The 10 Best Nature Centers in Rhode Island!

Rhode Island’s stunning natural landscape extends well beyond beautiful beaches. The state has done well to preserve so much of its natural beauty. Take a day to explore some of the nature you might not have realized was in your own backyard. Here are our 10 favorite nature centers in the state. 

1. Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory, Charlestown, RI

This property was given to the town of Charlestown after a U.S. Naval Landing Field was closed in 1973. It now serves to educate community members of all ages about nature, in particular marine wildlife and the night sky.

2. Biomes Marine Biology Center, North Kingstown, RI

Though this location may look rather understated from the outside, you’ll love the large site and all of the hands-on activities at this nature center! Ask the staff as many questions as you want—they are all incredibly knowledgeable about the variety of animals there. You can even pet a sand shark!

3. Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown, RI

This nature center is a wonderful location for hiking and kayaking. Take your kayak around the marinas or the marsh, and when you’re back on land enjoy viewing the wildlife on a nice, slow bike ride or by foot.

4. Audubon Environmental Education Center, Bristol, RI

This nature center is tailored to younger kids, but it will provide great memories for the entire family! Visitors love watching trainers work with the falcons and spotting new birds along the shores.

5. George B. Parker Woodland, Coventry, RI

Owned by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, this nature center is home to lots of great trails for all levels. The hikes highlight Rhode Island’s ecological diversity, all within an impressively historical region!

6. Goosewing Beach Preserve, Little Compton, RI

Bring a chair to this pristine beach and enjoy the sound of the ocean waves! Locals love the soft sand beaches lined with ocean pebbles. Right along the dunes, you may even get the chance to spot some piping plovers or ospreys. 

7. Save the Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium, Newport, RI

Enjoy getting close to all the marine creatures you can imagine. Reach into a tidal pool and touch a baby shark, sea urchins, crabs, and starfish. A real local gem—enjoy the beautiful views of Easton Beach right from this great Newport spot. 

8. Tri-Pond Park Nature Center, South Kingstown, RI

A moderately trafficked trail, this path is best around fall. Hike across beautiful bridges, large rocks, and lots of roots, all passing along many small ponds. More of a biker? Perfect—this path also loops up with the South County Bike Path and is ideal for a nature walk. 

9. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown, RI

With so much space, you’ll feel safe letting your pets and little ones run wild in this well-maintained sanctuary. It’s the perfect place for relaxing, and if you’re lucky you might even spot some frogs and deer. 

10. W. Alton Jones Environmental Education Center, West Greenwich, RI

The University of Rhode Island maintains this environmental center, which boasts 2,300 acres of forestland, wetlands, and even farmland. They host many school field trips but are also the perfect setting for a day trip with the family. 

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100 Save The Bay Drive, Providence, RI
Our Purpose Save The Bay is committed to fostering a personal connection between people and Narragansett Bay and encouraging investment in the Bay&... Read More
6 Greenhouse Road, Kingston, RI
About Us:The University of Rhode Island Botanical Gardens, located at the north end of URI’s Kingston Campus, is a showcase for sustainable p... Read More
end of South Shore Beach Rd., Little Compton, RI
The Benjamin Family Environmental Center is ideally situated to offer visitors a stunning view of the barrier beach and dune, coastal salt pond and... Read More
1670 Maple Valley Road, Coventry, RI
A 860- acre property consisting of majestic old forest, brooks, fields, and mysterious rock cairns. The caretaker's house was built in the 1700s. T... Read More
50 Bend Road, Charlestown, RI
Ninigret National Wildlife RefugeNamed after one of the original chiefs of the Narragansett Indians, the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge is locat... Read More
401 Victory Highway, West Greenwich, RI
Situated on 2,300 acres of pristine forests, streams, ponds, a 75 acre lake, and a nineteenth-century farm, our year-round Environmental Education ... Read More
1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
The Audubon Environmental Education Center is a state-of-the-art natural history museum and aquarium offering many natural wonders to explore. Look... Read More
55 South Reserve Drive, Prudence Island, RI
The Narragansett Bay Research Reserve is located in the heart of Narragansett Bay on four islands: Prudence, Patience, Hope and Dyer; it protects a... Read More
44 Broad Street, Westerly, RI
Mission: The mission of the Westerly Public Library and Wilcox Park is to stimulate the intellect and imagination by providing access to literatur... Read More
61 Park Lane, Charlestown, RI
Mission:The Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory are dedicated to environmental stewardship and delivering environmental education to people o... Read More
Asa Pond Road, South Kingstown, RI
The Wakefield Water Company donated Tri-Pond Park to the Town of South Kingstown in 1969. The deed required the land to be used for recreation and ... Read More
583 Third Beach Road, Middletown, RI
Mission:Established in 1949 at the bequest of Mabel Norman Cerio, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, under the charge of her will, was to maintain the land... Read More
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