The 10 Best Guided Tours in Rhode Island!
Whether you’re a Rhode Island local or just visiting for the weekend, get to know the Ocean State a bit better. This little state has lots of history, from beautiful Newport, to the incredible wildlife and nature on Block Island, to the culinary history of Providence. Put on your walking shoes or hop on the bus, and get exploring!
During the summer months, take a tour of one of Rhode Island’s most beautiful and historic towns. Discover the incredible stories behind the summer “cottages” of the Kennedys and Vanderbilts, explore the beaches a little on your own, and make your way as a group along the scenic Ocean Drive. This bus tour lasts seven hours and is available Thursday through Saturday.
This haunted tour takes you on a ghastly journey around Providence’s East Side. Beautiful even by night, enjoy a fun twist on the history of the neighborhood that Providence grew from. You’ll hear stories of murders, suicides, accidents and fires—all built around a historical context.
Providence feels like a New England Venice from this tour’s perspective. Take in scenes of Providence from the river as your gondolier rows you around the city and informs you about the history and culture of Rhode Island’s capital. Make sure to ask for Marcello, who offers some of the best tours of the city.
These boat tours are designed to entertain both tourists and Rhode Island natives. The river is truly the best view of downtown Providence’s historic architecture. Let an amicable Providence River Boat Captain inform and entertain your group with fascinating narration. You’ll be sure to learn something along your journey!
Every year, Providence locals host tours based off legendary urbanist’s Jane Jacobs view of a city. Jane felt that stories could be found anywhere in the city. These tours look at neighborhoods that occasionally get looked over—such as the West End, Elmwood and South Providence, all telling stories that breathe new character into the neighborhood.
During this three-hour trolley tour, you’ll hit up some of Newport’s most notable locations, such as the Breakers Mansion, owned by the Vanderbilts, and the beautiful Bellevue Avenue. Views of the breathtaking harbor are matched with glimpses at the charming colonial houses—Newport has so much to love, you’ll want to keep exploring even after the tour is over!
These seasoned food experts will take you on a tour of Newport’s best restaurants where you’ll be sampling some of the best seafood, beer, and wine in the state. Restaurants selected showcase a variety of farm-to-table chefs, and all tours can be customized to your group’s own taste.
Throughout the summer, the Rhode Island Historical Society leads a variety of tours, including ones about the historic and beautiful Benefit Street, a history of dining in Rhode Island from Native Americans to the city’s elite class, and a tour of H.P. Lovecraft’s literary life, which centered on Providence.
Take a tour with Chef Walter Potenza, an expert on Federal Hill’s history and cuisine. Learn about different culinary terminology as you dart from store to store, sampling cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti. You can even supplement your tour with a hands-on cooking class at the end if you so desire!
Corrie Heinz, an environmental management major at the University Rhode Island, has worked within conservation efforts for her entire life. Join a kayaking tour around the Great Salt Pond and you’ll soon start to fall in love with the local wildlife as much as her!