A Bit Of History of Our State
Rhode Island is one of the earliest settlements in America that focused intensely on religious and political freedom. The first settlement, Providence, founded in 1636 was established by Roger Williams. Roger Williams had faced religious persecution in Massachusetts and was out looking for true freedom.
RI continued to blaze the trail for the United States being the first to renounce allegiance to the British throne. Since Rhode Island’s early history it has maintained a strong reputation for delivering high-quality textiles, produce, and seafood.
There are gems all throughout Rhode Island! Some of the best-known spots and some not-so-well-known are compiled here as our favorites.
Found on 130 Westminster Street in downtown Providence the Westminster Arcade is often referred to simply as, The Arcade. It is the first enclosed mall in America and was built in 1828. The shopping alone wasn’t what brought people to the arcade. Instead many revel in the Greek-inspired architecture. Through the early 1800’s Greek revival was a popular theme in architecture but few pulled it off as well as the Arcade.
Although it is no longer a shopping center the building is still in use and still standing! It’s closed many times for renovations. These renovations allow it to be used for both commercial and residential use.
You might have guessed it but this historical landmark is found near Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. Although at first glance it seems like it’s a neighborhood of old, affluent houses, the Bellevue Avenue Historic District isn’t quite what it seems.
This is one of Newport’s must-see spots as many of these houses are built to appear much older than they are. Many of them serve as museums which are open to the public. One favorite is the National Museum of American Illustration found at Vernon Court. If you’re in Bellevue, don’t be fooled. These historic homes can make for a fulfilling day trip!
With a museum and full tour open through most of the summer months, this lighthouse is a historical landmark. Unlike other early American lighthouses the Block Island Southeast Lighthouse was built with design and functionality in mind.
With a heavy borrowing of gothic architecture the lighthouse appears more as a small manor than the traditional lighthouse. The tour that’s available will take you all the way to the top where you can see the functionality of the lighthouses design.
It seems like the entire state of Rhode Island is comprised of towns and cities that have maintained their historical integrity. You often find yourself looking at high-pitched roofs, stone-ended houses and small manors with lush acres of green throughout the residences.
Known for its beaches, lighthouses, and seafood Narragansett is a great day trip but also a favorite residential spot. Many of the residents of Narragansett are seasonal, coming in the summer and leaving in the fall.
Locals call the town “Gansett” so keep this in mind to not stick out too much on your trip. Although it’s a relatively small town, there is a lot to do. The beaches are known nationwide and it is home to a famous former military fort, Fort Greene.
A city that sits seaside is a beautiful sprawl of green and blue. This city is famous for the many mansions and historically preserved homes. However many residents, just like Narragansett, are here during the spring and summer months as a resort time.
Newport is home to the Naval War College and Naval Undersea Warfare Center. You can visit Newport on Aquidneck Island or just stay. Newport is where you will find the Bellevue Avenue Historic District and many other historical landmarks.
Providence is the biggest city in the state, with the longest history and of course, the state’s capital. Providence is also responsible for Rhode Island’s standing reputation in delivering high-quality industrial goods. From textiles, tools, silverware, and jewelry Rhode Island didn’t avoid any manufacturing.
Although Providence prides itself on the revitalization efforts it’s made throughout the last few decades many neighborhoods stand above and beyond the rest. If you’re looking for a neighborhood to settle down in, consider these!
Starting off on a good foot right? Who could pass up a place called “Hope”? Well, you’ll find a large number of running trails, public parks, and some beautiful seasons. Local homeowners note the harsh winters that come with Rhode Island territory. If you’re purchasing a home in Hope, keep in mind the roof maintenance necessary for the care of your home!
One of the most affluent places in Rhode Island, and even in the greater area of New England, this is a neighborhood you need to see. The houses are built with historical integrity in mind, and well maintained. You’ll find famous Thayer Street, a shopping strip, and the main campus of Brown University.
Rhode Island is a haven for history and architecture buffs! There are also a number of special day trips that nature enthusiasts or hikers wouldn’t get anywhere else.
The Breakers is a specialty museum that is encased in Renaissance style architecture. This museum reveals the lifestyle of the Vanderbilt legacy that is responsible for the Breakers.
Cliff Walk in Newport is another can’t miss attraction of Rhode Island. Even if you’re not an avid hiker, this trail shows the state at its most beautiful. These are views that anyone visiting Rhode Island should get before leaving!
Another scenic day trip for Rhode Island visitors or residents is Ocean Drive. A route that circles the shoreline of Newport, Rhode Island can be driven or biked. Bring an old-school picnic basket and kite for a day of fun!
We love Rhode Island for a number of reasons. The vastly different types of architecture, very active historical societies and prestigious schools are only the top of the barrel.
Rhode Island plays host to some of America’s best views, and most beautiful seasons. Homeowners, even those who only come in during the summer months, work hard to maintain their beautiful homes. Although the seasons are wonderful, their effect on your homes roof or exterior is damaging.
Rhode Island was the first of all 50 to become a state, the first to renounce allegiance to British rule, and prides itself on continuing into new fields. Rhode Island actively works with its municipalities (similar to counties), to ensure that each town and city continues to develop.