Rhode Island has a lot going for a small state. In Newport, you can follow the Cliff Walk past mansions, visit ice wineries, or get surprisingly affordable antiques. Providence’s East Side has Brown University, funky Thayer Street, and the old-school library at the Providence Athenaeum. The RISD Museum has varied, excellent exhibits; some strong points of the permanent collection include John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt. You may be able to find an HP Lovecraft-themed tour, generally around Halloween. Locations like Block Island and Middletown swarm with visitors to their beaches in the summer season. Grab a board and learn the art of stand up paddling on the Narragansett River, away from the beach.
The traditional food of Rhode Island is heavy on fried shellfish and Italian restaurants. Drinks include coffee milk, the Awful Awful milkshake (which isn’t so bad), and Canadian coffee from Tim Horton’s. One of the top spots in Providence’s Federal Hill is Costantino’s Venda Ravioli, a huge deli with homemade pasta, fresh salads, and other items by the pound, plus an adjoining restaurant/bar. Down the street is tasty, economical Jamaican food, especially on Wednesday nights when every meal is $9. On the other side of I-95, you can choose from local beef stew, chickpea-mango salad, farro-walnut salad, or cornmeal-fried tofu at an arts space/bar/restaurant. There is raw food, fresh juice, and gluten-free bagels on Block Island, a juice bar and global vegetarian cafe in Pawtucket, vegetarian cassoulet in beachy Westerly, and Italian seitan in Newport, so vegetarians will be fine in Rhode Island. If you’re lucky, you might pass by the vegan/kosher soft serve truck in Providence!