Newport, Rhode Island's famed Thames Street shopping district. Image credit George Wirt via Shutterstock

7 Most Inviting Towns in Rhode Island

Although 65 times smaller than the average US state, Rhode Island does not lack beauty. The small state is bursting with gorgeous and inviting towns. From scenic island towns to beautiful coastal and riverside villages, the state is a paradise for vacationers. From Bristol’s historic charm to the quaint New England village of Tiverton Four Corners, there is no doubt that travelers will leave the state with a collection of unforgettable memories. Read on to discover the seven most inviting towns of Rhode Island, but beware that soon, you will find yourself compelled to book your next plane ticket to visit this remarkable state!


The Port at Bristol, Rhode Island.
The Port at Bristol, Rhode Island.

Straddling between Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bay, Bristol has a unique historic charm and plenty of recreational activities for all to enjoy. The centric area is dotted with cozy shops, cafes, and taverns, such as the historic DeWolf Tavern on the waterfront. Additionally, Beehive Cafe offers fresh, seasonal dishes and delicious coffee that will leave guests reminiscing for months to come.

Those who love history will fall in love with the 17th-century colonial buildings, such as the three-story Joseph Reynolds House made of wood, dating back to 1698. Blithewold Mansion & Gardens and Linden Place Mansion are also architectural treasures, showing Victorian-style architecture. Colt State Park is a great recreational option, with beautiful hiking trails, bike paths, and panoramic views of Narragansett Bay and historic stone walls.


The view of Sakonnet River and a small residential neighborhood in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
The view of Sakonnet River and a small residential neighborhood in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Incorporated in 1694, Tiverton is a town that has preserved its culture and history well, which is very apparent to those who visit the charming town. In the heart of the town lies Tiverton Four Corners, a cozy New England Village with 18th-century buildings. In Four Corners, visitors can meander through a variety of shops, such as ceramic, home decor, gift, antique, and flower shops. There are also many impressive art galleries to explore.

Hungry after a morning of shopping? Check out one of the village’s restaurants or eateries, such as Four Corners Grille, offering freshly caught seafood. For those looking to soak up some rays, Fogland Beach is an excellent place to kayak, windsurf, paddleboard, and fish.


Aerial view of Ashton Mill and George Washington Bridge over the Blackstone River between Cumberland and Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Aerial view of Ashton Mill and George Washington Bridge over the Blackstone River near Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Hugging the Blackstone River, Lincoln is a gorgeous mainland town filled with beautiful historic architecture and outdoor activities. For those who want to marvel at historic architecture, the Arnold House, built by Eleazer Arnold in 1693, features exemplary stonework that reflects early immigrants’ skills. The Hearthside House is another excellent example to visit, standing as a stone house built over 200 years ago, featuring a gable roof, 10 rooms, and 10 fireplaces. Make sure to check Hearthside House’s Calendar as well, as they frequently host celebrations and tea times in the house!

Heading to the great outdoors, travelers can enjoy Lincoln Woods State Park; swim at a freshwater beach, fish for trout, hike, or even horseback ride. Blackstone River State Park is worth a visit as well, featuring over 1,000 acres of land, many trails, and fascinating historical sites to see!

New Shoreham

Stairs leading to the Mohegan Bluffs and beach in New Shoreham, Rhode Island.
Stairs leading to the Mohegan Bluffs and beach in New Shoreham, Rhode Island. Image credit quiggyt4 via

Located on Block Island and about a half-hour ferry ride from the mainland, New Shoreham is the smallest town in the state. However, despite its small size, there are lots of activities for tourists to enjoy. The fastest way to explore is by renting a moped or bike. Many visitors also try parasailing to enjoy the beautiful coastal views! For those who prefer less adrenaline-evoking activities, New Shoreham has many shops. Jewelry stores, fashion shops, boutiques, and bookstores are some of the few to check out.

Open during the summer season, The National Tap & Grille has an unbeatable location, with a seaside patio overlooking the water and an abundance of mouthwatering seafood options. For those up for a little hike, Mohegan Bluffs rises approximately 200 feet over the sea. Hiking up the park’s trails, visitors will arrive at spectacular, panoramic views of the surrounding ocean.


Historic buildings and businesses along a street in Newport, Rhode Island.
Historic buildings and businesses along a street in Newport, Rhode Island. Image credit George Wirt via

Many tourists visit Newport each year, and for good reason. A vacation to Newport entails sunny days on the beach, breezy afternoons sailing out at sea, and a calm evening sipping wine at a vineyard. Newport Vineyards is a must-visit location, featuring 60 acres of vineyards, a cafe, a restaurant, a tasting room, and a marketplace. The wine is sure to impress, having won many awards.

In addition to a variety of mansions open to tour, the town has trolley tours that will immerse tourists in Newport’s history while informing them about hidden gems and legendary landmarks! Looking for a memorable place to stay? The Rose Island Lighthouse seasonally opens as an inn and offers the unforgettable opportunity to spend the night in a lighthouse.


The Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
The Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Jamestown’s colonial history dates back to 1678, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony incorporated it. Today, it is a tranquil coastal town boasting gorgeous parks, historic farms, quaint local shops and galleries, and highly-rated restaurants. For hungry travelers, Angels Kitchen offers flavorful Italian food. Coastal Queen Cruises has a variety of daily cruises available for travelers, ranging from cocktail cruises to lighthouse cruises! They also have occasional live music cruises for those interested in the music scene.

A trip to Jamestown is not complete without visiting the Beavertail State Park, which is home to the historical Beavertail Lighthouse and consists of four overlooks of the stunning New England coastline. Travelers have the option of either touring the park in their vehicles or exploring on foot.


John Arnold House Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
John Arnold House Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Image credit Swampyank, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated in northern Rhode Island, Woonsocket is bursting with recreational activities, historical museums, and a diverse array of restaurants. The Museum of Work and Culture is a great place to start, as it tells the story of the town and its immigrants who came in search of a better life along the Blackstone River. Visitors will also enjoy a visit to Woonsocket Falls Dam, which hosts the largest waterfall on the Blackstone River. Historical buildings, monuments, and churches are also scattered throughout Woonsocket. Eating in Woonsocket’s restaurants is often a cultural experience in itself. Places such as Ciro’s Tavern embody the town’s interesting history. Chelo’s Hometown Bar and Grille is a memorable option for savoring a meal as well, featuring an indoor train in its main dining room.

With the colonial period dating back to the 17th century, Rhode Island is proud of its heritage and eagerly shares its culture and beauty with those who visit. From the historic colonial charm of Bristol to the tranquil coastal haven of Jamestown, each town shares something unique from its culture and natural surroundings. Whether discovering historic landmarks, indulging in local seafood, or parasailing over the glimmering ocean, a trip to Rhode Island guarantees long-lasting memories that will stick with its visitors for many years to come.

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