Things to do in
Rhode Island

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Our most recommended things to do in Rhode Island

Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour with Optional Breakers Entry

1. Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour with Optional Breakers Entry

Hop aboard an old-fashioned trolley and explore Newport, Rhode Island during this 90 minutes scenic tour. Begin your day meeting at the Visitor Center of Newport where you will be greeted by your tour guide. Begin your adventure as you set off into Newport to enjoy the charm of the historic downtown area and restored homes to glorious mansions on the water. Take in the rugged beauty of Ten-Mile Ocean Drive and the fabulous mansions along tree-lined Bellevue Avenue. Enjoy viewing homes and architecture from the Modern Age to the Gilded Age. During this narrated tour you will view over 150 points of interest including Historic Thames Street, The Newport Waterfront, The Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff.  Upgrade your ticket and visit the historic Breakers Mansion located on the elaborate estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Breakers is the grandest of Newport's summer "cottages" and a symbol of the Vanderbilt family's social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Take in the lavish decor and waterfront views as you tour the property grounds. The additional mansion tour will last about 3 hours.

Newport, RI: Narrated Lighthouse Cruise

2. Newport, RI: Narrated Lighthouse Cruise

Sit back and relax on this leisurely 90-minute boat tour around historic Newport Rhode Island. Once aboard, you will cross the lower part of Narragansett Bay as you sail into the famous Newport Harbor. Take in the breathtaking coastline of Jamestown, marvel at iconic lighthouses, and view magnificent harbor mansions along the way. On the tour, you will see and hear about the lighthouses of Goat Island, Rose Island, Castle Hill, and Lime Rock, and also learn about neighboring sites like the harbor mansions, churches, historic Fort Adams, Jamestown Village, the Newport Pell Bridge, and more. You may even see a local seal in the water. Benefit from departures leaving from the bustling harbor ports of Jamestown and Bowen's Wharf. Either before sailing or upon your arrival back to shore, take a moment on land to walk around and soak up the vibrancy of these ports. Take a pause and enjoy a sweet or savory treat in one of the many cafes lining the port. Feel free to pick up a drink, have a seat, and take in the sights. Coastal Queen is spacious which allows you to move about through the cruise. The main salon is warm and covered and features a grand center bar. Seasonal beverages will be served at the onboard bar, cash and credit card accepted.

Newport, RI: Evening Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay

3. Newport, RI: Evening Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay

Experience Newport Harbor and Lower Narragansett Bay as the sun goes down while sipping a special complimentary drink. See mega yachts, lighthouses, historic church steeples, the Newport Pell Bridge, Rose Island, the Jamestown shoreline, historic forts, and so much more from aboard the Coastal Queen. Enjoy panoramic views from the warm and weatherproof main salon or from the open-air upper deck. Additional refreshments are available for purchase at the cash-only bar onboard. Coastal Queen staff follow the most current health guidelines to ensure your experience is safe and enjoyable. After the cruise, take a moment to walk around and soak up the vibrancy of this coastal town. Checkout out the shops or enjoy a sweet or savory treat in one of the many cafes lining the port.

Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

4. Newport, RI: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

Start your day in with style on a 75-minute, narrated lighthouse tour of scenic Newport Harbor. Take in some classic New England scenery aboard the boat, while sipping a morning drink. Listen as local guides share their knowledge of the four lighthouses surrounding Newport Harbor. Along the way, see historic church steeples, the Jamestown shoreline, the Newport Pell Bridge, Clingstone, Hammersmith Farm, the Newport Harbor mansions, mega yachts, offshore lobster and fishing vessels, and so much more. Kick back in the warm, covered, and virtually weatherproof main salon, or hit the open-air upper deck for catching the ocean breeze. Wherever you choose, enjoy sipping your drink while taking in the panoramic views in absolute comfort

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

5. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

Take in the classic New England fall scenery aboard the comfortable Coastal Queen. Local guides will share their knowledge of the historic sites that surround beautiful Newport Harbor and the Jamestown shoreline. You will see historic church steeples, Bowen’s and Banisters Wharves, historic lighthouses, forts, mega yachts, and more on the tour. You may even spot a seal or two. The Coastal Queen offers maximum comfort and has a weatherproof interior that can be heated on chilly days, a bar, panoramic views, and an open-air top covered deck where the side curtains can roll up for catching the ocean breezes or rolled down for warmth.

Providence, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

6. Providence, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

Join in on this delightful guided bus tour around Providence, Rhode Island. Begin your day meeting up with your expert guide and hop aboard a climate-controlled tour bus as you head into the city. Explore some of the most exciting neighborhoods in the state's capital city. Your expert guide will tell you the stories of Providence, the celebrated citizens from here, and its contribution to American history. From Brown University to Federal Hill, you will admire the most beautiful settings in the city and discover places you will want to go back to and explore at your own pace. Along the way, there will be opportunities for you to get out, take pictures, and see things up close. After making your way around town, your tour will conclude where you first met.

Newport: Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay Sunset Cruise

7. Newport: Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay Sunset Cruise

Watch the sunset and towns and boats light up for the night on this cruise from Newport. Take in the waterside sights in Newport Harbor and the lower Narragansett Bay. Enjoy panoramic views from the warm and weatherproof main salon or from the open-air upper deck. Hop aboard the comfortable and spacious ship at the Bowen's Wharf Marina. Admire the Wharf's colorful buildings and the bobbing boats in the marina as you depart the shore and embark on your sunset cruise.  See how the rich and famous spend their time as you pass by mega yachts. Capture Instagram-ready pictures of charming lighthouses, old forts, and historic church steeples. Pass by the Newport Pell Bridge, an immense suspension bridge spanning the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay. Look out over the 18.5-acre Rose Island that is shaped like the flower during low tides. Glide alongside the Jamestown shoreline. Return to the Bowen's Wharf Marina at the end of your cruise. 

From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

8. From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

Your trip begins with a hotel pickup in a luxury minibus, where the approximately 2-hour journey to Newport starts. Along the way, enjoy some complimentary snacks and bottled water while reading over a provided Newport guide book. The first stop is the Breakers, the Vanderbilt family's summer home. On a 90-minute self-guided audio-tour, you will explore the 70 room summer cottage and see how the wealthiest families lived during the gilded age.  Here, you can also spend some time exploring the cliffs on a scenic cliff walk. Next, it's back to the mini-coach for a bus tour of Newport, which passes St Mary's Parish, where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in 1953. After the bus tour, visit America's oldest existing synagogue, the Touro Synagogue. With your free time, you can do some shopping or have lunch on the waterfront. If you're a sports fan, you can enjoy discount admission to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Finally, visit the Elms Mansion, where you can take a 90-minute self-guided audio tour. After the tour, return to the minibus, sit back, and relax as you enjoy the ride back to Boston.

Providence: Self-Driving Audio Tour

9. Providence: Self-Driving Audio Tour

Explore Rhode Island's capital city on a self-driving audio tour and discover the city's history, culture, and architecture. Start your self-driving adventure from the Convention Center downtown and head into the historic Federal Hill area, home to both history and the city's best restaurants. Enter the Welcome Gateway, featuring the iconic pineapple, and learn about how this neighborhood grew and changed over the years — including the infamous Macaroni Riots and the secret of the Coin-O-Matic. Continue past the 9-acre park which was a gift from one of the greatest philanthropists in Providence's history. Explore the Wedding Cake House, a 3-story historic house located in the Broadway-Armory Historic District, and other architectural marvels, such as the State House and Barnaby Castle. Finish your tour at the Lippitt House Museum, a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the finest Italianate mansion houses in the state and considered one of the best-preserved examples of Victorian-era houses in the US.

Newport: Self-Guided Combo Tour

10. Newport: Self-Guided Combo Tour

Explore Newport on a self-guided driving tour via an app that functions as your own personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. See everything this seaside town has to offer at your own pace. Learn about local history, take a scenic walk, and admire elegant mansions as you drive. Download the app, then start the tour at the visitor center. As you drive down Bellevue Avenue, known as the "most beautiful avenue in the world." See and learn about the gorgeous Gilded Age Mansions along the way, including The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Château-Sur-Mer, and more. Continue along Ocean Drive, featuring breathtaking vistas. Learn about Newport's historic past, and iconic American millionaires like the Vanderbilts and Astors. Then, park up and stroll along the famous Cliff Walk which features the raw, untamed, crashing waves of the Atlantic to one side and lavish Gilded Age mansions to the other. This juxtaposition creates one of the most beautiful scenic walks in the world.

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What people are saying about Rhode Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 176 reviews

My husband made a face when I told him I booked a trolley tour but he ended up thoroughly enjoying it as Dominic was a very informative and great tour guide.

The Trolley driver was not only personable but very knowledgeable. Enjoyed listening to him describing all the buildings, mansions, and history of Newport.

I would recommend this for a more detailed and enjoyable drive through by the Newport mansions. Interesting stories and detailed directions. Worth it!

This was a great experience! It was a bit of a rainy day in Providence so we were still able to see everything in the comfort of our own car. AMAZING!

We really enjoyed this trolly tour the guide was very friendly and informative. It was also the perfect amount of time to see the Mansions.