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Living in the Ocean State

Rhode Island, also known as the Ocean State, offers a range of lifestyles to those seeking the advantages of an exciting city or a relaxing country setting. Less than 50 miles wide, but graced with a 400-mile shoreline, Rhode Island finds its heart in beautiful Narragansett Bay. A rich saltwater heritage makes Rhode Island one of the sailing capitals of the world. Freshwater and saltwater fishing, swimming at more than 100 beaches, camping, music festivals, picnicking, surfing, sky diving, and old-fashioned clambakes make Rhode Island an outdoor paradise.

Northern Rhode Island, which includes the bustling capital of Providence, is an area of wide expanses of quiet woodland and lake country.

Southern Rhode Island boasts some of the country's finest beaches, saltwater fishing, boating, resorts, art colonies, shoreline campgrounds and extensive woodland recreation areas.

For more on all that Rhode Island has to offer, visit

The City of Newport, founded in 1639, became world famous early as a commercial seaport. Numerous colonial landmarks remain standing and preserved. The city by the sea is home to international sailboat races, and is the site of the palatial "summer cottages" of the country's leading socialites from the turn of the century.

In the East Bay region, sailing, and shipbuilding have played an important role in life along the eastern shores of Narragansett Bay since the 17th century. The famous Herreshoff Boatyard, where the seven America's Cup defenders were built, shares the coastline with old fishing villages and centuries-old homes.

Forests, meadow land, and suburban residential development characterize the West Bay region. Sailing, clam digging, antique hunting, shopping in the commercial areas of Cranston and Warwick, and visiting the historic homesteads of General Nathanael Greene and James Mitchell Varnum are rewarding activities.

RI Fun Facts

  • Rhode Island offers more access to great beaches than anywhere else in the U.S. With 400 miles of coastline the number and range of types of beach experiences are unmatched. We have countless great restaurants and bars (did you know Rhode Island refused to ratify the 18th Amendment on Prohibition)?
  • We started the Industrial Revolution with the development and construction in 1790 of Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill.
  • The first African-American regiment to fight for America made their stand against the British in the Battle of Rhode Island.
  • In Newport, the Touro Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in North America. Built in 1763, the synagogue also houses the oldest Torah in North America. If you are in Newport visit the White Horse Tavern. Built in 1673 it is the oldest operating tavern in the United States.
  • You may have known that Newport is home to the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals considered among the best in the country. But did you know that they take place in Fort Adams, a national historic landmark started in 1740 which is the largest coastal fortress in North America?
  • Nine Men's Misery monument in Cumberland is the oldest known monument to veterans in the United States. It was erected in memory of the colonists killed in Pierce's Fight during King Phillips War in 1676.
  • Portsmouth is home to the oldest schoolhouse in the United States. The school was built in 1716.