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Rhode Island

Total Mileage/Average drive time
33 miles, 48 minutes

Pint-sized Rhode Island offers history buffs a massive array of notable attractions, from scores of restored architectural gems and an imposing marble capitol building to quaint coastal villages, long-enduring lighthouses and a museum devoted to yachting heritage.

1) Providence
Starting Point

You can step back in time at the "Mile of History" on Benefit Street. The historic district boasts 200 Colonial homes, old-fashioned brick sidewalks and antique gas street lamps. Take a free guided tour of the Rhode Island State House (circa 1892). Look overhead to see the world's fourth largest self-supported marble dome. The Bell Room contains a replica of Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, and Gilbert Stuart's famous painting of George Washington graces the State Room. Check out WaterFire in Waterplace Park for an artsy multi-sensory encounter with blazing bonfires, eclectic music and aromatic wood smoke.

2) Wickford
21 miles, 28 minutes

Take a self-paced tour of a charming seaside village that was established four centuries ago. Stroll down tree-shaded streets, see preserved homes and churches from the 1700s and 1800s, and shop for unique crafts, furnishings and gourmet specialties. Plan to visit Wickford's Art Festival in July or the Festival of Lights in early December.

3) Newport
12 miles, 20 minutes

Learn about time-honored maritime traditions, attend a regatta and enjoy the best aerial views of Newport Harbor at the Museum of Yachting. Clamber around the cliff-side Castle Hill Lighthouse on Narragansett Bay, visit statues and monuments designed to honor Christopher Columbus and Commodore Matthew Perry, or take a walking tour of Fort Adams—North America's largest, most complex fortress.