Wedged between Massachusetts and Connecticut, America’s smallest state has more than 400 miles of shoreline. Island-speckled Narragansett Bay is home to several of New England’s most alluring coastal destinations. Newport is the main attraction: The island city at the mouth of the bay is renowned as the home of opulent Gilded Age mansions, as a sailing mecca and as host to major folk and jazz festivals. The Cliff Walk, along Newport’s eastern shore, affords rugged coastline vistas on one side and Astor and Vanderbilt mansions on the other. Farther off Rhode Island’s shore, Block Island’s inviting beaches, old lighthouses and clifftop views are irresistible, and a seafood dinner at one of the island’s grills, cafés or restored Victorian inns makes the perfect end to a summer day.
Wine might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rhode Island, but the state does have a number of good wineries. Three of my favorites are Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards and Carolyn’s Sakkonet Vineyard.