I am proud to say that I was Rhody-born and Rhody-raised. Nestled in between Massachusetts (overrated) and Connecticut (parking lot), Rhode Island is twelve-hundred square feet of paradise. Although it is technically a state, there is no denying that it feels like a massive small town. It's hard to walk through the Providence Place Mall without running into your mom's friend, your pediatrician, and most likely your middle school crush… oh, and your butcher #howyadoin. But hidden behind that thick townie vibe is the charming New England vacation you've been waiting for.
Call up your travel agent and cancel that 2015 trip to Paris. 'Cause sweetheart... You're going to Rhode Island! Why?
Rhode Island is the hidden gem of the northeast and possibly the world. RI has an incredible amount of coastline, and each of its little beach towns has its own unique vibe. There are plenty of beautiful spots to go surfing, sailing, fishing, hiking, and even Waboba-ing. These are the must-see beach towns for your upcoming 6-day RI vacation:
- Newport: Shopping, nightlife, yachts, mansions, nautical belts.
- Narragansett: Families, clam shacks, beach bars, fireworks, nautical belts.
- Block Island: Ferry ride, mopeds, fudge, alpacas, nautical belts.
People from Rhode Island will tell you that their restaurants are unbelievable. As someone who lives with a foodie in Brooklyn, I have to say… they're wrong. The restaurants are totally believable. But! More than any other place I've ever been, Rhode Island has a strange collection of foods that you can only get inside its adorable little borders. And while none of these dishes are healthy, they're all pretty darn tasty. When you go to Rhode Island next summer for a month, here are a few local dishes you must try:
- N.Y. System Hot Weiners: Small hot dogs covered in mustard, meat sauce, white onions, and celery salt, served on a steamed bun that was just in a dude's armpit. Order three, and dig yourself a grave. Go to Olyneyville N.Y. System.
- Awful Awful: Like a milkshake, but uses frozen Ice Milk. It's way too thick, and way too delicious. Only available at the Newport Creamery.
- Red Pizza: Served cold, no cheese. It's like a piece of toast with gravy. Oh! I forgot to mention… in RI, gravy means red pasta sauce. Go to DePetrillo's Bakery.
- Coffee Milk: Yes, it is kind of like like chocolate milk, but it's coffee milk. We even have our own syrup to boot. DEAL WITH IT. Go anywhere that serves breakfast.
- Del's Frozen Lemonade: Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as refreshing as Del's Lemonade. Don't use a straw, or you'll look like a poser from Connecticut. Go to the Del's world headquarters in my hometown of Cranston.
- Clam Cakes: Fried dough with chopped quahogs (clams) mixed into the batter. Dip that bad boy in some chowder and you're ready for a nap on the beach. Go to Monahan's Dock, not Iggy's... trust me.
If it unfortunately rains (or hurricanes) during your nine-week beach trip to Rhode Island, forget the board games and bowling alley; drive a half hour north to historic Providence. Providence is a vibrant city with a heck of lot to offer. It has everything a great city needs: arts and culture, charming restaurants, exceptional colleges/universities, hipsters, coffee, a minor league hockey team, and a weird roadside attraction. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Providence:
- Waterfire: Outdoor celebration that incorporates gondola boats, fire, and alcohol.
- P Bruins: Something's Bruin in Providence! That's their slogan, and they play minor league hockey in a facility called "The Dunk" (the Dunkin' Donuts Center). Federal Hill: Historic Italian neighborhood that has great restaurants, and my cousin Jonathan.
- Thayer Street: Falafel, head shops, thrift stores, Urban Outfitters. Anything that a Brown or RISD student could ever desire!
- Chris Savage Youth Walk: Wistia's own CEO Chris Savage hails from Providence, and if you pay me $49.95, I'll personally show you all the spots that he used to aggressively rollerblade.
Well, that about it does it! I guess the only thing left to do is share this song with you.
Have you spent any time in Rhode Island? What were your highlights?