Summertime in Rhode Island
Rhode Island, the ocean state, kept popping up on our radar to visit, so we were happy to be able to include a week here on our grand adventure. We started off with a night in Providence, the state capital, and then continued our week in Newport, known for its harbor & sailing.
Our little AirBNB was adorable, had a great side yard with a picnic table, and was walking distance to Easton Beach. It is 1 of 4 cottages in a little compound, which makes them great for families looking to vacation together, but have some space. We would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it.
If you’ve never visited this tiny state, start making plans to come here! We had a great time and can’t wait to share some of our favorites with you!
Providence. We spent one night here at the Omni Hotel, which is perfectly located by the Rhode Island State House. The lawn here is excellent for stretching legs, and also makes for a nice backdrop in photos. The girls played on the stairs for a little while before dinner. Providence Place is just across the street, which offers a large indoor shopping mall and a number of restaurants to choose from.
Newport Mansions. Oh, to be a Vanderbilt! These incredible “summer cottages” lining Bellevue Avenue are a must see in Newport. It’s really astounding to learn about the lives of the owners and how they earned their wealth, and then to see where they spent it. The Breakers was built in the 1890’s for Cornelius Vanderbilt II to spend 2-8 weeks of his summer here. William Vanderbilt built Marble House in the 1890’s and it cost approximately $11 million.
We brought the girls and they did great inside, as long as we continued to move. We toured The Breakers on Sunday right when it opened so it wasn’t very crowded, which was great. They provide an audio headset tour so that you can learn about each room and know what you’re looking at. There is also an audio headset tour for children so they can learn about things that might interest them more. We didn’t participate in that portion since we had the girls and needed to focus on them instead.
Gooseberry Beach. This beach is located on Ocean Avenue, right in the middle of all of the Newport Mansions. Wherever you’re staying, it’s worth a drive to come here and play on the rocks, swim in the calm water, and have a different view of some of the mansions. Parking is $20 for the day. There are restrooms and a small cafe.
Easton Beach. AKA First Beach. This beach is large, has a cafe & restrooms, and a carousel & playground! We spent a few days here climbing rocks and building sandcastles. It is also the start of Cliff Walk, which is a must do 3.5 mile walk right in between the ocean and the Newport Mansions. Wear good shoes, and toddlers should definitely be in a stroller since there are steep cliffs throughout. Parking is $10/20 weekday/end, and there is also limited street metered parking.
Second Beach. This beach is also large but is prettier and has much calmer waves than Easton Beach. Parking here is $15 for the day. We happened to go on an overcast day and it was free. It’s similar in size to Easton Beach, but had much less seaweed during our visit.
Third Beach. I know, these names are really clever. We drove past this beach but spent no time here. It has a boat launch and a small, very calm swimming area that is clearly marked by rope.
Schooner Adirondack II. What a fun day out on the water! Newport is known for its world-class sailing and fortunately the weather was perfect for just that. We all loved the 90 minute sailing tour of the harbor. We learned plenty about the ships, coastline & homes but without a guide coming over the loudspeaker. Captain Steve told stories of Newport & its homes all while steering the ship and working the sails. This was our favorite activity and we will definitely do it again!
Thames Street/Waterfront. The cute waterfront harbor area has us dreaming of visiting again. There are some great little shops and a ton of seafood restaurants facing the water. You pretty much can’t go wrong here to walk around, or to rent a spot and stay here. I’m sad I didn’t take more photos, but must have been distracted by its cuteness.
Looking to rent an AirBNB soon? Use this link for a $35 credit on your next booking!
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