The 15 Best Free Things to Do in Rhode Island!

Not all good things in life have a price. Spend a day in Rhode Island without your wallet shrinking! Take advantage of free days at museums, visit beachside mansions, or escape to nature. When in Rhode Island, there’s always something new around the corner.

1. Take a ride along the East Bay Bike Path

The East Bay Pike Path will take you on a 13.8-mile long trail starting in Providence and ending with the beaches of Bristol. The path is open all year long so that even dedicated bikers can get in their winter cycling. 

2. RISD Museum, Providence, RI

Free to the public every Sunday, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum is home to so many great pieces of art, dating from ancient times to modern day.

3. Gallery Night, Providence, RI

Take a tour of Providence’s local galleries. These free, curated tours run on the third Thursday of every month. Hop on a bus and meet fellow art lovers along the tour. 

4. Watch Hill, RI

Watch Hill is a beautiful coastal town home to some of Rhode Island’s most wealthy. Most notably it is home to a historic lighthouse built in 1806, which you can tour yourself. 

5. Free Fridays at the Providence Children’s Museum

Though the museum is usually $9 for adults and children, enjoy free admission on Friday’s sponsored by MetLife. You and your kids will love their rotating exhibits, which give kids hand on opportunities to work with everything from music to animals to puppets. 

6. Governor Stephen Hopkins House, Providence, RI

Are you a fan of history? Located right near DownCity in Providence, 15 Hopkins Street hosts a museum in the home of former governor Stephen Hopkins. Fun fact: He also signed the Declaration of Independence!

7. Beavertail State Park, Jamestown, RI

Spend a day in this state park, walking along the coasts and trails and learning a thing or two about marine education. It’s a great place to pass time with both family and friends, and is very dog friendly. 

8. WaterFire, Providence, RI

WaterFire has become an icon of Providence summers. The event first started in 1994 and has now become a huge festival for local artists and vendors.

9. Blackstone River Bikeway, Providence, RI

This loop links Worcester to Providence and even connects to the East Bay Bike Path. You’ll get plenty of beautiful views of Rhode Island nature. It’s best to bike in the fall with the crisp weather and beautiful autumn leaves!

10. Independence Trail, Providence, RI

The Independence Trail is Providence’s version of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Take a 2.5-mile long tour of Providence’s historic architecture, each building and monument layered with colonial history.

11. The Athenaeum, Providence, RI

The Athenaeum is Providence’s most historic library. Enter this literary space and you’ll feel transported to another world!

12. Wander along Wickenden Street

Wickenden is an artsy little street tucked back into a small Providence neighborhood. Enjoy the unique boutiques, cute restaurants, and the warm, cozy environment this street has to offer!

13. Cliff Walk, Newport, RI

This 3.5-mile hike has incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline. Enjoy the sights of the famous Newport mansions nearby, too. (Those, unfortunately, are not free.)

14. Tour the Rhode Island State House

The Rhode Island State House offers free tours on the third Tuesday of every month. Get to know your state government a little better. 

15. Enjoy a farmers’ market

Rhode Island is full of farmers’ market! Find one near you for the best local produce selections.

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