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June 17, 2014

Summer in Rhode Island

By Chris Boyle

Despite being the smallest state in America, Rhode Island makes the perfect summer holiday destination. Nicknamed the Ocean State because of its 400 miles of coastline and countless beaches, Rhode Island also has a rich history as it is the first of the thirteen colonies to declare independence from British rule. There are also a host of festivals, events and a thriving food scene to explore: here are our suggestions of what to do and see in Rhode Island this summer.

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With Independence Day around the corner, why not celebrate at the oldest and biggest Independence Day celebration parade in the USA. Bristol hosts the parade and is in its 229th year of doing so.

Once horribly polluted, Central Falls has undergone rigorous environmental recovery and is ready to be explored. Book onto one of the Blackstone Valley Explorer Sunday Tours to learn about the ecology of the river and hear stories about the history of the region.

Charming beachside town, Charlestown, is a shopping haven. Head to the Umbrella Factory, set on a 19th century farm, and buy everything from Peruvian Art to car dashboard hula girls.

Head to Coventry and visit the former wooden lakeside home of celebrated American artist, Maxwell Mays, and experience the breathtaking Ocean State through his eyes.

Newport has lots for visitors to enjoy this summer so book a room at the new Attwater Urban Beach House – recently named on the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Hot List. Dine at The Revolving Door restaurant where acclaimed local and international chefs come to cook on a yearly rotation. Head to Narragansett Bay at the Rose Island Lighthouse and try your hand at being a lighthouse keeper. For availability call 401-847-4242.

The city will host numerous festivals this summer for alternative days out. This July the Newport Antiques Show will unite antique collectors and admirers alike with a great range of New England antiques. The Newport Jazz Festival will return to the beautiful Fort Adams this August, and September will see the return of Newport’s annual Mansions Wine & Food Festival.

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The Pawtucket Red Sox – the AAA farm team of the Boston Red Sox – will be playing baseball games throughout the summer season in Pawtucket. Have a look at the schedule for the perfect day out.

Take a trip to stunning Providence and ride in a Venetian Gondola, or make your own ceramics and jewelry at the Steel Yard. Discover the burgeoning arts, music, and food scene at Waterfire, a non-profit festival running down the length of the river.

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Looking for a more secluded break, head to the Watch Hill Inn in Westerly, and make sure to discover the beautiful and historical Ocean House in Watch Hill.

The Wickford Art Festival will return on the 12th and 13th July and will see more than 250 artists from all over the world unite to exhibit paintings, sculptures, photography, and more. For details dial 401-294-6840.

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