I have an obsession.
And it’s with the state of Rhode Island.
Lighthouses, gorgeous beaches, oh-so-yummy seafood, historically preserved homes, sailboats galore… the list goes on. It’s like if you took everything I love about New England and put into one tiny little state.
Recently, I had the chance to experience everything I mentioned above (& more) when I partnered with Visit Rhode Island to show you a few of my favorite spots around the ocean state.
Jeff had to work late, so I jumped in my car solo and started my weekend a bit early, exploring the northern part of Rhode Island, an area I wasn’t familiar with. It was a quick drive from Scituate (where I live) to Woonsocket, RI, where I was going to explore a few spots that were suggested I visit.
After a cruise through the historic Main Street and a glimpse of the river that ran through the town, I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast and once noticing the oh-so-popular Wright’s Dairy Farm was close by, I booked it over there for a quick bite.
Once I got my fill and said ‘hey’ to a few cute cows, I was off to go find the Brown & Hopkins Country Store, the oldest continuously-operating country store in America. I love a good historic country store, so I was pretty giddy when I found it just 15 minutes after leaving Wright’s. Once there, I learned that the country store originally opened in 1809 and upon entering, you’ll quickly find local cheese & maple syrup, home decor, penny candy, candles, historical prints, and more. It’s definitely a place you want to go to grab a cute souvenir from your trip to Rhode Island.
After snapping 238229 photos of the country store, I started my drive to Newport, where I was meeting up with my friend Caitlin for a tour of The Elms, one of the historic mansions. In the past, I had visited The Breakers, Rosecliff and the Marble House, but because The Elms wasn’t on the waterside of Bellevue Avenue, I had never thought to visit. I’m so glad that I finally did since it’s now in my top two of Newport mansions. Completed in 1901 during the Gilded Age, it’s one of the historically preserved “summer cottages” (ha!) you can find in Newport. And when you go on your walking tour and hear of the summer parties that took place, it’s hard not to immediately think of the Gatsby-like soirees that most likely took place.
Once finished with our tour, Caitlin and I went to one of my absolute favorite spots for a bite to eat and a glass of wine. The Castle Hill Inn is absolutely unreal and the views are insane.
While there, I usually grab a seat on one of the adirondack chairs you can find on the lawn and watch all the massive boats cruise by, with a view of the Newport bridge in the distance.
After dining on a dozen oysters and the best corn bruschetta I’d ever had, we finished our wine to hunt down the Castle Hill Light. Just a quick walk across the parking lot, followed by a short stroll down a somewhat hidden path, you’ll come across the lighthouse, which has been around since the late 1800s. We made it just in time for sunset and the views reminded me once again why I love Rhode Island so much.
From there, Caitlin and I parted ways and I drove to the bed & breakfast that Jeff and I were staying at, called Gilded. I’m obsessed with all of the Lark Hotel properties, and since Gilded is part of the Lark family, I knew that Jeff and I were in for a treat.
But, while I’d love to hang out at Gilded all day & night, once Jeff finally made it into town, we walked down to Bowen’s Wharf for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Clarke Cooke House. Since we had a huge day ahead of us on Saturday, we scarfed down our dinner & drinks and tried to get some shut-eye (but not before binge-watching a few episodes of Stranger Things, ha!).
With an alarm set for 7 a.m., we were up and ready to go within the hour, packing our day bags, as we were heading all the way to Westerly, and then stopping in Narrangasett on the way back to Newport.
But first, breakfast.
If you’ve ever stayed at a Lark Hotel, you know they have the best breakfast. Really. It’s almost my favorite part of staying at one of their bed & breakfasts’. Of course, Gilded did not disappoint. I loaded up my plate with the best small breakfast bites, drank about 10 cups of coffee, and was ready to take on the day once finished eating.
From there, we hopped in the car, where Jeff insisted we head to Second Beach to look for possible surf. Unfortunately, no surf, but because it was so calm, I flew the drone for a few minutes to grab some footage of the beach.
Luckily, it was the most beautiful day and unusually warm for October, so we made the quick drive over to the Cliff Walk, parked, and followed the path along the Newport mansions. It’s one of my favorite activities in Newport and you often see both tourists and locals enjoying the pathway along the ocean.
After about an hour-long walk, we got back on the road so that we could make it to Watch Hill in time for lunch at the Ocean House. While doing so, we drove over the Newport Bridge, which is always so picturesque.
Of course, since I drink a billion cups of coffee a day, I made Jeff pull over so that we could stop at my favorite coffee shop as we were passing through Charlestown, RI. Dave’s Coffee is right off of Route 1 and has the absolute best iced coffee. But, the star of the menu is surely their made from scratch blueberry muffins. I insist on getting one of these almost everytime I’m in Westerly and they’re straight up addicting.
Once fueled by more caffeine, we quickly got over to Watch Hill and strolled into the oh-so-stunning Ocean House. Fun fact: Jeff and I actually got married across the street from the Ocean House at the Watch Hill Chapel, so I always love love love coming back to the little seaside village.
After ordering & chowing down on delicious lobster rolls at the Ocean House (you’ll always have the most spectacular views of the ocean while dining), it was time to head down to the beach. I’d been itching to fly my new drone and knew that the beach in front of the Ocean House (and conveniently in front of T-Swift’s home) would look unreal from above.
Take a peek below of what I captured:
From there, we walked across the street and down the hill to Napatree Beach. Now, this might be one of the most beautiful beaches in New England. We didn’t get a chance to walk all the way to the end of the peninsula, but if you happen to make it all the way out there, you’ll find a historic military fort that was built in 1901.
After an hour or so on the two beaches in Watch Hill, we began the short drive back in the direction of Newport, but this time, stopping in Narragansett. We made dinner reservations at another one of my favorite Rhode Island restaurants, the Coast Guard House. And, fun fact (once again): this restaurant is where Jeff and I went on our first date 🙂
Just before sitting down for dinner, we parked near the Narragansett town beach to watch the surfers before sunset. If you watched my drone video, you’ll catch one surfer about to hang ten.
As for dinner, like I mentioned, I’ve been to the Coast Guard House a few times and each time is better than the last. They’ve been hit a few times over the years by hurricanes and so it almost feels like it’s received a new renovation each time I head there.
Once we ordered our beers, enjoyed the outdoor patio & fire, we were seated and scarfed down a few seafood dishes. Of course, food coma immediately ensued, and we knew it was time to head back to Newport to catch some z’s before our final day in Rhode Island.
Sunday was our last day in Rhode Island and before driving back north to Providence, Jeff and I walked back into town to grab coffee at the Coffee Grinder. It’s one of the best coffee shops and the views from the cafe make it even better. Located right at the end of Bowen’s Wharf (just walk past Clarke Cooke House and keep going straight until you can’t walk any farther), the little cafe is tucked away and perfect for a quick latte.
Once we downed our coffees, we quickly packed up our belongings and got back on the road, driving about 40 minutes to get to Providence, RI. This city is home to Brown University, Providence College, RISD, and a few more universities, therefore the first neighborhood we parked in was filled with students.
Unfortunately, it started to rain, so after a quick stroll around the Brown University campus, we had to get back in the car. But, that wasn’t going to stop us from visiting PVD Donuts, which has absolutely blown up this past year. It’s the first specialty donut shop in Rhode Island and often times has lines out the door. This should come as no surprise, especially when their menu features donut flavors such as Cranberry Almond, Cereal Milk, Bourbon Brown Butter, Mocha Salted Caramel, and more.
Once Jeff and I gobbled down our donuts, we took a quick drive through a few other parts of Providence, spotting the coolest murals while doing so.
At that point, we knew our goldendoodle was most likely patiently (or not-so-patiently) waiting for us to get home. Only about an hour away, we were able to get home in time to catch the end of the Patriots game and reminisce about the amazing weekend spent in Rhode Island.
This post was sponsored by Visit Rhode Island, but all opinions are my own.