11 Incredible Outdoor Activities to do in Rhode Island

by Lauren Dana

11 Incredible Outdoor Activities to do in Rhode Island

by Lauren Dana

The Ocean State is teeming with outdoor activities that will appease all types of travelers. From short-and-sweet hikes and ample wildlife spotting opportunities to history-filled walking tours and whale-watching excursions, read on for 11 of the best outdoor activities Rhode Island has to offer.

The Ocean State is teeming with outdoor activities that will appease all types of travelers. From short-and-sweet hikes and ample wildlife spotting opportunities to history-filled walking tours and whale-watching excursions, read on for 11 of the best outdoor activities Rhode Island has to offer.

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The Best Hiking in Rhode Island

Clay Head Trail on Block Island encompasses both hilly and flat terrain. Those who hike the three-and-a-half-mile trail (seven miles round-trip) will enjoy views of the surrounding bluffs and beaches. Dogs are allowed, though they must be leashed. 

Clay Head Trail on Block Island encompasses both hilly and flat terrain. Those who hike the three-and-a-half-mile trail (seven miles round-trip) will enjoy views of the surrounding bluffs and beaches. Dogs are allowed, though they must be leashed. 

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The Best Wildlife Spotting in Rhode Island

The 242-acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is located in Middletown, which is less than 10 minutes from the city of Newport. Here, you can unwind and spot wildlife like New England cottontails, owls, and over 200 species of birds — but more on the latter on the next slide. 

The 242-acre Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is located in Middletown, which is less than 10 minutes from the city of Newport. Here, you can unwind and spot wildlife like New England cottontails, owls, and over 200 species of birds — but more on the latter on the next slide. 

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The Best Birding in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has attracted birders for centuries. (In fact, the state is home to over 400 species of birds.) For optimal viewing, visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary, where you'll find swans, herons, and egrets, to name a few. Norman Bird Sanctuary is also home to seven miles of hiking trails and gardens. 

Rhode Island has attracted birders for centuries. (In fact, the state is home to over 400 species of birds.) For optimal viewing, visit the Norman Bird Sanctuary, where you'll find swans, herons, and egrets, to name a few. Norman Bird Sanctuary is also home to seven miles of hiking trails and gardens. 

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The Best Boating in Rhode Island

Whether you prefer kayaking, sailing, or surfing, Rhode Island offers plenty of aquatic activities. Sailing newbies can register for a private lesson with Black Rock Sailing School in Warwick. Meanwhile, surfers can visit Narragansett Surf and Skate Shop — which offers equipment and classes — before going out in the water independently. If you prefer to paddle, rent a kayak and make your way down the Woonasquatucket River via a guided tour. 

Whether you prefer kayaking, sailing, or surfing, Rhode Island offers plenty of aquatic activities. Sailing newbies can register for a private lesson with Black Rock Sailing School in Warwick. Meanwhile, surfers can visit Narragansett Surf and Skate Shop — which offers equipment and classes — before going out in the water independently. If you prefer to paddle, rent a kayak and make your way down the Woonasquatucket River via a guided tour. 

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The Best Rock Climbing in Rhode Island

Adrenaline enthusiasts can embark on a rock climbing excursion at Lincoln Woods State Park, which is located right outside the capital city of Providence. (However, we recommend proceeding with caution, especially if you’re a beginner.) The 600-plus acre park also has hiking and biking trails, plus ample picnic areas. 

Adrenaline enthusiasts can embark on a rock climbing excursion at Lincoln Woods State Park, which is located right outside the capital city of Providence. (However, we recommend proceeding with caution, especially if you’re a beginner.) The 600-plus acre park also has hiking and biking trails, plus ample picnic areas. 

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The Best Fishing in Rhode Island

The 1,000-plus acre Worden Pond has about six miles of shoreline that's great for year-round fishing. Here, you'll find an abundance of chase bass, crappie, and pike. Ice fishing is popular here in the wintertime, too.

The 1,000-plus acre Worden Pond has about six miles of shoreline that's great for year-round fishing. Here, you'll find an abundance of chase bass, crappie, and pike. Ice fishing is popular here in the wintertime, too.

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The Best Wine Tasting in Rhode Island

When it comes to wine tasting in Rhode Island, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Newport Vineyards. The 60-acre winery has plenty of outdoor space for social distancing. Score a table amidst the grapevines with a glass of red, white, or rose in hand. Cheers!

When it comes to wine tasting in Rhode Island, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Newport Vineyards. The 60-acre winery has plenty of outdoor space for social distancing. Score a table amidst the grapevines with a glass of red, white, or rose in hand. Cheers!

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The Best Beach in Rhode Island

With over half a mile of coastline, Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly offers plenty of room to lounge along the soft stretch of sand. There's also a children's playground on-site, as well. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summertime season to ensure safety as you swim. However, it is recommended you arrive early to avoid the crowds. 

With over half a mile of coastline, Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly offers plenty of room to lounge along the soft stretch of sand. There's also a children's playground on-site, as well. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summertime season to ensure safety as you swim. However, it is recommended you arrive early to avoid the crowds. 

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The Best Biking in Rhode Island

The East Bay Bike Path winds through coves, marshes, woods, and coastlines. The paved trail spans approximately 14 miles between Providence and Bristol. The trail is broken into four phases and connects eight parks.

The East Bay Bike Path winds through coves, marshes, woods, and coastlines. The paved trail spans approximately 14 miles between Providence and Bristol. The trail is broken into four phases and connects eight parks.

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The Best Whale Watching in Rhode Island

Peak whale-watching season in The Ocean State takes place from June 30 through September 1. While several companies offer sightseeing excursions, Frances Fleet is among the best in the state. Finback whales are the most common; however, if you're lucky, you may also spot blue whales and sei whales.

Peak whale-watching season in The Ocean State takes place from June 30 through September 1. While several companies offer sightseeing excursions, Frances Fleet is among the best in the state. Finback whales are the most common; however, if you're lucky, you may also spot blue whales and sei whales.

Newport, RI
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Best Walking Tours in Rhode Island

Experience Rhode Island's capital on foot with a self-guided walking tour, which will take you through the city's fascinating past and culture-packed neighborhoods. For a general overview of the city's history, check out this itinerary of centuries-old sites that you can easily explore at your own pace. Newport also has its fair share of enticing attractions — think grand Gilded Age mansions, a centuries-old colonial-era past, and a rich sailing history — which you can learn more about via the Newport Historical Society's Guided Walking Tour.

Experience Rhode Island's capital on foot with a self-guided walking tour, which will take you through the city's fascinating past and culture-packed neighborhoods. For a general overview of the city's history, check out this itinerary of centuries-old sites that you can easily explore at your own pace. Newport also has its fair share of enticing attractions — think grand Gilded Age mansions, a centuries-old colonial-era past, and a rich sailing history — which you can learn more about via the Newport Historical Society's Guided Walking Tour.

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