Spring is an ideal time to explore Rhode Island's tapestry of historic sites, outdoor adventures, cultural events, and culinary indulgences. Blooming flowers blanket public gardens while farmers' markets come alive with the flavors of locally sourced foods and craft vendors. 

In the springtime, Rhode Island festival season kicks into high gear with whimsical celebrations of art, music, and nature's renewal. From strolling the iconic beaches to touring vineyards and sipping local wines, the possibilities for immersing oneself in Rhode Island's unmistakable character are endless.

Marvels in Bloom and Outdoor Encounters

For nature lovers and those who love outdoor activity, a walk along the Newport Cliff Walk is a must. The 3.5-mile trail offers breathtaking views of grand mansions on one side and the stunning Atlantic Ocean on the other - a remarkable way to appreciate the outdoors. Even better, the cliff walk is free and is a top family attraction in Newport. The path is filled with a colorful display of blooming wildflowers and daffodils flora and fauna harmoniously painting an enchanting picture against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another amazing outdoor experience awaits at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, open all year in Providence and spreads across 40 acres, the Zoo brings global wildlife to life amidst spring blossoms. Witness zebras grazing, elephants playfully splashing water, and flamingos demonstrating their unique dance. With its interactive exhibits and engaging spring activities, the zoo is a family-friendly destination that both educates and entertains. Its vibrant life in spring makes it an essential visit.

Travel to the East Bay for the Sakonnet Garden. Located in Little Compton this garden is an astounding botanical marvel and great for a photo op for sure. The garden is open to the public from early May until October and reservations are recommended. This hidden gem houses 15 unique garden "rooms", each boasting diverse plant species, vivid flowering plants, and shrubs that create a burst of color, turning your visit into an enchanting stroll through nature's artistry.

 

Discovering Rhode Island's Cultural and Historical Gems

At the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, you'll find yourself immersed in a diverse collection that brings art from various periods to life. As you wander through the halls, you'll encounter over 86,000 works of fine art, spanning centuries from ancient Greek sculptures to contemporary paintings. Each piece tells a unique story, unraveling the tapestry of the creative human spirit.

Next, take a step into the past on Benefit Street’s “Mile of History.” This living testament to Rhode Island's history is more than just a street – it's a monument to the state's architectural heritage. As you stroll down this mile-long stretch, you'll feel the echoes of the past. The John Brown House is featured here and is open for tours on Saturdays. Each colonial home, with its beautifully preserved facade, offers a glimpse into bygone eras, making it a must-visit for anyone with a love for history.

Vineyards and Local Crafts

Rhode Island boasts claim to many vineyards/wineries (bring home a flavor of RI with you) and spectacular artisan markets. Shop, learn, explore and eat! 

Flea and Farmers' Markets

Picture yourself weaving through stalls in over a 60,000-square-foot facility adorned with handcrafted goods from jewelry and vintage items to culinary delights (and so much more), that is what you will find at the Farm Fresh Providence Farmers Market, which is open year-round on Saturdays and while your eyes enjoy the displays, your taste buds can indulge in Rhode Island's favorite dishes served by local food trucks. 

Support Rhode Island's local farms by visiting one of the many Farmer's markets (several are open year-round) throughout the state. On Fridays, the Pawtucket Farmers Market has indoor and outdoor shopping spaces selling crafts and food. If you are in the Bristol area on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm stop by the Mount Hope Farmers Market offering produce, bakery items, meat, and fish - just to name a few. 

Newport Vineyards

The spring weather in Rhode Island is a great time for a vineyard exploration, with Newport Vineyards being a must-visit. Grab a light sweater and participate in a wine-tasting session or a vineyard tour that offers insight into the art of winemaking. You can stroll amidst flourishing grapevines, learn about the craftsmanship behind each bottle, and sample the vineyard's finest wines. It's a blend of Rhode Island's rural charm and the sophistication of its local wine industry. 

Taproot Brewery, which is part of the vineyard, features a James Beard-nominated Chef and an incredible menu to go along with great beer.  Pair the Bad Mother Clucker or the Beer Batter Haddock with a Johnnycake Red Irish Lager or a Naughty Double IPA to get a taste of Rhode Island unlike any other.

Rhode Island Festivals and WaterFire Events

Rhode Island loves its festivals ( we have them all year long), and with the arrival of Spring one such annual festival is the Newport Daffodil Days Festival, which comes alive every April, dazzling visitors with millions of bright yellow daffodils. You'll find yourself amidst vibrant blooms, participating in daffodil-themed garden parties and parades. It's an unforgettable tribute to the beauty of spring.  It also crosses over to Bristol at the beautiful estate and gardens at the Blithewold Mansion. This historic home is located on acres of gorgeous gardens, a bamboo forest and sits along the ocean; they even let you picnic on the front lawn. If you are looking to have a tea party check out Blithewolds popular tea service it's a charming way to spend a couple of hours.  Roaming amongst the beauty of nature in either location will surely put a smile on your face. 

As the days lengthen and warm, the WaterFire installation illuminates the city of Providence. This award-winning work of art by Barnaby Evans ignites downtown Providence's three rivers with over eighty shimmering bonfires. Beginning mid to late April each year and running through November, these events enchant attendees with their music and performers along with food and shopping vendors making it a splendid night out for all ages all while enjoying its magical glow over the city. For those who want to get up close and personal, you can reserve a ride on a gondola through Providence River Boat Company boat ride tours and really feel part of this beautiful experience.  You can start your night off with a cocktail on a hidden gem Rooftop Bar with stunning views of the city or stop by the Bayberry Garden a cheerful destination serving tapas, seafood, desserts &  delicious cocktails.

Scenic Drives and Relaxing Retreats

Block Island is an ideal spring getaway for those yearning for peace, relaxation, and connecting with nature. This tranquil sanctuary is just a short ferry ride from Point Judith in Narragansett.  Block Island provides miles of unpaved paths perfect for serene walks and cycling adventures.  Block Island by Bike offers both bike or e-bike tours or rent your own at the Old Harbor Bike Shop (mopeds too). Experience the majestic shorelines, beacon towers, and wildlife sanctuaries such as the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, all while enjoying the sights and scents of wildflowers and the sounds of singing birds - did you know Block Island is a wonderful Fall birding spot too?

Now picture yourself embarking on a picturesque voyage, with the vast sea to one side and opulent estates adorning the other side. That's what Ocean Drive in Newport provides. This 10-mile expanse, renowned for its breathtaking sceneries and historical sites, offers a visual delight. Allow the briny ocean wind to permeate your vehicle as you lower the glass panes. Not only will you enjoy the sites and sounds of nature on this drive but you will also feel like you have stepped back in time driving by the magnificent mansions of the Gilded Age. At the end of your drive be sure to stop at the famous Brenton Point State Park, absorb the sweeping sights of the Atlantic, try kite-flying, have a delightful picnic, or grab a book all while having the relaxing sounds of the ocean- around you. 

It’s Time To Explore Rhode Island in the Spring

Visitors can enjoy scenic walks, sample local cuisine at bustling markets, and immerse themselves in unique state-wide celebrations here in the Ocean State. The area is rich in history and art, featuring museums and historic streets that showcase American creativity through the ages. For relaxation, there are numerous opportunities for scenic drives and tranquil retreats, providing stunning views and a serene escape from daily life. This combination of activities ensures that every visitor will find something to enjoy, making it a versatile and appealing destination for spring travel.

Rhode Island this spring is an ideal choice for anyone looking to pack their travel schedule with a variety of experiences. Whether you're into nature, food, history, or just chilling out, Rhode Island has you covered without the need for overly poetic descriptions. It's a great place to visit, offering both the charm of a small state and a wide range of activities to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you here!