfires which float on the rivers which flow through the city accompanied by ambient music.
Autumnfest Held every Columbus Day Weekend (October) in Woonsocket, this 5-mapleleaf festival in one of New England's "Little Canadas" attracts a varied crowd of locals and out-of-towners.
Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre Renowned for its acoustics, intimacy, and decor, Stadium Theatre has been a center for performing arts since 1926. Though, in the 1970's, it stopped operating, a grassroots project and strong business support in the 1990's raised over 3 million dollars for restoration. Located in Woonsocket, it has been operating ever since.
Newport Folk Festival - The first place where Bob Dylan played electric. Part of the Festival Network.
Newport Jazz Festival - Held every August in Newport, this festival attracts some of the biggest names in jazz. Founded in 1954, it was the first outdoor music festival devoted to jazz and is now internationally known. Highly recommended for any music lover.
Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. A multipurpose facility with approximately 100,000 square feet available for almost any event, from dog shows to trade shows. Services include space rental, catering, parking, A/V, exhibitor services, business center and weddings.
Providence Place Mall located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island’s premier shopping center. With 3 levels of shopping and restaurants and another level devoted to entertainment, visitors can spend the whole day without visiting the same place twice.
Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence “The Dunk” is the home of the Providence Bruins and Providence College Friars and is host to several different attractions including Stars on Ice, Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, and boxing matches featuring “Contender” finalist Peter Manfredo Jr.
Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, McCoy Stadium is a popular summer site for families looking for an inexpensive night of fun.
The Ryan Center in South Kingstown, University of Rhode Island sports, concerts and events.
Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence. A world-class facility hosting first-class Broadway touring shows, plays, contemporary acts, concerts, and much more.
Rustic Tri-View Drive-In in North Smithfield. Outdoor movies just like the good old days!
Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket. A museum complex displaying interpretation of the American industrial heritage.
Blackstone River Theater in Cumberland Continuing Blackstone River Valley folk traditions.
Blackstone Valley Polar Express in Cumberland. A live story presentation of “The Polar Express,” based on the children’s book by noted Rhode Island author Chris van Allsburg.
Christmas at the Newport Mansions and Newport Winter Festival in Newport.
Block Island late-night Christmas Shopping - Dec. 20.
Mardi Gras Ball in Cranston. New England’s only authentic Louisiana Mardi Gras celebration.
Golfing –There are over 50 golf courses in Rhode Island, some oceanfront and even PGA courses.
Newport Cliff Walk - enjoy the three miles of ocean view and the grandeur of some of the finest mansions in the US. There is no entrance fee and it is open 365 day a year.
Crescent Park Carousel in East Providence.
Blackstone River Bikeway in Cumberland. 17.1 mile long scenic bike-path that runs along the Blackstone River. Scheduled to link to the East Bay Bikepath.
Scituate Arts Festival in Scituate, Rhode Island. Held on Columbus Day Weekend every October. 400 plus painters, artists, and craftsmen sell their wares in the scenic historical New England village of North Scituate. One of the largest and oldest art festivals in the country, the 3-day weekend art festival of paintings, antiques, arts and crafts, music, and food can draw over 200,000 people over the three days.
There are many different types of culinary delights available from diners to theme-based establishments, to the most formal dining. The College of Culinary Arts and Johnson and Wales University provides a steady stream of well-trained chefs to the area. Providence's Federal Hill district lives up to its heritage with some outstanding Italian restaurants, but there is great Italian cuisine throughout the state. Fresh seafood is abundant of course, and almost always a great choice.
Del's Lemonade has been a state-wide phenomenon. Once delivered only in small "ice cream truck" style vehicles, it is now in more than twenty-five fixed locations and in six flavors besides the original lemon. Get some.
Rhode Island is home to quite a few great bars, a few brewpubs, a couple of vineyards, and one or two breweries. Rhode Island's must-drink establishments include:
Newport is the home of the Newport Storm brewery. Try the excellent local brew in many places across RI.
Rhode Island law specifies that beer and wine are only sold at liquor stores, not supermarkets or convenience stores, but liquor stores are open on Sundays.
RI is generally safe in most neighborhoods you would intentionally go to. The most dangerous part is probably driving as the locals are prone to run red lights and shift lanes with no warning.
Providence is relatively safe, but be careful while walking around the capital city at night. Areas in which to exercise caution, unless you know where you are going, are Camp Street on the East Side, South Providence, and the Olneyville section of Providence.
From chain motels to boutique hotels or campgrounds, any accommodations to fit your needs can be found online at www.visitrhodeisland.com or by contacting the Rhode Island Toursim Division. Located between exits 2 and 3 in Richmond is the Rhode Island Welcome Center. For any questions just call or stop by.
Arguably one of the most gay-friendly states in the U.S., with scores of bars and entertainment venues in Providence, and even a visible "out" community in smaller towns and villages.
This page was last edited at 02:43, on 10 March 2009 by Wikitravel user Vballbabenmbr1. Based on work by Peter Fitzgerald, Ryan Holliday, David and Evan Prodromou, Wikitravel user(s) LtPowers, (Bala Cynwydd), Episteme and Ypsilon, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.