The Top 10 Historical Sites in Rhode Island!

As one of the original 13 colonies and a home to several popular port towns, Rhode Island has a share of 17th and 18th century history. Tour around the state and find buildings that witnessed the Revolutionary War, colonists, and even pirates! Here are our 10 favorite historical sites in the Ocean State. 

1. Great Friends Meeting House, Newport, RI

Built in 1699, this meetinghouse is Rhode Island’s oldest house of worship still standing today. Take a tour of this historical house founded by the Quakers, who dominated politics in Rhode Island during the 17th and 18th centuries. 

2. The Breakers, Newport, RI

The Breakers was once used by the Vanderbilt family as their “summer cottage,” if you can call it that! As a national landmark, you can now visit this magnificent home designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. It boasts over 70 rooms and 125,339 square feet of space. 

3. Slater Mill, Pawtucket, RI

This historically-significant textile mill is known as one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution. It was built in 1793 and revolutionized cotton procession and water-powered machinery. It’s now a beautiful location for events, in addition to tours. 

4. Rhode Island State House, Providence, RI

Designed in the neoclassical style, the State House of Rhode Island was constructed from 1895 to 1904 and is on the National Register of Historical Places. It was also one of the first public places to use electricity. Enter these fine falls and stand under one of the largest self-supporting marble domes in the world, too.

5. St. Anne’s Arts and Cultural Center, Woonsocket, RI

Every corner of this former church is covered with beautiful frescos. The paintings were executed by Italian painter Guido Nincheri, a petite hunchback who used community members as models for the figures present in the paintings.

6. Nathanael Greene Homestead, Coventry, RI

This tiny two and a half story home with a wood structure is initially unassuming, but it was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1972. The home was built in 1770 and endured the Revolutionary War. 

7. John Brown House Museum, Providence, RI

Located near the campus of Brown University, this home was the first mansion constructed in Providence. The former homeowner, John Brown, was one of the early donors to the university, but it is well known that he was a slave trader, leading to a complicated history that the university has had to confront. 

8. Providence Athenaeum, Providence, RI

This landmark Providence library was founded in 1836 and has hosted writers like Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft. Ask the librarians for stories about what secrets these storied stacks hold. 

9. Stephen Hopkins House, Providence, RI

Take a tour of the home of this former governor of Rhode Island, who was also a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. His 1707 home acts as a microcosm of 18th century society at the time, with slave chambers, heirlooms, and completely modernized interiors.

10. White Horse Tavern, Newport, RI

The White Horse Tavern opened in 1673, making it America’s oldest tavern. It was frequented by colonists, British soldiers, and sometimes pirates, too! It’s still up and running, and you can grab a pint there yourself, too. 

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
76 Bellevue Ave, Newport, RI
About the Museum: The Newport Art Museum collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets historic and contemporary visual arts of the highest quality ... Read More
449 Thames Street, Newport, RI
Mission: The Museum of Yachting is dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of yachting by fostering education and enjoyment of its tradit... Read More
1 Colt Drive, Bristol, RI
About Us: Coggeshall Farm Museum is a living history farm set on 48 acres in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The museum depicts Bristol's agrarian li... Read More
P.O. Box 83, Jamestown, RI
1657 Conanicut Island was purchased from the Narragansett Indians by a group of settlers from Newport. 1712 The first official request for a perm... Read More
3259 Post Road, Warwick, RI
As Warwick's largest non-profit arts organization and the area's cultural center since 1976, the Warwick Museum of Art continues to provide a perfo... Read More
15 Concord Avenue, Cranston, RI
About Us: The Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum was founded in 1996 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. The Museum is a non-profit organization with federal 501 ... Read More
488 Eccleston Avenue, North Kingstown, RI
Our Mission: The mission of the Rhode Island Quonset Air Museum (QAM) is to preserve, interpret and present Rhode Island's aviation history throug... Read More
115 Strathmore Street, Narragansett, RI
MissionSouth County Museum illustrates our past, which gives meaning to our present and illuminates our path to the future.VisionSouth County Museu... Read More
1058 Kingstown Road, Suite 5, Peace Dale, RI
Museum History Founded in 1892, South County's oldest museum houses more than 15,000 archaeological and ethnological objects from around the worl... Read More
390 A Summit Road, Exeter, RI
Tomaquag Museum’s Mission Statement: The Mission of Tomaquag Museum is to educate the public and promote thoughtful dialogue regarding Indig... Read More
21 Iafrate Way, North Kingstown, RI
Vision Statement: Design and construct a Museum and Park as the premier educational venue for the Seabee “Can Do” philosophy in action.... Read More
1058 Kingstown Road Suite 5, Peace Dale, RI
Founded in 1892, South County's oldest museum houses more than 15,000 archaeological and ethnological objects from around the world. Changing exhib... Read More
449 Thames Street, Newport, RI
The Museum of Yachting is dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of yachting by fostering education and enjoyment of its traditions and h... Read More
224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI
Our Mission and HistoryThe RISD Museum acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets works of art and design representing diverse cultures from anc... Read More
315 Harborside Boulevard, Providence, RI
Statement of Purpose The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University is a teaching museum that preserves and interprets culinary and ho... Read More
222 Richmond Street Suite 206, Providence, RI
Mission:Provide all of Rhode Island’s diverse communities a cultural and educational center where all may come together to celebrate our indi... Read More
311 Berkeley Avenue, Middletown, RI
History: The rental of Whitehall, began a long history of various uses: teahouse, inn, coffee house. By the time of the American Revolution, it wa... Read More
1003 Waterman Avenue, East Providence, RI
A Grand Opening was held on Saturday, October 8, 2005 to invite the Cape Verdean community and others to come and view the location space and to ce... Read More
P.O.Box 6022, Providence, RI
Mission Statement: Since 1996, the American Diner Museum (ADM) has been focused on celebrating and preserving the cultural and historical signific... Read More
500 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Linden Place is the "crown jewel" of Bristol, Rhode Island's historic waterfront district. We invite you to come and explore this magnificent estat... Read More
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