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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

View more Rhode Island Historical Sites.
Share your favorites!
Rhode Island Search
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
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
4157 Post Road,, Warwick, RI
The house at Clouds Hill was built as a wedding gift for Elizabeth Ives Slater on her marriage to Alfred Augustus Reed, Jr. The home passed from El... Read More
7 Station Street, Coventry, RI
Owned and operated by The Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society. A one time Colonial home and Inn, restored and furnished in the period-sty... Read More
57 Pierce Street, East Greenwich, RI
The Varnum House Museum’s exhibits focus on early American furniture, household items, musical instruments, children’s toys, documents,... Read More
1300 Frenchtown Road, East Greenwich, RI
Mission Statement : The New England Wireless and Steam Museum is an electrical and mechanical engineering museum emphasizing the beginnings of rad... 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
4 Edward Street, Providence, RI
The Mission Statement:The Providence Jewelry Museum is the first museum dedicated to the history of American jewelry. We encompass the largest jewe... 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
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI
Our mission is to steward and interpret natural and cultural collections through exhibits, education, and research to inspire people of all ages an... Read More
55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown, RI
Cawcawmqussick and Nahigonsick CountreyCocumscussoc. Its meaning and its spelling vary, it is tricky to pronounce and impossible to recall, but it ... 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
100 South Street, Providence, RI
Our Mission: Providence Children's Museum serves the children of southern New England and the adults who care for them by: Presenting hands-on ex... 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
20 North Main Street, Providence, RI
Our Mission and History:The RISD Museum acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets works of art and design representing diverse cultures from an... Read More
52 Power Street, Providence, RI
The premier 18th-century house and museum in the state, the John Brown House Museum presents important aspects of the social and cultural history o... 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
21 Prospect Street, Providence, RI
The Mission of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is to educate Brown University students and the general public, through anthropological rese... Read More
199 Hope Street, Providence, RI
History:Built at 199 Hope Street in Providence for textile merchant Henry Lippitt, his wife Mary Ann Balch Lippitt and their six children, the hous... 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
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
Show More
Select a Rhode Island town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you