7 Unusual Things To Do In Rhode Island – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Rhode Island, though small in size, is packed with unique and unusual things to do that will make your visit unforgettable. From exploring hidden gems to indulging in quirky activities, this charming state offers a plethora of offbeat experiences for travelers seeking something different. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or foodie, Rhode Island has something special in store for you. Join us as we uncover the most unusual things to do in Rhode Island that will add a touch of excitement and adventure to your trip.

Visit the Newport Cliff Walk

Essential Information

– Address: 117 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI 02840
– Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Newport Cliff Walk stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its combination of stunning natural beauty and historical significance. What makes this coastal walk truly unusual are the hidden gems and activities that await visitors along the way.

One of the most unusual aspects of the Newport Cliff Walk is the opportunity to explore the historic Gilded Age mansions that line the path. These grand estates, such as The Breakers and Marble House, offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of America’s elite in the late 19th century. Visitors can marvel at the intricate architecture and lush gardens that surround these iconic homes.

For the more adventurous traveler, the Newport Cliff Walk also offers the chance to discover hidden sea caves and rugged terrain along the coastline. Exploring these natural wonders provides a sense of excitement and wonder, making the walk a truly unforgettable experience.

Additionally, the Newport Cliff Walk is a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of seabirds and shorebirds frequenting the area. Bird enthusiasts can spot species such as gulls, terns, and cormorants soaring above the cliffs and diving into the ocean below.

Overall, the Newport Cliff Walk’s unique blend of history, nature, and adventure sets it apart as a must-visit destination for those seeking an unusual and memorable travel experience.

Explore the Providence Athenaeum

Essential Information

– Address: 251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm
– Fee: $10 for adults, free for children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Book lovers, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Providence Athenaeum stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its unique blend of literary history and quirky offerings. While many libraries focus solely on books, the Athenaeum offers visitors a chance to engage in activities that go beyond traditional reading.

One of the most unusual aspects of the Providence Athenaeum is its secret bookshelf passage. Tucked away in a corner of the library, this hidden passage leads visitors to a secluded reading nook where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the main reading room.

For those looking for a more interactive experience, the Athenaeum hosts regular book-themed events such as literary scavenger hunts and author readings. Visitors can also participate in bookbinding workshops to learn the art of creating their own literary masterpieces.

In addition to its literary offerings, the Providence Athenaeum is home to a collection of unusual artifacts, including a taxidermy platypus and a preserved human heart. These oddities add a touch of whimsy to the library’s otherwise scholarly atmosphere.

Overall, the Providence Athenaeum’s unconventional approach to library services and its eclectic mix of offerings make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a truly unique cultural experience.

Tour the Ladd Observatory in Providence

Essential Information

– Address: 210 Doyle Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island
– Opening Hours: Tuesdays 7-9 pm, Saturdays 2-4 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1 hour
– Ideal for: Astronomy enthusiasts, families with kids

Why is it so unusual

The Ladd Observatory in Providence offers a unique experience for visitors seeking to delve into the mysteries of the universe. What sets this observatory apart is its historic charm combined with modern astronomical wonders. As you step inside, you are greeted by a collection of antique telescopes dating back to the late 19th century, providing a glimpse into the evolution of stargazing technology.

One of the most unusual activities at the Ladd Observatory is the opportunity to observe celestial objects through these vintage telescopes. Visitors can peer through the eyepiece and witness the beauty of distant stars, planets, and even the moon up close. This hands-on experience allows guests to connect with the cosmos in a tangible way, sparking a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Another intriguing aspect of the Ladd Observatory is its public lectures and stargazing events. Astronomy experts guide visitors through captivating presentations on topics ranging from black holes to exoplanets, offering valuable insights into the vastness of the universe. After the lecture, guests can head outside to the observatory’s rooftop deck and gaze at the night sky through modern telescopes, spotting constellations and celestial phenomena.

For those interested in celestial photography, the Ladd Observatory also hosts workshops on astrophotography, teaching participants how to capture stunning images of the night sky. Whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or a novice stargazer, these workshops provide a hands-on opportunity to learn new skills and unleash your creativity.

In conclusion, the Ladd Observatory in Providence stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its blend of historical significance and cutting-edge astronomical experiences. By offering a mix of antique telescopes, interactive stargazing sessions, and educational programs, this observatory provides a one-of-a-kind journey into the wonders of the cosmos.

Discover the RISD Museum’s hidden gems

Essential Information

– Address: 20 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm, closed on Mondays
– Fee: $12 for adults, $3 for children under 18, free for members and college students
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, history buffs, and curious travelers

Why is it so unusual

When exploring the RISD Museum, visitors are often drawn to its renowned collection of art and artifacts. However, hidden among the more well-known pieces are some truly unique and unusual gems waiting to be discovered.

One such hidden gem is the Cabinet of Curiosities, a fascinating display of eclectic objects that range from ancient relics to modern oddities. This collection offers a glimpse into the quirky and unexpected side of the museum, showcasing items that defy categorization and spark curiosity.

For those seeking a more interactive experience, the museum also features a series of hands-on workshops and activities that allow visitors to engage with art in unconventional ways. From experimental drawing sessions to tactile sculpture explorations, these activities offer a fresh perspective on the traditional museum visit.

In addition, the RISD Museum regularly hosts special events and exhibitions that push the boundaries of traditional art curation. Visitors may find themselves immersed in immersive installations, avant-garde performances, or thought-provoking artist talks that challenge their perceptions and expand their artistic horizons.

Overall, the RISD Museum’s hidden gems offer a delightful departure from the expected, inviting visitors to explore the unconventional and embrace the unexpected in the world of art and culture.

Take a sunset cruise on the Providence River

Essential Information

– Address: Providence, Rhode Island
– Opening Hours: Varies, typically evenings for sunset cruises
– Fee: Prices range from $25 to $50 per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
– Ideal for: Couples, families, and nature enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring Providence, Rhode Island, taking a sunset cruise on the Providence River offers a unique and memorable experience. Unlike traditional sightseeing tours, this cruise allows visitors to witness the city’s skyline bathed in the warm hues of the setting sun, creating a picturesque backdrop for an evening on the water.

As the boat glides along the river, passengers can marvel at the stunning views of historic landmarks such as the State House and Waterplace Park, all while enjoying the gentle breeze and soothing sounds of the water. What sets this experience apart is the opportunity to witness the city’s transformation as day turns into night, casting a magical glow over the surroundings.

For those looking to add a touch of romance to their trip, the sunset cruise offers the perfect setting for a special date night or a relaxing evening with a loved one. The peaceful ambiance and stunning vistas create an intimate atmosphere that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Additionally, nature enthusiasts will appreciate the chance to observe local wildlife along the riverbanks, from graceful swans to playful otters. The cruise provides a unique vantage point to admire the natural beauty of the area and spot wildlife in their natural habitat, adding an element of surprise and delight to the journey.

Overall, a sunset cruise on the Providence River offers a refreshing and unconventional way to explore the city, combining scenic views, relaxation, and a touch of adventure into one unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this cruise promises a memorable evening that captures the essence of Providence in a truly unique way.

Visit the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth

Essential Information

– Address: 380 Corys Lane, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
– Fee: $18 for adults, $8 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, garden enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When exploring the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, visitors are greeted by a whimsical display of over 80 sculpted topiaries. These living sculptures, meticulously shaped from various shrubs and trees, offer a unique and enchanting experience unlike any other garden.

One of the most unusual features of this attraction is the intricate designs of the topiaries. From animals like elephants and giraffes to geometric shapes and abstract forms, each topiary showcases the skill and creativity of the gardeners who maintain them.

Visitors can wander through the garden pathways and marvel at the diverse collection of topiaries, each one carefully pruned and shaped to perfection. The attention to detail and the artistry involved in creating these living sculptures make the Green Animals Topiary Garden a truly exceptional destination.

In addition to the topiaries, the garden also boasts stunning views of Narragansett Bay, providing a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely stroll. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, a visit to the Green Animals Topiary Garden is sure to leave you in awe of the beauty and creativity on display.

Explore the abandoned Fort Wetherill in Jamestown

Essential Information

– Address: Fort Wetherill State Park, Jamestown, Rhode Island
– Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, urban explorers

Why is it so unusual

Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, Rhode Island, offers a unique experience for visitors seeking something out of the ordinary. The abandoned fort, once a coastal defense battery, now stands as a hauntingly beautiful relic of the past. Exploring its decaying structures and underground tunnels provides a glimpse into a bygone era.

Visitors can wander through the overgrown grounds, discovering hidden nooks and crannies that hint at the fort’s former military significance. The eerie atmosphere of the abandoned fort adds to its allure, making it a magnet for urban explorers and history buffs alike.

One of the most unusual activities at Fort Wetherill is spelunking through its dark and damp tunnels, where echoes of the past seem to linger. The sense of adventure and mystery that comes with exploring these underground passages is unmatched, offering a thrilling experience for those brave enough to venture into the unknown.

For those interested in photography, the abandoned fort provides a wealth of unique and atmospheric shots. The juxtaposition of nature reclaiming the man-made structures creates a striking visual contrast that is sure to captivate any camera lens.

Overall, Fort Wetherill in Jamestown stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its combination of historical significance, eerie ambiance, and opportunities for exploration. It offers a glimpse into a forgotten chapter of Rhode Island’s past, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a different kind of adventure.

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