The state of Rhode Island may be known for a couple of different reasons. It could be because of its size as the smallest state in the country or the culture that it provides full of sailing and some of the country's best golf courses. Although it may take less than an hour to drive through Rhode Island in your rental car (with good traffic), that doesn't mean you should. You risk passing by a wealth of pleasant experiences that you can't get anywhere else outside of major cities such as Newport, Providence and many places in between.
Providence, the capitol of Rhode island, is listed as one of the best places to live in the U.S. and it's easy to see why. Today, historic sites blend with modern attractions. The Roger Williams Park Zoo can be found in Providence and gives patrons the opportunity to view animals from both North and South America, Australia and parts of Africa. After opening in 1872, Roger Williams Park Zoo remains one of the oldest in the entire country. Providence is also home to Ivy League school Brown University and features buildings from nearly every architectural movement.
Once a summer retreat for some of America's most well-to-do families, Newport is still a popular New England destination for a little R&R. The best example of the plethora of mansions in the city is The Breakers, a 13-acre estate constructed in impeccable Italian renaissance style. This estate was once owned by the Vanderbilt family but now is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Breakers, along with several other historic mansions, sits along Cliff Walk, a walking path along the rocky Atlantic coast. Ever since 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been located right in Newport, where the first U.S. National Championships took place in 1881. To appreciate the history of tennis while empowering the future, the he Hall of Fame doubles as a venue for competition and as a museum.