What did we like (and dislike) about Rhode Island? Read the answers to our All50 Questionnaire to discover what surprised us, what went exactly as planned and other details that might be useful as you plan your own trip (like how much we paid for parking and where we wished we would have spent more time). We answer the same set of questions for each state independently so you'll get two unique perspectives.
When did you visit?
May 26th-27th, 2018
How long was your time in the state?
About a day
Why did you visit?
100th Month Anniversary
Describe Rhode Island in five words.
Andrea: Trees, Coastal, Crazy Driving, Colonial, Historic
Brandon: Rural, Coastal, Eclectic, Quaint, Trees
What surprised you about Rhode Island?
Andrea: How difficult some of the driving was - the streets were fairly narrow but street parking was still allowed so, in some places, drivers took turns letting each other pass. It was hard to know how to handle it and uncomfortable getting that close to other cars. There was a lot more graffiti than I would have expected in otherwise well-kept areas. I was also surprised at how many trees there are. It felt like the roads and houses and small towns are cut out of forests. Very beautiful!
Brandon: I was surprised by the open sexuality there during a festival we attended in Providence. I was also surprised by the sheer density of the forest and scarcity of the towns - we went through several towns were it didn't even look like there was a town there, just a few houses that were closer together.
What was exactly what you expected?
Andrea: The coastal towns/drives were similar to what I expected. They had a relaxed vibe and beautiful views.
Brandon: The coastal areas were pretty much what I expected - beaches and lots of water areas (a little rockier than I expected, though). I expected it to be pretty wooded because that's what I've heard of New England as a whole, but it went beyond my expectations in that regard.
How was the driving, roads, parking, etc.?
Brandon: One word: horrendous.
Andrea: We struggled a little with knowing what the norms were for handling narrow roads. There were also frequent lane reductions that didn't seem clearly marked (or marked at all) and a fair amount of one-way streets and lots of forks in the roads making it essential to pay attention at all times. It felt to us that speed limit signs were few and far between. For the most part, parking was free (of course part of that was due to it being the weekend). We did pay $15 for event parking for Waterfire and saw that it was $25 for a day pass for a beach we thought about visiting. Road conditions were probably average, but not great.
One a scale of one to five (five being the safest), how safe did you feel throughout your stay?
Andrea: 5. We never stumbled across any questionable areas, but the graffiti did make it seem a little less savory.
Brandon: 5. I never felt unsafe.
What was your favorite attraction?
Andrea: Brenton Point State Park was so beautiful with hardly any people so it was lovely to bring our take-out dinner down there and watch the sunset (what we could see of it through the clouds). I could watch and listen to the ocean forever. Waterfire was another favorite. I usually get burnt out at festival-like events, but this was absolutely perfect. It starts at sunset and goes until 12:30 am so it's after dark and so relaxing. Even though there are lots of people around, the bonfires in the middle of the river, the floating gondolas and the smooth music make it romantic and charming. Such a unique experience.
What was your favorite meal?
Andrea: The causa limeña, cuñape and ceviche de pescado at Los Andres
Brandon: The causa limeña, cuñape and ceviche mixto at Los Andes
Where would you have liked to spend more time?
Andrea: I would have liked to see another home/mansion along the coast. There are several in that area.
Brandon: Everywhere. It felt crunched for time.
What would you do if you could go back that you didn’t do this time?
Andrea: I would have liked to go inside the First Baptist Church in America. We could only see the outside because of a college graduation that was being hosted there that day.
Brandon: The First Baptist Church in America
What was an interesting thing you learned?
Andrea: About the early settlers in that area and that it was a popular vacation destination for people of many ethnicities
Brandon: That the First Baptist Church in America had come so far from the beliefs of the people that founded it
What would you like to learn more about?
Andrea: The seasons there and the flowering plants that were everywhere
Brandon: The founder of the First Baptist Church in America and his relationship with native Americans in that area and the interplay between the early Baptists, Purtians and native Americans.
What kind of wildlife did you see?
Andrea: Seagulls, squirrels, ducks, geese and our Airbnb had a kitty
Brandon: I don't remember seeing any
What kind of nature did you see?
Andrea: Trees, lots of flowering plants/shrubs, wild roses
Brandon: Nothing that stands out
What did you like least about the state?
Andrea: The narrow and confusing roads
Brandon: The driving
Describe a funny memory from your trip.
Andrea: The strange, erotic artwork in our Airbnb
Did you fly or drive?
What souvenirs did you bring home?
One a scale of one to five (five being the most eager) how eager are you to return and why?
Andrea: 2 - I would like to see more, but Newport was really busy and the local scene felt pretentious
Brandon: 3 - because we didn't see a ton while we were there