New England

14 Places to Explore on the Connecticut and Rhode Island Coast

It's New England Vacation Week and we're exploring the best summer destinations the region has to offer. Here are some awesome ways to enjoy the summer on the Connecticut and Rhode Island coast. 

1. Essex Steam Train: Take a trip through the scenic Connecticut River Valley on a real vintage steam locomotive. This narrated tour offers a unique guide through Connecticut, showing off various coves and creeks that even locals might not have seen before. Click here for more.

2. Gillette Castle State Park: Travel through time at Gillette Castle, a medieval-looking fortress that has been standing in Connecticut since 1919. It was built by noted actor, director, and playwright William Hooker Gillette. The state of Connecticut bought the property, which now offers woodland trails and campgrounds to the public. Click here for more. 

3. Goodspeed Opera House: The Goodspeed Opera House first opened its doors in 1877 and has been putting on spectacular musicals since 1963. The theater has put on a total of 250 musicals, including over 70 world premieres while having exported 21 productions to Broadway. If that isn’t impressive enough, they are also the first regional theatre in America to win two special Tony awards. Click here for more. 

4. Essex Duck: "Peace Love and Rubber Ducks" is the motto of this Connecticut based shop. Essex Duck specializes in, you guessed it, unique and whacky rubber ducks. Featuring designs by multiple designers, you’re sure to find the perfect duck for a souvenir or the collector in your life. Click here for more.

5. Truffle Shots: Named a top artisan chocolate for gift-giving by Forbes, get ready to indulge at this specially shop in Essex. Truffle Shots is known for its unique take on truffles: getting rid of the chocolate shell entirely and putting the mouthwatering truffle filling right in a shot glass. With unique flavors like fig balsamico and minted grapefruit, we’re sure you won’t regret stopping by this one-of-a-kind chocolate experience. Click here for more.

6. Saybrook Point Inn and Spa: Spend your vacation living in the lap of luxury at the gorgeous Saybrook Point Inn and Spa. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing with a massage or feasting on fresh seafood at the inn’s restaurant Fresh Salt, you are guaranteed to have the stay of your life at this inn. Click here for more. 

7. Biomes Marine Biology Center: Housing the largest collection of New England marine life in the world, this North Kingstown center gives visitors a hands-on experience. Biomes has 120 different species with petting stations of tidepool creatures including hermit crabs and star fish. Click here for more.

8. Wickford Antique Estate Liquidators: Nestled in the charming center of Wickford Village in North Kingstown, this store has rare furniture and finds for the casual or serious antique collector. You’ll find everything from the front half of a DC-3 airplane from 1944 to old clam diggers. Click here for more.

9. Adventureland Family Fun Park: Revel in family fun for all ages at Adventure Family Fun Park in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Enjoy the go karts, bumper boats, miniature golf, carousel, batting cages, arcade, and ice cream. Click here for more. 

10. Narragansett Surf & Skate: A mainstay a Narragansett, Narragansett Surf & Skate sells and rents surfboards and equipment. Trisha Pan and her father, surfing legend Peter Pan, opened the shop in 2001 and offer lessons for all ages. Click here for more. 

11. Narragansett Town Beach: Known for its expansive beach and surfing, Narragansett Town Beach is a perfect place to explore rock formations and enjoy the crystal-clear water. Stroll the seawall, grab a bite to eat, or rent a boat. Click here for more.

12. Champlin’s Seafood Market: This market in Narragansett’s Port of Galilee sells fresh lobster, seafood, and shellfish from the deep offshore waters. Take your seafood to go or stay for a while at the upstairs restaurant. Click here for more. 

13. George’s of Galilee: Take a bite out of summer at the scenic George’s of Galilee, overlooking Block Island Sound. Enjoy local fresh boat-to-plate seafood and farm-to-table cuisine ranging from lobster rolls to sushi salads and pasta. Click here for more. 

14. The Sweet Spot: This shop near George’s serves up homemade ice cream and baked goods. Try one of the more unique flavors like Grass Hoppa, made with coffee, mint, and oreos. Click here for more.

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