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Things to do in Rhode Island

Our most recommended things to do in Rhode Island

Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour

1. Newport: Scenic Trolley Tour

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: Lighthouse and Mimosa Cruise

2. 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, 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, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

4. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

Take in the classic New England fall scenery aboard the comfortable Coastal Queen on a city cruise from Newport, Rhode Island. Listen as local guides share their knowledge of the historic sites that surround the Newport Harbor and the Jamestown shoreline. See historic church steeples, Bowen’s and Banisters Wharves, lighthouses, forts, mega yachts, mansions, 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.

Newport, RI: Narrated Lighthouse Cruise

5. Newport, RI: Narrated Lighthouse Cruise

Sit back and relax on this leisurely 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, marvel at iconic lighthouses, and view magnificent harbor mansions along the way.   During the spring cruises, you'll witness Daffodil Days, where you can celebrate spring's arrival with fresh blooms and fresh air. In the fall, you can cozy up on the covered upper deck. The main salon is warm and features a grand central bar. Seasonal beverages will be served at the bar where cash and credit card are accepted.    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.    Either before sailing or upon your arrival back to shore, take a moment on land to walk around and soak up the vibrancy of the port. 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 throughout the cruise. 

From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

6. From Boston: Newport Mansions Full-Day Trip

Enjoy Newport on this van tour from Boston. See how the wealthiest families lived during the gilded age with a visit to the Vanderbilt summer home and the Elms Mansion. Along the way, enjoy some complimentary snacks and bottled water while reading over a provided Newport guide book. Begin with hotel pickup in a luxury minibus, where the approximately 2-hour journey to Newport starts. The first stop is the Breakers, the Vanderbilt family's summer home. Take a self-guided audio-tour and explore the 70-room summer cottage. 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, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

7. 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.

Providence: Doomed Artists Haunted Walking Tour by USGA

8. Providence: Doomed Artists Haunted Walking Tour by USGA

Walk in the footsteps of writers, like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, on this haunted Providence tour. Providence has a long history with artists, writers, and creatives and that history comes with a dark side explored on this walk through the city. Hear bone-chilling, campfire tales of deadly apple trees, books bound with human skin, a Rhode Island vampire, and a ghostly writer who watches people sleep. Visit the real-life Shunned House from H.P. Lovecraft’s short story, and delve into the strange details of Angela O’Leary’s death at Fleur de Lys Studio. Along the way, uncover Providence’s weird and spooky history. You may even look into the eyes of a ghost. By the time you reach the seventh and final stop, you’ll have more than a few reasons to keep the lights on at bedtime.

From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

9. From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

Marveling at scenic views and learn about the history and culture of the Ocean State on this full-day bus tour. Uncover the things that make Rhode Island so attractive, including the quaint New England villages, scenic islands, magnificent beaches, picturesque lighthouses, and spectacular mansions. Start your day meeting up with your expert guide and hop aboard a climate-controlled tour bus as you embark on this full-day journey. Explore the smallest state in America, at 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. Begin in historic Providence and wind your way around the largest estuary in New England. Pass through charming Wickford, stunning Newport, Bristol (deemed America’s most patriotic town), and many other places. Along the way, there will be opportunities for you to get out, take pictures, and see things up close. After a full day of exploration, your tour will conclude where you first met.

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Self-Driving Audio Tour

10. Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Self-Driving Audio Tour

Discover the city known for its picturesque Gilded Age mansions on a self-driven audio tour. Found out how the rich in America made and spent their money at the turn of the twentieth century. This 12 mile-long tour covers the essentials of scenic Newport, Rhode Island, in 1-2 hours. Start from the Visitor Center on America’s Cup Avenue. Here, listen to the story of Gilded Age America and how it shaped the future. While driving, you will first see the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Next up is the Audrain Auto Museum before you start exploring the Gilded Age mansions. Marvel at the first among them, Edward King House, followed by Kingscote and Bellevue House. Continuing on the avenue, come across The Elms, Chepstow, Ochre Court, and then The Breakers. From there, proceed to Chateau-Sur-Mer, Rosecliff, Beechwood, Marble House, and Belcourt Castle before ending this part of the tour at Rough Point. From there, continue on Ocean Avenue and drive toward Crossways while enjoying the Ocean Drive and hearing its story. Next, listen to the story about Brenton Point State Park and Hammersmith Farm, the summer home of Jackie Kennedy, wife of John. F. Kennedy. On the last leg of the tour, drive and hear stories of Fort Adam, Beacon Rock, Bonniecrest, Ida Lewis Rock, and Rochambeau Monument. The tour concludes in the Irish District.

Frequently asked questions about Rhode Island

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What people are saying about Rhode Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 613 reviews

The tour guide Dominic was awesome. Funny, pleasant and knowledgeable. Enjoyable from start to finish. We saw every inch of Newport. Rhode Island. We highly recommend taking this tour when in Newport.

If coming off cruise ship better to schedule afternoon. Ran to catch 10 o’clock and if he wasn’t waiting on someone who was coming back from rest room we would have missed.

It was so fun and informative. We had a beautiful sunny day so it was very enjoyable.

Be considerate of your fellow passengers WEAR YOUR MASK in congregate situations

We really enjoyed our trip to Newport RI and can’t wait to return.