Rhode Island

Pristine coastlines, dense forests, charming harbor towns, and an exciting history: the smallest US state Rhode Island has more to offer than you think. Set sail and come with us to the Ocean State!

Rhode Island facts

Capital: Providence
Area: 3,144 km²
Population: about 1.1 million
Location: Northeast of the USA
Nickname: The Ocean State, Little Rhody
Hotspots: Newport, Block Island, International Tennis Hall of Fame
Time zone: UTC -5 (Eastern)

Rhode Island: location & population

Rhode Island in the North East of the USA is the smallest of the 50 states. It is one of the 13 New England colonies that signed the US Constitution. Rhode Island is only 60 km wide and 77 km long and is located between Connecticut and Massachusetts. The small state also has over 600 km of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. A maritime border separates Rhode Island from New York State.

After New Jersey, Rhode Island has the second-highest population density of all American states. The population is made up of approximately 81 % Whites, 6 % African Americans, 12 % Hispanics, and 3 % Asians.

The largest cities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is most densely populated around Narragansett Bay and along the Atlantic coast. The largest cities are:

City Population
Providence 191,000
Cranston 83,000
Warwick 83,000
Pawtucket 76,000
East Providence 47,000

Nature and climate

Scenically, Rhode Island more than lives up to its nickname, the Ocean State, featuring many stretches of coastline and beaches. Its relief is mostly flat, with the highest point, Jerimoth Hill, measuring just 247 m above sea level. While the densely populated coastal region of Narragansett Bay stretches across the eastern part of Rhode Island, the western part is covered by larger forest areas.

Rhode Island has a predominantly humid continental climate: summers are warm with average temperatures up to 28 °C, and winters are cold with temperatures as low as -7 °C. Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, it is prone to hurricanes, snowstorms, and severe thunderstorms.

Best time to travel to Rhode Island

The prime times to travel to the Ocean State Rhode Island are the summer and fall months.

Rhode Island in summer

While June and August see many visitors to Rhode Island and hotel prices are a bit higher, warm temperatures and a full calendar of events make summer the most attractive season to travel in the Ocean State. Now is the perfect time to take a sailing trip or attend top events, such as the “Black Ships Festival in Newport,” “Providence Summer Restaurant Weeks,” or the “Rhode Island International Film Festival.”

Rhode Island in autumn

From September to November, Rhode Island's autumn leaves turn a glorious orange – Indian Summer enchants the Northeastern United States. This is a great time to go hiking in the woodlands of the Ocean State and to relax and explore the museums and restaurants of Providence. Since the summer tourist crowds have largely departed, you should now be able to find a hotel bargain quickly.

Traveling to Rhode Island

Theodore Francis Green State Airport near Providence is Rhode Island's main airport, handling about 2.6 million passengers annually. There are also a handful of smaller airports, such as:

  • Block Island State Airport
  • Westerly State Airport

From Frankfurt am Main, London, or Paris, you can fly with Virgin Atlantic, United, or American Airlines to Providence Airport. The connections include a stopover and cost about € 600 to € 700.

However, you don't have to fly to Providence. Rhode Island is within good reach for international travelers thanks to its proximity to the metropolitan areas of Boston and New York City. If you're coming from Europe, be sure to check for flight bargains to New York JFK, Newark, and Boston Logan. If you book early enough, you can find direct flights for around € 400.

The distance between the airport in Boston and Providence takes about an hour by rental car and about two hours by train. From New York, you'll be on the road for about three hours by car and four hours by train.

Travel authorization Rhode Island

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a visa or ESTA to enter Rhode Island.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Airport transfer in Rhode Island

If you're flying into Providence, you have several options for getting from the airport to your accommodations:

Public transport from Providence Airport

Providence Airport is connected to downtown by bus routes 1, 20, and 66 of the Public Transportation Authority of Rhode Island (RIPTA). A one-way ride costs $ 2. There is also a train station at Theodore Francis Green State Airport, which gives you access to AMTRAK's Acela Express trains that take you to various cities in the US Northeast.

Shuttle from Providence Airport

If you are staying in one of the surrounding hotels, you may be able to use a free hotel shuttle. To find out if your hotel has its own shuttle service, just give them a call.

Taxi from Providence Airport

The designated taxi zone is located in parking lot D, directly in front of the airport terminal. You will pay the basic fare of $ 3.50 and $ 2.17 for each kilometer driven.

State Parks and Natural wonders in Rhode Island

The Ocean State's natural beauty is a great place to relax. Here are our top tips for a little peace and quiet away from the city noise.

Block Island

Roughly half of Block Island, 21 km off the coast of Rhode Island, is protected as a nature reserve and has therefore retained much of its original beauty. Especially in summer, the island attracts many day-trippers who come to relax and sunbathe on the beach or to enjoy outdoor activities such as sailing, hiking, biking, and fishing. If you travel to Rhode Island in late May, you can watch the island's most exciting event, the five-day sailing regatta "Block Island Race.”

Arcadia Management Area

You'll be surprised at how many forests there are in small, densely populated Rhode Island. The largest recreation area is called Arcadia and is located in the Hope Valley near Exeter. The area is crisscrossed with dozens of hiking trails and offers you plenty of quiet places to fish. And if you look (and listen) closely, you're sure to discover a pileated woodpecker.

Top 10 Sightseeing highlights Rhode Island

Get inspired by the ten most popular attractions in Rhode Island:

  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Cliff Walk
  • Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Newport Mansions Preservation Society
  • The Breakers
  • Rosecliff
  • Marble House
  • The Elms

City highlights in Rhode Island

Rhode Island's most beautiful city highlights, Providence and Newport, will enchant you with their typical New England flair.

City highlights Providence

Providence, founded in 1636, is one of the oldest cities in the USA, but the atmosphere here is not dusty. The city, also known as "Creative Capital" and "Divine City," is bursting with vibrancy! Visit great art museums and the world-famous Brown University. When the sun goes down, be sure to stroll along the Riverwalk and check out the more than 100 bonfires burning in large iron pans in the middle of the Woonasquatucket River.

These city highlights are waiting for you in Providence:

  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Roger Williams Park
  • Providence Tennis Academy at Roger Williams Park
  • WaterFire

City highlights Newport

Boats, boats, and more boats – welcome to Newport, Rhode Island, the "Sailing Capital of the World!" This charming harbor town on Aquidneck Island is one of the state’s most beautiful spots in many ways. Listen to the sound of the waves as you stroll along the Cliff Walk along the Atlantic Ocean, visit gorgeous colonial mansions, and taste freshly caught seafood at a cozy waterfront café.

Discover the most beautiful city highlights in Newport:

  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • Cliff Walk
  • The Breakers
  • Rosecliff
  • Marble House

Roadtrip in Rhode Island

Rhode Island was one of the original 13 New England colonies, and it has a long history. On our road trip, we'll visit historically significant sites and fascinating buildings in the Ocean State.

We start in the capital city of Providence, which was already a busy port in colonial times. Beautiful witnesses of the era of sailors are the historic houses of Benefit Street. The colorful, original houses from the colonial era have been lovingly restored and overlook the historic harbor district – a wonderful photo spot.

Our tour now takes us a few kilometers north along the Seekonk River, where the industrial revolution of the USA began in Pawtucket. "Slaters Mill" was the first successful textile mill in America and is now one of the National Historic Landmarks of the United States. However, you shouldn't be superstitious if you take a tour of the mill because it's said to be haunted.

To conclude our little history tour of Rhode Island, we head to Aquidneck Island. The city of Newport is so rich in historical buildings that you can easily spend several days visiting all the highlights. Don't miss Fort Adams, built in 1799, the largest fort on the US East Coast. After that, a number of beautiful colonial mansions await your visit. "The Breakers," "Rosecliff," "Marble House," or "The Elms" – which one should it be first?

Instagram hotspots in Rhode Island

You'll certainly want to share your impressions of picturesque Rhode Island with your friends and followers. Check out our five Instagram hotspots for great pictures:

  • WaterFire in Providence
  • Benefit Street in Providence
  • International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • The Breakers in Newport
  • Block Island

Food and drinks in Rhode Island

If you're a gourmet, you'll feel right at home in the Ocean State. Providence, the state's capital, has a creative restaurant scene that is known far beyond Rhode Island's borders. Be sure to try these regional specialties:

  • Stuffies (quahogs stuffed with minced clams, breading, herbs, onions, celery, and chourico)
  • Hot Wieners (sausage made from a mix of veal and pork on steamed hot dog buns with mustard, meat sauce, onions, celery salt, and a special blend of spices)
  • Clam Cakes (fried dough ball with spices and crushed shells)
  • Clam Chowder
  • Johnny Cakes (pancakes from corn flour)

Rhode Island fun facts

Little Rhode Island is full of records and surprises. Did you already know these interesting facts?

  • Until November 2020, Rhode Island carried the longest official name of any US state: the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • From 1881 to 1914, the men's competition of the US Open was held in Newport, Rhode Island. The ladies played in Philadelphia. Since 1915, all competitions of the most important tennis tournament in the United States have been held in New York City.
  • The Tuoro Synagogue in Newport is the oldest synagogue in the United States.
  • In 1953, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • There are 21 lighthouses in Rhode Island. 13 of them are still in operation today, the rest are privately owned.
  • The official state beverage in Rhode Island is coffee milk.
  • Providence has the highest density of donut stores in the United States.

Immigrate to Rhode Island

Can you see yourself staying in Rhode Island forever? Our tips for living and working in the Ocean State will help you fulfill your dream of relocating to the USA.

Working in Rhode Island

The Blackstone River Valley in Rhode Island is where America's industrial revolution began. Today, industry (e.g., shipbuilding, metal products, machinery) still plays an important role in the Ocean State, but the economy is dominated by the service sector, especially tourism, health care, and education. Major Rhode Island-based companies include Amica Mutual Insurance, American Power Conversion, Citizens Financial Group, CVS Caremark, FM Global, GTECH Corporation, Hasbro, Nortek, and Textron.

Living in Rhode Island

Although Rhode Island is a very livable state, it is also rather expensive. Taxes, especially income tax, are significantly higher than in neighboring states. According to the Cost of Living Index, the cost of living in the Ocean State is about 7 % above the US average, with slight variations from place to place. For example, costs in the capital city of Providence are about 5 % higher than in the rest of America and 10 % higher in the picturesque coastal town of Newport. Other popular places to live in Rhode Island include Barrington, Kingston, Jamestown, and East Greenwich.

To Rhode Island with a Green Card

Posh Rhode Island would be the ideal place for you? You need a Green Card to be allowed to live and work in America indefinitely. The US government's Green Card Lottery is an annual drawing of a total of 55,000 of the desirable Permanent Resident Cards. Sign up and take your chance!

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!