In the crazy-glorious whirlwind of summer parties and trips, it can be easy to start off with all kinds of big plans, only to find yourself wiped out, broke and bewildered, when Labor Day rolls around. Don’t worry – we’re on it and we’ve totally got you covered with a wicked awesome summer bucket list methodically developed by scientists at Brown University*.
For the competitive among you (and you know who you are) it is GAME ON. Can all this fantastic family fun be accomplished in one summer? Who the heck knows, but we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t love to see you try!
Check out the bucket list below or print out a copy to take with you on this epic summer quest. PS, do us a favor and tag your photos with #RhodeIsland – so we can
stalk shamelessly live vicariously through you! This is Part One of the Bucket List, but if you can't wait to find out the rest, download your list today! Now let's get started!
*No scientists at Brown University or any other university for that matter had anything to do with anything on this page... ;P
1. Go to the beach.
If you’re into clamming, or just a pleasant stroll, this is your spot. It’s a large crescent of sandy beach on... Read More ›
This is the beach that locals want to keep secret – a well-sheltered beach with gentler waves and less... Read More ›
Ballard’s Beach is a Block Island tradition, with a hotel and an oceanfront restaurant, plus tiki bars serving... Read More ›
Block Island National Wildlife...
Adjacent to a former U.S. Coast Guard light station, Block Island Refuge consists of 46 acres of sandy beaches... Read More ›
Blue Shutters Town Beach
Very popular family-oriented town beach. It's a pretty spot with spectacular views of Block Island Sound.... Read More ›
Bristol Town Beach
The Town Beach and Sports Complex is a 47.15-acre park located near the entrance to Colt State Park. It... Read More ›
Camp Cronin is a top hidden gem in RI to sit on a quiet beach, walk along the rocks or pick a fishing spot to... Read More ›
Secluded, romantic and known for amazing sunsets. Charlestown Beach is a great spot for a sunset picnic and... Read More ›
Charlestown Breachway State Beach
This beach offers a panoramic view of Block Island Sound and is known as one of the best salt water fishing... Read More ›
Conimicut Point Beach
Saltwater beach with a park. A great spot for bird watching and sunsets, with view of the Conimicut... Read More ›
Cooneymus Cove is one of three secluded beaches on the west side of the island, furthest from town. It's wave... Read More ›
Cow Cove/North Light Area
If you appreciate great scenery, this is one of the island’s best bets, with pretty coastal views and the... Read More ›
A stretch of white sand beach along the east side of the island. Crescent Beach stretches along the Island's... Read More ›
Featuring majestic views that make a perfect backdrop for photos, Dinghy Beach is a small sandy cove with a... Read More ›
East Matunuck State Beach
Noted for its strong surf, this beach sports a futuristic pavilion and a huge parking lot. Boats entering and... Read More ›
East State Beach/Ninigret...
East Beach, located in Charlestown, takes up three miles of prime beach shoreline. It is the easterly... Read More ›
Easton's Beach (First Beach)
Newport is blessed with a beautiful coastline and several public beaches to enjoy surf, sand, and sun. The... Read More ›
Ell/Long Pond Preserve
Long Pond Woods, in Hopkinton, offers, arguably, the most challenging hiking of any Audubon Refuge. The 220... Read More ›
Fogland Beach (Tiverton Town Beach)
Fogland Beach is a black stone beach on the south side of Fogland Point. The beach is a favorite of kayakers... Read More ›
Fort Adams State Park
The second largest bastioned fort in the U.S. Key to Narragansett Bay area defenses, 1799 to 1945. Designed to... Read More ›
Fred Benson Town Beach
Known locally as Crescent Beach. Chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and concessions available to rent on a daily... Read More ›
Public beach, freshwater swimming, stickers required to park. Boat launch. $4 walk-in day pass for... Read More ›
The Goosewing Beach Preserve is a magnificent system of pristine coastal pond, beach and dune environments.... Read More ›
Disabled-accessible fishing pier. Small beach, no lifeguard. Read More ›
Killingly Pond Management Area
Killingly Pond Management Area covers a total land area of 396 acres. The area is primarily in forested cover... Read More ›
Lathrop Pond Wildlife Refuge
Lathrop Wildlife Refuge protects 86 acres along the northern shore of Winnapaug Pond, in the seaside town of... Read More ›
Lincoln Woods Kayak
Chart your own course along the beautiful natural waterways of Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, RI with a... Read More ›
Lincoln Woods State Park
This 627-acre park is located just outside of Providence. It includes all of Olney Pond and offers facilities... Read More ›
Located in a quiet residential area. Small beach, no lifeguards. Read More ›
Mackerel Cove (Jamestown Town...
Sandy Mackerel Cove, also known as Jamestown Town Beach, is sheltered from the currents of Narragansett Bay,... Read More ›
Secluded beach on Block Island, famous for its big waves. It's best to arrive by bike, as the limited parking... Read More ›
Misquamicut State Beach
This beach is one of the largest in the state. It generally has modest surf and good sand with a gradual... Read More ›
The bluffs rise about 200 feet above the sea and stretch for nearly three miles. Spectacular vistas. Nature... Read More ›
Napatree Point Beach & Conservation...
Napatree Point juts out from the Watch Hill area in Westerly, and is a wonderful place for a stunningly... Read More ›
Narragansett Town Beach
Narragansett Town Beach is a classic New England saltwater coastal beachfront that offers some of the best,... Read More ›
Bay inlet beach. Saltwater beach, playground, free parking, picnic area, restaurants nearby. Boat ramp on Bay... Read More ›
Pulaski State Park and Recreational...
Located within the 4,000-acre George Washington Management Area, the 100-acre Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area... Read More ›
Quonochontaug Pond is a saltwater pond in South County and is connected directly to the ocean via... Read More ›
Roger Wheeler State Beach
Protected from Block Island Sound by an extensive breakwater barrier, this is a popular beach for young... Read More ›
Sachuest Beach (Second Beach)
Sachuest Beach, locally known as Second Beach, is a South facing, mile long, family friendly beach with good... Read More ›
Salty Brine State Beach
Also known as Galilee Beach. This tiny beach, barely 100 yards long, is set close to the busy Galilee docks... Read More ›
Sandy Point Beach
This shallow, natural beach is located on the Sakonnet River at the end of Sandy Point Avenue and is great for... Read More ›
Scarborough State Beach South
Scarborough State Beach, with its newly renovated pavilion and expanded beach area, along with renovations to... Read More ›
Scotch Beach is accessible from a small parking area located on its namesake road leading to the right-of-way.... Read More ›
Simmons Mill Pond Management Area
Simmons Mill Pond Management Area covers approximately 400 acres. The land is dominated by forest cover types... Read More ›
Spring Lake Beach & Arcade
Recreational facility with 750 feet of beachfront offering volleyball court, food concessions, paddleboats,... Read More ›
Right at the south end of Crescent Beach sits Surf Beach, named for The Surf Hotel which sits just above it.... Read More ›
Third Beach is a beautiful, family friendly East facing beach. Third Beach has less waves and overlooks Third... Read More ›
Trustom Pond National Wildlife...
Trustom Pond Refuge encompasses over 700 acres of varied wildlife habitat and is home to approximately 300... Read More ›
Rocky but private, Vaill Beach is very secluded and is a good place for beach combing, finding glass floats... Read More ›
Warren Town Beach
The perfect spot for a family picnic or a great beach day with the little ones, the Warren Town Beach has... Read More ›
Warwick City Park & Buttonwoods...
A 126-acre beach park with three baseball fields, picnic areas and shelters, three miles of paved bicycle... Read More ›
Warwick Pond, Buckeye Brook
An 85-acre pond in the middle of Warwick, just east of the airport. There is no parking lot, but there is... Read More ›
Watchaug Pond Beach
Freshwater beach within Burlingame State Park. Read More ›
Waterman Pond Wildlife Refuge
Waterman Pond in Coventry boasts 28 acres of forest with a single straight trail to tranquil Sisson Pond.... Read More ›
While not great for swimmers and a bit rocky for laying on the beach, West Beach is very secluded and gorgeous... Read More ›
Beautiful 1,043 acre fresh water lake for great views, boating, swimming and many birds. Boat launch. Parking... Read More ›
2. Drink a Del's.
An RI institution since 1948, for a Rhode Islander it's not really summer until you've had a Del's. You'll find this slushy goodness throughout the state from Cumberland to Block Island in flavors like watermelon, blueberry and classic lemon. Trust us, a brain freeze has never been so worth it.
3.Hit the splash pad at WWII Memorial Park, Woonsocket
What kid doesn't love a splash pad? This one's surrounded by ball fields, a playground, picnic tables and walking paths - as well as restrooms which are always a good thing with little ones.
4. Hike Lincoln Woods.
It's 627 awesome acres of woods, trails and paths that surround Olney Pond, with its beach, new concession stand and kayak rentals. The more adventurous can do some mountain biking or check out some bouldering. PS, you can bring your dog along for the fun!
5. Take a boat tour.
We're not called the Ocean State for nothing, you know. Our coast is 400 miles long and it is made for boating: motorboat, sailboat, riverboat, schooner, yacht, dinghy, whatever. The bottom line is, get your family out on the water this summer and feel the salt spray on your skin and the wind in your hair as you fish, chase the horizon, or learn the history of the bay. And don't forget the ferries! Getting from A to B is much more pleasant with a drink in your hand and traffic in your wake. :)
Block Island Express
High speed ferry. Seasonal Ferry connecting New Londoon, CT and Block Island Read More ›
Block Island Ferry
The Traditional ferry is our year-round service ferry. The traditional service operates out of the Pt. Judith... Read More ›
Jamestown Newport Ferry
The Jamestown Newport Ferry offers Hop-On Hop-Off service, making five stops at Jamestown, Rose Island... Read More ›
Newport Harbor Shuttle
See the sights from the water or get off and explore: Fort Adams State Park, Ida Lewis Lighthouse, Brenton... Read More ›
Newport High-Speed Ferry
The Hi-Speed ferry provides a fast way to Block Island. Service runs out of the Newport terminal, located in... Read More ›
Oldport Marine Services
Continuous launch service to boats in Newport Harbor and New Harbor, Block Island. Hourly launch service to... Read More ›
Point Judith Hi-Speed Ferry
The Hi-Speed ferry is the fastest way to Block Island! Service runs out of the Pt. Judith terminal, located in... Read More ›
Prudence & Bay Islands Transport
Daily and year-round from Church Street Wharf in Bristol. Call for schedule and vehicle reservations. The... Read More ›
Seastreak The Providence-Newport...
The Providence-Newport Ferry will kick off its 2022 season on Friday, June 17. “The Ocean State”, which is... Read More ›
Viking Fleet provides passenger ferry service only. We do not take cars; however, you are welcome to bring... Read More ›
6. Visit a petting zoo.
If you or your little ones are animal lovers, then you'll be hitting a petting zoo at some point this summer. Get your quarters ready for the feed machines and the antibacterial gel ready for post-petting. Then get in there and snuggle those goats to your heart's content!
7. Watch the cows get milked at Wright's Dairy Farm.
Wright's has been a Rhode Island fixture since 1914, and they invite anyone who's interested to come and watch their cow's get milked each day (even on Christmas) from 3pm-4:30pm. Once you've watched the pretty cows get milked, you can pop over to the Wright Scoop, a 1966 Streamline Trailer turned quirky ice cream shop with a "cow-to-cone" philosophy and some crazy good small-batch ice cream.
8. Play disc golf at Slater Memorial Park, Pawtucket.
This all ages and abilities disc trail is free and open to the public from dawn until dusk. What's better than some friendly family competition? Just remember to BYOD (bring your own discs).
9. Root, root, root for the PawSox.
Summer and baseball go together like peanut butter and jelly, and taking in a game this summer is essential. So, grab the fam and head to McCoy to watch some fantastic baseball. You'll be having so much fun, by the time it comes to belt out "Sweet Caroline" your only serious consideration will be hotdog vs pretzel. Plan it right and you'll catch post-game fireworks, or go on Sunday so the kids can run the bases after the game. Total. Home. Run. :)
10. Collect sea shells.
Sea shell collecting is awesome. Each one is different, different colors, some broken, others just fragments and still others that are absolutely perfect. You don't have to be a kid to love it either - if you fancy yourself an artist, DIYer or other crafty type, there are loads of great things you can do with shells. All you need is a bucket and a beach - super simple!
11. Attend an outdoor concert.
Beautiful music, nature and fresh air. What is not to like? Enjoy an outdoor concert with the wee ones and make a picnic of it with food, drinks and a comfy blanket. Or you can head to a food truck night that combines terrific food options with great music (and no lugging a picnic basket!).
12. Meet the chickens at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory, Charlestown.
Billed as an international bazaar and home to a cafe, artwork, unique clothing, jewelry and more. This Rhode Island gem also features gardens, bamboo, chickens, ducks, goats and emus. It's a great place to wander around.
13. Bike a bike path.
Fun fact: RI has more than 60 miles of scenic bike paths to keep pedal pushers happy. Gather the family and set off on a cycling adventure. Many go by the water, are tree lined and some pass historic sites. No bikes? No problem! We've got plenty of places to rent.
14. Eat at a clam shack.
This is a must, obviously. There's nothing like leaving the beach still sandy and hair funky from the salt air and hunkering down at a picnic table for clam cakes and chowder at a local shack. Some are award-winning, all are beloved - each with their own passionate following - and all that seafood is fresh off Rhode Island docks. YUM.
15. Stargaze at Frosty Drew Observatory, Charlestown.
Are your little ones interested in science and astronomy? Well, they will be after a night at Frosty Drew. Rhode Island has the darkest stretch of night sky from Boston to New York and the stars show up and show off in spectacular fashion in Charlestown. Don't miss a chance to show the kids the wonders of the galaxy from the Sky Theatre at Frosty Drew.
16. Yak to a Yak at 1661 Farm & Gardens Animal Farm, Block Island.
Did you know that just across the street from The 1661 Inn is their Farm & Aviary? Home to a menagerie of interesting animals that include - you guessed it, a yak - as well as camels, llamas, pygmy and fainting goats, black swans red kangaroos and more. Get up close and personal with lemurs, alpacas and who knows what else!