Rhode Island is the United States’ smallest state by landmass but one of the most densely populated. Yet, despite its 1,214 square miles, Rhode Island offers plenty to do. Its cities and towns celebrate a strong balance of culture and history. At the same time, its location along the East Coast makes it a New England tourist hotspot.
Planning a visit or a move? Consider the following as your guide on what it’s like to live, work, and play in the Ocean State.
Rhode Island Schools
Rhode Island isn’t just home to some of the best universities in the nation—including Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island School of Design. It also inhabits 47 school districts and 62 high schools. So Rhode Island has plenty to choose from if you’re a family looking for good schools and great neighborhoods.
Rhode Island Cities and Towns
Providence, known as one of the top 25 places to live on the East Coast, is not only one of the oldest cities in the nation but boasts low unemployment. A growing job market makes finding a new career easy in this bustling city. Providence also gives off a very similar atmosphere to other New England cities, like New Haven and Boston, but is more affordable, with the cost of housing being lower than the national average. Of course, cities like Providence aren’t the only place to put down roots. Are higher housing prices and cost of living not a worry? Then, suburbs like Cranston, Barrington, and Newport appeal to young professionals and families alike.
Suppose you’re looking for a slightly quieter location. In that case, Narragansett is a great coastal town, full of charm and situated on the easternmost coast of Rhode Island. It is one of the most desirable parts of the state to live in, known for its beaches and optimal surfing conditions year-round. Properties don’t go on the market often, which you can owe to the rustic scenery and oceanfront views.
How to Get Around Rhode Island
Even though Rhode Island is pretty small, public transit is worth mentioning. While you could drive yourself, ample public transit options in the area make getting around a breeze. You’ve got your pick between biking, buses, trains, and ferries. Thanks to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s daily train service, you can make relatively quick trips to the airport or Boston. In addition, the Amtrak stations available in Providence and Kingston offer downtown-to-downtown service, plus destinations in NYC, Philly, and Washington, DC, through the Providence line.
Enjoy the Rhode Island Seasons
Rhode Island is known as one of the most comfortable places to live during the spring and summer months. Temperatures average between 59 to 83 degrees, April through October, and sunny days far outnumber rainy days. It’s also a great fall destination for leaf peepers, with peak season mid-to-late-October. One of the most recommended scenic views is the route from Blackstone Valley to Wickford.
The Rhode Island Great Outdoors
New England is renowned for its scenic beauty, and Rhode Island is no exception, with a massive list of outdoor recreational activities and attractions. Roger Williams Park, home to a beautiful Botanical Center, is one of the top places to visit and is also near the Roger Williams Park Zoo. If you want to enjoy some beach time, you’ve got your pick from dog-friendly beaches to family-friendly beaches and other hidden gems. Many water sports are offered, such as fishing, surfing, kayaking, and parasailing. There is a plethora of hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as neighborhood parks. Goat hikes at Simmons Farm sound like a dream!
Rich Local Rhode Island History
Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams after he was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and purchased land from the native Narragansett Tribe—talk about starting fresh. The state has been a key player in American history since the colonial period as a major hub for shipping and trade and later at the forefront of power-driven textile mills during the Industrial Revolution.
Owing to its age as the oldest city in Rhode Island, Providence is home to some beautiful architecture like the Victorian Lippett House Museum and the John Brown House Museum. The Stephen Hopkins House, once the home of Declaration of Independence signer Stephen Hopkins, can be found on historic Benefit Street. Other must-see attractions include the Towers of Narragansett, the Varnum Memorial Armory—military and naval museum in East Greenwich, and the Brick Market Place in the heart of Newport.
Things To Do and See in Rhode Island
For festival enthusiasts, Providence and the surrounding area offer no shortage of community events or annual festivals from May to October, including:
- WaterFire at Waterplace Park
- Rhode Island Comic Con
- Providence Children’s Film Festival
- Rhode Island Pride
Rhode Island is also chock-full of independent shops, boutiques, galleries, and more where you can find just about anything. Looking for some family-friendly indoor activities? Check out the Boss Ice Arena in Kingstown, the Providence Children’s Museum, and the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.
Rhode Island Nightlife and Entertainment
Rhode Island is no stranger to fun after dark, with plenty of entertainment year-round, from concerts to comedy shows to cocktail cruises. It is home to several breweries, bars, and pubs, including Murphy’s, the oldest running pub in Providence. Rhode Island also appeals to the arts, with several theatres and performing arts centers across the state. Prefer spectator sports? Rhode Island is home to the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and several well-known college teams if you want to try to catch a game. And if you plan to kick back and relax, check out the Rustic Tri-Vue or Misquamicut drive-in movie theaters.
Finding Space in Rhode Island
If you’re sold on moving to the area, you should know that space is often at a premium. Because many parts of the state are highly sought after, it’s essential to understand that finding a home could take some time. In these situations, finding the right place to store your belongings can help you stay organized during your move and house-hunting adventures. If you have any questions about life in the Ocean State, finding a suitable space for your belongings, or even local tips on things to do or places to eat, the professionals at Prime Storage can help.
Visit Prime Storage for Your Rhode Island Storage Needs
With four convenient locations throughout the Providence metro area, Prime Storage makes it easy to stay organized, whether a homeowner or a small business. Some of our facilities even feature great amenities like climate control (perfect for New England winters) and covered parking. Need to find storage ASAP? Visit Prime Storage in Rhode Island!