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Things to do in

Rhode Island

Our most recommended things to do in Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island: Scenic Narragansett Bay Cruise

1. 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.

Newport, RI: Evening Cocktail Cruise of Narragansett Bay

2. 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

3. 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: Scenic Trolley Tour

4. 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.

Providence, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

5. 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.

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.

Newport, RI: Cliff Walk Self Guided Walking Mansion Tour

7. Newport, RI: Cliff Walk Self Guided Walking Mansion Tour

Download this activity to your smartphone and make the most of Newport’s Cliff Walk. Follow clues and learn all about the area's history while walking along the scenic route. Start by the Forty Steps landmark, once a gathering place for the servants who worked in Newport’s mansions. Head to the Overlook for views of the Atlantic, or admire Easton's Beach. Witness Ochre Court, the Vinland Estate, and The Breakers, the most famous and largest mansion on the tour. Learn about families like the Vanderbilts and see Anglesea, designed so the ocean is visible from every side. Encounter Rosecliff, Beechwood, the Marble House, and more. Pause at the Chinese Tea House, Rough Point, and Land’s End. End your tour at The Waves, and the private stretch of sand at Bailey’s Beach.

Newport: Self-Guided Combo Tour

8. 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.

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, 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Rhode Island

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What people are saying about Rhode Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 333 reviews

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. We included admission to The Breakers in our tour and I would strongly recommend that to anyone who has not been there before. Our tour guide Ann was terrific. She was so knowledgeable and had a wonderful personality. We were so happy we did the tour.

Really enjoyed seeing the island from a different view. The guides were informative pointing out famous spots, lighthouses, houses, and boats. This is an affordable must do. The sunset ride was a great ending to our day trip to NewPort, RI.

Every year we come to Newport. We never get tired of taking all the local boat tours! The crew was great and the woman who gave the history was great! Hats off the everyone. Thanks for a great time…yet again!!

Our tour guide Anne was amazing! She was so knowledgeable about Newport, the history, and the restaurants. She was patient and funny and told great stories. One of the best city tours I have been on!

Very informative in a relaxed fun atmosphere. Driver was enthusiastic and made everything sound fresh and not rehearsed. Definitely recommend.