The miles of shoreline, the sandy beaches, and the stunning bays draw tourists to Rhode Island year round. A weekend getaway with a rustic or luxurious Rhode Island vacation rental puts you in the heart of thriving arts communities such as Woonsocket and Block Island, as well as historic towns such as Cumberland and Newport. Spend your Saturdays admiring the yachts in Providence or your Sunday soaking up the sun at Rhode Island vineyards. Make one of these Rhode Island cities your vacation destination for your next weekend getaway.

1. Providence

Make the capital of Rhode Island your vacation destination for the weekend and spend your days surrounded by historic attractions. Begin with a tour of the State House on Capitol Hill before browsing the Old Brick School House on the East Side Walking Tour. Providence is well-known for its art scene with the Rhode Island School of Design and the Providence Art Club thriving in the city. When you want to sit back and relax, see the Venetian-style bridges on a glided gondola or tap your toes at an outdoor concert at the WaterPlace Park. Give the outdoorsy types in your crew a thrill when hiking Roger Williams Park trails or admiring the exotic animals at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

2. Woonsocket

Feel as if you are stepping back into the 1800s when strolling along South Main Street in Woonsocket. The historic district showcases properties dating back to 1830 you can admire before viewing more history at the Museum of Work and Culture or the Veterans’ Memorial Museum in the city. When you get your fill of history, opt for an adventurous day on the Blackstone River Valley, kayaking with rentals from EMS Kayak Rentals. Explore the riverside trail of the Blackstone Gorge or treat the kids to an entertaining day at the Southwick’s Zoo. A performance at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre is the perfect way to finish your weekend strong.

3. Cumberland

History buffs flock to Cumberland to see the architecture and historic buildings that make up four historic districts in this Rhode Island city. The Metcalf Franklin Farm offers 65 acres of land and a Greek revival farmhouse to tour for a Saturday activity. Outdoor enthusiasts can spend the weekend cycling or hiking on the Blackstone River Bikeway or opt for a scuba diving excursion with Dive On It Scuba Supply. Sit back and relax with a glass of pinot at Diamond Hill Vineyards before enjoying a performance at the Blackstone River Theatre.

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4. Bristol

Plan your next weekend getaway in the New England town of Bristol that offers coastal views and outdoor attractions. Opt for a vacation rental near the East Bay Bike Path that boasts seascapes all the way to Providence. Continue to indulge the nature enthusiasts with a hike through the trails of Colt State Park or Independence Park. When you need to escape the cold during the winter months, entertain the family at the Coggeshall Farm Museum or tour the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum. The British Beer Company is the perfect place to kick back and relax on a weekend evening after exploring Bristol.

5. Newport

Opt for a vacation rental in a city surrounded by the ocean for stunning balcony views and sailing adventures. Dubbed the “Sailing Capital of the World,” Newport is a recreational mecca with a coastline trail that runs along the National Historic District. After exploring the Newport Cliff Walk, stroll around the marinas to see the sporty yachts or rent kayaks and paddle boats from Adventure Watersports to take advantage of the Newport beaches. Get your fill of history with tours of the Marble House or The Elms to learn more about this bustling Rhode Island city.

6. Middletown

Nestle your family in the middle of Aquidneck Island with a vacation rental in Middletown. This quaint historic town that dates back to the mid-1700s features well-known landmarks such as the Boyd’s Eight-Vane Wind Grist Mill and Middletown War Veterans Memorial Park. Take advantage of those warm summer weekends when surfing at Sachuest Beach or gather your fishing rods for a peaceful day at Third Beach. It’s easy to see the charm of this city when shopping for fresh produce at Sweet Berry Farm or bird watching at the Norman Bird Sanctuary.

7. Block Island

Enjoy 17 miles of shoreline with a vacation rental in Block Island. Have some fun in the sun on this compact island with a fishing excursion guided by Fish The World Charters or sink your toes in the sand at Mansion Beach. See the hidden coves and inlets rampant in this small town with a trip to the Mohegan Bluffs. The Northern Lighthouse is a sight to see and offers the perfect landscape for a family photo while Crescent Beach gives you the ideal spot to bike the trails. Dive into the art scene of Block Island when touring the artwork on display at the downtown Farmer’s Market each weekend.

8. Johnson

Choose a city for your weekend getaway that offers a variety of fun for the young and not-so-old. Johnson is ready for the task with the Carousel Village for the little ones and the Casino at Roger Williams Park for the adults. Indulge the outdoor enthusiasts with a challenging hike through the Wolf Hill Preserve or admire the wildlife at the Neutraconkanut Hill Conservancy. With close proximity to Roger Williams Park, you can also stop in at the Zoo, Botanical Center, or the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium before retreating back to your cozy Rhode Island vacation rental.

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