Does anyone NOT living in the immediate vicinity know anything about Rhode Island? I know it’s a state. I know it’s in New England. I know it’s between Boston and NYC. I know that Brown University is in a town called Providence. Everything else was pretty much a mystery. If I’m being honest, this is the first state I’ve gone through with zero expectations of what’s there.
If there’s a state that epitomizes my goal of learning about places I’ve never been and likely will never have a reason to go, it’s here.
Driving from Connecticut, I entered Rhode Island on the western border and was greeted with a whole lot of forest and not much else. I was actually shocked at how rural things were my first hour or so in the state.
The first stop of the day was East Greenwich, which was super sleepy. Wikipedia says over 166k people live in the county, which I’m guessing all are crowded around Narragansett Bay in the city of Warwick.
Moving around the coast, you really get a feel for why people live in Rhode Island: the water. Every coastline is lined with houses, whether it’s on the bay or the ocean.
Newport County (specifically the city of Newport) ended up being my favorite area. TONS of history (which is mostly preserved), situated on a small outcropping so there’s water everywhere, and the people were super friendly. I’d actually love to take the family back here on vacation and spend a week.
Providence is a big city, straddling the water. Everything around it seemed to bleed into each other. I had a fun time walking the campuses of Brown and RISD, but I can’t remember anything that would make me want to come back the same way that Newport did.
I’m sure I’ll be back to Narragansett Bay someday soon.