Rhode Island in a Day

We continued our exploration of each New England state this weekend by taking a day trip to Rhode Island! We had only been through the smallest state in the Union to take a flight out of the Providence airport before this Friday. We thought it’d be good to see how much ground we could cover in this Ocean State with the limited autumn daylight. Oh, and by the way- the PVD airport is much better to fly into versus Boston if you’re ever coming to this part of the country. It’s smaller, less expensive (in our experience), easier to navigate, and you’ll see the Patriots airplane on display.

You can appreciate how much water infiltrates Rhode Island when you fly out of TF Green.

You can appreciate how much water infiltrates Rhode Island when you fly out of TF Green.

Dave’s Coffee

We started our day bright and early by driving nearly the whole length of the state down to Charlestown, RI. This maybe took an hour which was awesome compared to some of the long drives we’ve achieved. It was here we found Dave’s Coffee, a sweet coffee shop right off the side of the state highway serving up Rhode Island’s signature drink- coffee milk! It basically tastes like 80% cream and sugar, 20% iced coffee- and we really enjoyed it! They also serve up delicious pastries here which made our breakfasts complete.

Dave’s Coffee in Charlestown, RI

A nice, quaint coffee shop!

The RI state drink, coffee milk, and tasty pastries!

Dave’s Coffee in Charlestown, RI

A nice, quaint coffee shop!

The RI state drink, coffee milk, and tasty pastries!

Beaches

As it has become frigidly cold outside, our leisurely quest along the 400+ mile Rhode Island coastline brought us to beautiful beaches where we were sometimes the only ones out there! Among our favorite spots were East Matunuck State Beach, Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, and Narragansett Town Beach. We could see all these places being very fun in the summertime. Narragansett itself has a nice beach town vibe with coastguard influence. FYI- if you want to be talking like a local just call it “Gansett.”

East Matunuck State Beach

Roger W. Wheeler State Beach

The adorable town of Narragansett.

East Matunuck State Beach

Roger W. Wheeler State Beach

The adorable town of Narragansett.

Newport

Head a little north from Gansett and you’ll run into highway 138 that takes you directly east over the water on two spectacular bridges to reach Newport. It costs $4 but it is worth it. We went over and were treated to great overviews of what Rhode Island has to offer. Newport is known to be the home to many extravagant summer mansions, old and new. It is also the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. If you are in Rhode Island to visit, go for a walk or drive around this town to get a glimpse of how the elite live.

The bridge over to Newport!

Downtown Newport

International Tennis Hall of Fame

The bridge over to Newport!

Downtown Newport

International Tennis Hall of Fame

The Cliff Walk

One of the top things to do in Newport is the Cliff Walk. It is ranked as the top hike in Rhode Island for good reason. It’s 3.5 miles one way provides you with beautiful views of ocean bluffs and old-style mansions, including The Breakers, the summer home for the Vanderbilts. My favorite mansion was Rough Point. Instead of retracing our steps on the cliffs we decided to make a loop walk along Bellevue Ave to return to our parked car at Easton’s Beach.

The start of the Newport Cliff Walk.

Map of the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk showing paved and unpaved portions.

A glimpse of the paved portion of the Cliff Walk.

A glimpse of the unpaved portion of the Cliff Walk.

Some of the mansions on the Cliff Walk are actually part of a university.

It was so clear out that we could see Mount Denali over 100 miles away! (look closely for the white on the horizon)

A beautiful day on the Atlantic!

Another fun area of the Cliff Walk.

Bailey’s Beach at the end of the Cliff Walk.

Rough Point

Enjoying our stroll back on Bellevue Ave.

The start of the Newport Cliff Walk.

Map of the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk showing paved and unpaved portions.

A glimpse of the paved portion of the Cliff Walk.

A glimpse of the unpaved portion of the Cliff Walk.

Some of the mansions on the Cliff Walk are actually part of a university.

One of the most famous mansions on the Cliff Walk, The Breakers, Vanderbilt’s summer cottage.

A beautiful day on the Atlantic!

Another fun area of the Cliff Walk.

Bailey’s Beach at the end of the Cliff Walk.

Rough Point

Enjoying our stroll back on Bellevue Ave.

Newport Vineyards and Taproot Brewery

Following our nearly 7-mile trek we headed north to Newport Vineyards. We had heard a lot of good things about this winery from coworkers and it did not disappoint. Little did we know their building also houses the Taproot Brewery! So, depending on what your group likes everyone should be happy. Of course, we like both beer and wine. So, we started with a wine tasting of our own choosing and then switched over to trying out four of the Taproot Beers. Our favorite wine was the Great White and our favorite beer was the Nutty NewPorter.

Newport Vineyards

Wine Tasting

Beer tasting at Taproot!

Newport Vineyards

Wine Tasting

Beer tasting at Taproot!

Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House

After indulging on drinks, we drove up to the Warwick area to have a late lunch at what appears to be a Rhode Island icon- Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House. They serve up exactly what is advertised. The doughboys are generally covered in sugar and the chowder comes with recommended hefty sides of deep-fried clam cakes. Everything is relatively cheap- but watch out for ordering way too much food than you wanted.

Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House

Right on the water!

Not the lightest food around, but tasty!

Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House

Right on the water!

Not the lightest food around, but tasty!

Providence

The rest of our time in RI had us exploring their capital city, Providence! We really enjoyed this city. It seems very clean, and it has separate districts throughout each with a different vibe. Right downtown there is a huge mall where you can get anything- called Providence Place. Their state building is also pretty cool to look at. As night falls the city lights come alive and really give the city a vibrant look.

Downtown Providence

Fun Fact: this is the 4th largest unsupported dome in the world!

Providence Place

Downtown Providence

Fun Fact: this is the 4th largest unsupported dome in the world!

Providence Place

Waterplace Park

Probably one of the most charming areas is the Waterplace Park. This is a section of downtown where you can stroll along one of the rivers that cuts right through the city. This is where the main portion of WaterFire takes place- a river art show brought to life by over 80 above water bonfires, fire vessels, fire dancers, and enchanting music. Unfortunately, it only goes on during the warmer months, so Megan and I missed the last show of the year by about three weeks.

Waterplace Park!

Andino’s

For dinner, Megan and I dropped into Andino’s in the Federal Hill District. If you want good Italian food this is the area to hit up. There are multiple good-looking Italian restaurants along Atwells Ave, but Andino’s is where we got the most recommendations. It’s a very small restaurant, so definitely make reservations well in advance. We got lucky and were able to snag two seats at the end of their bar, otherwise it sounded like we were not going to be eating there. Megan had the manicotti with a giant meatball on the side, and I had their daily special- mozzarella and prosciutto covered scallops on a bed of linguine. We highly recommend anything here and their signature drink, the Sinatra Sangria, was quite tasty as well.

Andino’s in the Federal Hill Italian District!

Great food and drinks at this Italian restaurant!

Andino’s in the Federal Hill Italian District!

Great food and drinks at this Italian restaurant!

The District

We met up with one of my coworkers who lives in Providence after dinner and we headed to the Jewelry District for some late-night fun. We mainly stayed at The District, which had live jazz music playing all night. Xaco Taco and Nick-A-Nees also looked like fun places to hang out on a weekend night.

The District

Trinity Brewhouse

Even closer to downtown sits the Historic District, yet another area that has plenty of restaurants and bars. We decided to go to one of the first New England brewpubs in existence, Trinity Brewhouse, for a night cap flight of fantastic beer. Trinity has a very chill atmosphere and great beer options to pair with it. We especially enjoyed the Maple Brown and Boom Roasted.

Trinity Brewhouse

One of the first breweries in the area and they serve up great beers!

Trinity Brewhouse

One of the first breweries in the area and they serve up great beers!

The Malted Barley

Since our late-night thirst was satisfied, we next sought a late-night snack to soak up all the suds. About 2-3 blocks away from Trinity is The Malted Barley, a bar with a ton of taps but more so well known for the pretzels they pump out. You can have your standard salted pretzel, a stuffed pretzel, or even a dessert waffle pressed pretzel. Each one coming with your choice of dipping sauce. I immediately ordered one standard and one stuffed pretzel for myself and I was in heaven. Definitely a great option after midnight if you’re craving some carbs.

Specialty pretzels at The Malted Barley!

Rhode Island is now high on our list of places we want to return to in peak season! The beaches look very fun, there’s plenty of water to kayak on or do other watersports, and we could actually see WaterFire first-hand. It may be very small, but Rhode Island packs a punch for things to do!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ron

    Great reporting, after reading this edition of Exploring Enthusiasts I want to go explore RI. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Aunt Kris

    I’ll bet you helped eat Megan’s dinner at Andino’s!

    1. Adam Urick

      You know us too well!

  3. smore traiolit

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

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