Rhode Island/southern New England bucket list
August 5, 2013 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm living in Rhode Island for three or so more weeks before moving. What have I missed that I need to do?!

I've been living here for the two years since I graduated from college, one year in providence and now in the Coventry area. I've enjoyed it, but I'm moving on, most likely forever.

What should I do in Rhode Island and the surrounding bits of other states that I might have missed? Food, sights, bars, outdoor adventures etc. you can safely assume I've done most of the super obvious things within Rhode Island, but maybe not in conn. or mass.

A random sampling of Things I have done/been to so far:
-more beaches than you can shake a stick at
-the risd museum
-Been on all of the bike paths, I think
-Newport cliff walk
-Newport folk fest
-lots of providence bars and restaurants
-lots of nice hikes all over the state
-block island
posted by geegollygosh to Travel & Transportation around Rhode Island (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I usually recommend a visit to Shady Glen diner in Manchester, Connecticut whenever anyone asks about southern New England travel. This time is no different.

I will also add, in Connecticut:

UConn's ice cream shop, made on campus from cream milked from their own cows.
Visit UConn's barns while you're there.
And then see if you can find a metallurgy building named for a guy named Bartholomew because that's my grandad. (Okay, maybe that's selfish of me, never mind.)
Pizza in New Haven.
Art at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.
Mystic Marine Life Aquarium. Follow up with a visit to Mystic Pizza, which really exists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:30 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Gilbert Stewart Musuem. And totally, totally a Pawsocks game. It doesn't matter if you don't like baseball; AAA ball is a little piece of magical Americana. (Also: awesome corndogs.)
posted by DarlingBri at 3:44 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm going to assume WaterFire and tours of Newport mansions are super obvious (but I mention them just in case).
Have you been to Cape Cod? We always camped at Nickerson State Park, there are pretty lakes to swim in with sand beaches, plus the ocean and bay beaches nearby. You can go on a whale watch from Provincetown.
In Newport, I'm sure you've driven it but have you biked Ocean Drive? I do that as often as I can when I'm in town and I love it.
Gray's Ice Cream in Tiverton is great, just don't pet the rabid calves!
posted by janerica at 3:50 PM on August 5, 2013

Go explore the Swan Point cemetery in Providence (and find H.P. Lovecraft's grave).
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:25 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Get some ice cream from Somerset Creamery in Somerset, MA, and Lebanese meat pies from Sam's Bakery in Fall River, MA (go as close to opening time as possible -- they sell out quickly).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:19 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Both Gillette Castle and Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.
posted by easily confused at 5:22 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tour the submarine USS Nautilus at New London Submarine Base, Ct.
posted by easily confused at 5:25 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, easily confused just reminded me: check out the battleship at Battleship Cove (also in Fall River), too.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:27 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try going to Wet Paint at the Newport Art Museum or have you been to the AS220 Foo Fest. Try the Red Fez in Providence or Loie Fuller. Have you biked the Kingston bike path by the railroad station? Or kayaked by Middlebridge in Kingston? Also kayak in Wickford.
posted by lasamana at 5:40 PM on August 5, 2013

Also go hiking in in Arcadia
posted by lasamana at 5:42 PM on August 5, 2013

Go whale watching out of Plymouth MA. You will go out to the Stallwagen bank Marine Sanctuary in Cape Cod Bay....and you will see whales...and maybe some other stuff as well.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:46 PM on August 5, 2013

Fall River has Battleship Cove and the Lizzy Borden house. New Bedford has the whaling museum, and is just cool. The Vineyard is awesome but mobbed for the next three weeks, so maybe not....but if you venture over (there is a fast ferry from near Providence) memail me, I'll buy you a beer.
posted by vrakatar at 5:52 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also, the dowtown historic district in New Bedford MA is very charming. You can go to the Whaling Museum which is top notch, and also visit the Seamen's Bethel (from Moby Dick fame).

You could also take the fast ferry from New Bedford to Martha's Vineyard. The Vineyard is very different from Block Island (which is lovely---I just went there for the 1st time last week!). But if you do that, only go on a weekday. The crowds will be a little more tolerable compared to the weekends.

Also, you could explore the South Dartmouth/Westport MA area. The area is very charming with lots of farms, beautiful river vistas, gorgeous roads--all lined with stonewalls, small craft shops/artists, and of course the beach. For a specific thing to do, you could kayak the Wesport River (in Wesport MA) or the Slocum River (in South Dartmouth). Both rivers will take you to the ocean where you can land on the beach and chill out. There are kayak rentals available in the area if you don't have one. You can memail me for more details.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:58 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, the Westport Rivers Vineyard/Winery makes some award winning products--particularly their sparkling wine. They have a beautiful property with river views and a welcoming farm house for wine tasting and tours.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2013

Go to New Bedford City Hall and ride the custom Otis elevator which may be one of the oldest in the country. Library is across the street. It used to be the City Hall and has some classic paintings in the special collection from when the City Hall was also the art museum. Maybe take a ferry to the Vineyard with your bike and ride around. I'd also suggest having a Portuguese meal at Angelo's Orchid Diner.

Agree entirely about some of the nice Westport drives. Gooseberry Point is a little island/peninsula with an interesting history that is open to the public and if you haven't been there, try it. I'd also suggest stopping by U Mass Dartmouth and taking a look at their wacky brutalist library (free wifi! open until ten!), but I'm weird about libraries like that.

I'd spend some time in Fall River checking out the record store inside of Frugal Franks, even if you don't like records that much. I'd also pick one of the hot dog places and get a coney dog. You also need to get the Fall River specialty, a chow mein sandwich and wash it down with some coffee milk.
posted by jessamyn at 6:25 PM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also come to this meetup (I will spot you if you are broke).
posted by jessamyn at 6:33 PM on August 5, 2013

Oh yeah, the Cape!

My uncle used to run Edaville, which made me and my brother really popular when we got to college and ran into other Southern New Englanders who had also always gone when they were kids too ("shit, you got to go for FREE?....")

And you may as well see Plymouth Rock so you can say you did.

And speaking of the Pilgrims - Provincetown may be a bit of a haul, but it's a fun trip.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on August 5, 2013

Response by poster: Ooo, thanks everyone! I will be working full time during those three weeks so I probably won't have time for all these great ideas, but this question has kind of convinced me that I should postpone my departure by a week and do a week long staycation.
posted by geegollygosh at 6:49 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Obviously, you have to go to Mr Doughboy.
Staying out late and having a nosh at Haven Bros is a RI tradition, too.
And my favorite summertime activity:a day at Second Beach followed by supper at Flo's.
posted by Biblio at 7:22 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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