Rhode Island may be by far the smallest state in the union by area, but this tiny New England state situated in the far northeast of the country has played a vital role in the foundation and formation of the country. Rhode Island was the first of the original 13 states to declare independence from Britain, and to this day, the residents remain proud of their heritage as the founders of the nation.
Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, and wherever you go, from Newport, Rhode Island on the mainland to the outlying areas of the state, you are never more than 45 minutes from the sea. This means that Rhode Island beaches are always accessible, and during the summer months, when the weather can be beautifully hot, the beach is always a popular place to go.
In total, the state has more than a thousand miles of coastline on offer, with small quiet beaches that are ideal for relaxing on. There are plenty of small fishing towns that dot the coast, and eating Rhode Island seafood, served fresh on the day it was caught is a real treat for any fan of home cooked food with character.
As with much of New England, people on Rhode Island vacations tend to find that shopping, and sight seeing are the main activities that they enjoy during their stay. The state is well known for its antiques shops, and if you are looking for a chance to pick up goods that date back to the colonial period of the nation's history, then there are few places where you are as likely to find them for sale as Rhode Island.
Providence, Rhode Island is the largest city in the state, and offers all the creature comforts that you could possibly need. Thanks to the fact that the city straddles the state line in to Massachusetts, it is the only city in the USA which has a larger population than the state it lies in. The city boasts many historic areas, and is one of a number of rivals that claim to be the oldest city in the USA. Providence' claim is based on the fact that it was one of the earliest British Colonies, and is the oldest that remains inhabited.
Providence is known as the Renaissance city, and is famed across the world for the quality of its jewellery. Some of the most skilled silversmiths in the city produce fine jewellery that is sought after around the world, so make sure you pick up some souvenirs during your stay - you will be impressed.
Because the state is so intrinsically linked to the sea, most people who come on Rhode island vacations find that they get plenty of opportunities to get out onto the water themselves. From trips offshore to go whale watching off the coast of Canada through to Rhode Island charter fishing trips where you can catch your own dinner from the back of a yacht, there are numerous different excursions to choose from, and something for everyone to enjoy.
The best time to visit Rhode Island depends on you. For most people, late summer into fall is the ideal time to come, as you get the combination of good weather and the breathtaking sights of the forests transformed into their autumnal hues of gold and brown. Summer is hot, and ideal for spending time on the beach, while in the deepest days of winter, the coast becomes bleak and stark, beautiful in its emptiness.