As the saying goes, small is beautiful - exemplified by America's titchiest state, where nowhere seems to be more than half an hour's drive away. With an astonishing 400 miles of coastline, (although it isn't actually an island, by the way), there's plenty of water and beach action on holidays in Rhode Island. But there's also a stack of historical sites to explore, as well as swathes of forest to hike through, where the foliage puts on a customary show of blazing colour come autumn.
Water is a way of life here, and the harbour at well-heeled Newport bristles with the masts of row upon row of sleek yachts. There's top quality sailing to be had - so good that the America's Cup yacht race is often staged here - although if taking the helm's not your thing, then you can easily hop aboard a cruise instead. There's also great sport fishing up and down the coast, with boats heading out in search of marlin and swordfish, as well as whale watching trips to spot humpback, finback and minke whales.
Beaches ride high on the agenda on holidays in Rhode Island, and there's plenty to choose from. South County is especially blessed with long stretches of fine sand, and as a bonus there's often enough surf to grab a board and ride the waves. Roger Wheeler State Beach is protected by a breakwater and family friendly; Narragansett Beach is where the action is and perfect for people watching; and if you want a bit of space to yourself, head to quiet Blue Shutters Beach.
And there's plenty else besides: like the cotton mill history of the Blackstone Valley, and the vineyards that make up part of the Coastal Wine Trail. For such a small state, Rhode Island packs a big punch.