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  • Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island

​Holidays in Rhode Island​

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.

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Newport

Newport is a fantastic place to hang with the in-crowd on holidays in Rhode Island. The Cliff Walk is rightly famous, and comes complete with fantastic views of stunning mansions to one side, and the crashing Atlantic to the other. There's also great beaches, fabulous shopping and buzzing night-life - and nothing beats sitting at a harbourside restaurant while savouring the taste of fresh seafood.

Waterfire

Providence is the place to be on Waterfire evenings, which happen from late May through to November. On certain nights, torchbearers in flame-lit boats travel down the river lighting more than 80 floating bonfires, while music fills the air. It's an amazing sight, and since 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Waterfire, you can expect the celebrations to be extra special.

Block Island

If you want to get away from it all, take the hour-long ferry from Point Judith to this unspoiled island 12 miles offshore. There's a string of lovely beaches with good snorkeling, and the pace of life is decidedly slow. Don't leave without taking a walk along the 60-metre-high Mohegan Bluffs for spectacular views.

Gilded Age Mansions

Built in the late 19th century as summer 'cottages' for America's wealthy elite, these spectacular mansions were designed on a grand scale with vast ballrooms and gorgeous gardens dipping with marble, chandeliers, and magnificent art, a tour of one of the 11 mansions open to the public is a must; the Vanderbilt family's 70-room home, Breakers, is particularly astonishing.

Festivals

There's world-class festivals in Rhode Island throughout the year. Two of the best are music-based and happen in Newport: Newport Jazz Festival 1-3 August, celebrating its 60th anniversary and Newport Folk Festival, 25-27 July. Both have strong traditions and attract big-name artists - as well as big crowds.
 

Fly Drive Holiday: Martha’s Vineyard & the Southern Coast

Boston– Falmouth –Martha’s Vineyard – Newport – Boston

Get away from it all and discover the famous resorts of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport, Rhode Island on this relaxing New England fly drive holiday. Pick up your hire car in Boston and drive down to Falmouth on Cape Cod for a night before catching a ferry across to the celebrity island retreat of Martha’s Vineyard. After two days of beach walks, lighthouses and freshly caught seafood, it’s time to head back to the mainland and visit ‘America’s hometown’ Plymouth before stopping for a couple of nights in elegant Newport. Your holiday ends back in Boston with a few hours to spare before your flight home.
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Fly Drive Holiday: New England Six State Sampler

Boston– Ogunquit –North Conway – Stowe – Lenox – Mystic – Newport – Hyannis- Boston

For an introduction to the delights of New England, this six state sampler fly drive itinerary is hard to beat. Start in the region’s largest city, Boston before taking to the road and sampling the coastal wonders of Maine, the mountain vistas of New Hampshire, the charming rural scenery of Vermont, the antique shops of Connecticut, the revolutionary history of Massachusetts and the extravagant summer mansions of Rhode Island. Buzzing city life, history, culture, fantastic natural scenery and time for relaxing on the beach – what more could you want from a holiday?.
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Escorted Coach Tour: Colours of New England Holiday

Boston – Bar Harbor – White Mountains – Green Mountains – Newport – Cape Cod – Martha's Vineyard - Boston

This recommended escorted coach tour option will take you through some of the iconic sights of New England. Start in Boston, the cradle of American Liberty, before heading along the Maine coast to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. From here, you'll make your way inland to the undulating scenery of the White and Green Mountains before circling back to the coast via Newport and Cape Cod. There really is no better way to see the vibrant colours of New England than on this comprehensive escorted coach tour, with an expert guide on hand to highlight all the key attractions that you will see and experience along the way.
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Fly Drive Holiday: Best of New England

Boston – Kennebunkport – Bar Harbor – White Mountains – Stowe – The Berkshires – Newport – Cape Cod

Our suggested fly drive itinerary showcases the natural beauty and scenic vistas that only New England conjures. Start in Boston, the gateway to this region, steeped in history that effortlessly blends with modern city life. Then, take in the glorious Maine coastline for unforgettable views of the rugged cliffs and lighthouses that hug this state. Afterwards, drive inland for the breathtaking mountain ranges and scenic beauty of New Hampshire and Vermont Next, is the lively arts scene of The Berkshires in Massachusetts before Newport, Rhode Island. Your holiday finishes up in Cape Cod.
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Time Difference:
GMT- 5hours

Closest Airport:
Theodore Francis Green Memorial State Airport, (approx.. 14 hours, indirect flight) or Boston Logan International Airport (approx. 7 hours and 15 minutes, direct flight).

Getting around:
The best way to explore New England’s smallest state is by car. Car hire starts at just £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
On selected dates throughout the year, state capital Providence welcomes WaterFire, an installation and festival during which the city is lit up by over 80 blazing fires along the river. Lighting occurs just after sunset and continues until after midnight, accompanied by an inspiring soundtrack. 

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

 

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