As the smallest state in the United States of America, Rhode Island possesses a charm and atmosphere that is the envy of larger geographical areas. Here are some things you should know if you plan on paying a visit to Rhode Island, and plan on spending some time getting to know the Ocean State.
Nicknamed “Old Rhody,” Rhode Island is a nice blend of the cosmopolitan and suburban. Within the dimensions of 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, there is a lot of history contained within the state. From the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to the music festivals in Newport, there is something of interest for just about everyone.
When planning a trip to Rhode Island, it is a good idea to check on what social and cultural events are coming up around the state. There is no time of the year that something is not happening that will be of interest to the tourist. For example, the city of Newport is famous for holding several annual music festivals. Perhaps the most famous of all is the Newport Folk Festival, an event that has been going on since 1959. Legend has it that early on in the history of the Folk Festival an established Joan Baez dragged newcomer Bob Dylan onto the stage at this festival, launching an international career that has spanned over several decades.
Along with the Folk Festival, Newport is also host to an annual Jazz Festival. The leading lights of the jazz world convene on Rhode Island for this three-day festival, as well as a quite a few up and coming musicians who are just beginning to make their names. The Festival features a full range of both traditional and contemporary jazz performances, with plenty of recordings available for purchase.
Music is not all that takes place in Newport, Rhode Island. The International Boat Show, touted to be the largest boat show in the Northeast, features both power and sailboats covering over fourteen acres. Exhibits of boats and accessories dot the landscape, along with boat rides up and down the Rhode Island coast.
Providence not only serves as the seat of the state government, but also heads up the preservation effort in the state as well. The annual Holiday Festival and Benefit Street Stroll, held every December, raises both awareness and funds for the preservation of the historic buildings lining Benefit Street. Period costumes and graceful holiday decorations transform the entire street into a wonderland that is sure to fascinate persons of all ages.
Another event to enjoy in Rhode Island is the Civil War reenactments that take place at the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Complete with period costuming and plenty of artifacts from the era, persons can view recreations of hand to hand combat, regiment skirmishes, and examples of the types of warfare used during this critical period of United States history. Taking place in the summer, the Civil Ware re-enactments draw large crowds from adjoining states, as well as Civil War enthusiasts from all over the country.