Rhode Island – Firsts, Mansions and Museums

When you visit Rhode Island not only will you find a large number of attractions, but you will find that many of them are historically significant. Additionally, some of the most spectacular mansions in the U.S. were built in this tiny state and are now registered with the Historical Society.

Rhode Islands has a lengthy list of firsts. This tiny but independent state was the first to defy British rule, an act of defiance that ultimately lead to the Revolutionary War. Another notable first; the first water-powered cotton mill was built in this Northern state. Additionally, the nation’s first synagogue was built in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s Attractions

Bank of America City Center: For the skater in the family the Bank of America City Center is an amazing must-see. Comprised of over 14,000 square feet of skating area, that in the summer welcomes roller bladders and in the winter ice skaters, the B of A City Center is a year-round attraction. Shop in the gift shop or relax in the visitor’s center.

Providence-Newport Water Ferry: Travel from Providence to Barrington or Bristol by hopping aboard the Providence-Newport Water Ferry. Relax, watching the beautiful shoreline as the ferry carries you down the coast. Even the kids will get a thrill counting the gulls and seeing who can spot a pelican or a fish jumping out of the water.

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum: The Rhode Island School of Design is a world-renowned art and design school. The museum displays over 80,000 pieces of art and design. You don’t have to be artistic to appreciate the innovation and talent represented by the museum’s collection.

Roger Williams Park Zoo: Consider by many to be the East Coast’s version of the San Diego Zoo on the West Coast, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is home to almost 1,000 exotic animals. Tour the facilities, enjoying the many penguins, polar bears, tigers and elephants on display at this beautiful wildlife sanctuary.

Prospect Terrace Park: A huge statue of Roger Williams, Rhode Island’s founder, stands in the center of this beautiful expanse of park.

Brown University: One of the first institutes of higher learning established in the earliest days of the country. Today the campus is an eclectic mixture of historic and modern architecture, worthy of a guided tour of the grounds.

Providence Train Station: Visit the newly remodeled station across the street from the Rhode Island State House. It is also within walking distance of many downtown hotels, and an easy drive to other attractions such as the Waterplace Park and the Providence Place Mall.

Culinary Archives and Museum: The aspiring cook or chef will find the collection of hundreds of thousands of recipes and cooking documents absolute amazing.

Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum: A National Historical Landmark, this Victorian mansion features hand-painted ceilings and walls. Visitors will be awed by the amazingly intricately carved woodwork.

Providence Children’s Museum: Kids, young and old, will appreciate the fun and interactive exhibits are the Providence Children’s Museum. Kids and parents alike will find fascinating the “pick-a-pet” exhibit that helps families determine what type of pet would be the best for them.