This week’s news that neighboring states like Massachusetts and Connecticut added Rhode Island to their lists of states requiring a 14-day quarantine may have dashed some summer plans, but the bright side is that being stuck in the Ocean State during the month of August is that there are plenty of interesting and fun things to do, even during a pandemic. With social distancing and tight budgets in mind, we thought about ways Rhode Islanders can re-discover their state. Here’s our list of things to do this month without leaving Rhode Island.
(PS – If you’re feeling confused as to why Rhode Island is on the quarantine list, this article offers a good explanation on why)
1. Go to the beach after 6pm. Want to know a secret? The best time to go to First or Second Beach is 6pm when the crowds have dissipated and there are no parking restrictions. There’s still hours of sunlight left and weather permitting, you’ll be treated to a beautiful sunset. You could also discover this secluded beach in Jamestown where a scene from Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom was shot, or Secret Beach in Newport (we won’t tell you how to get to there – but if you know, you know!)
2. Visit a local farm. Enjoy an outdoor walk through beautiful Sweet Berry Farm (Middletown) or Windmist Farm (Jamestown) while you pick up lunch and/or some groceries. For something different, stroll through the Fantastic Umbrella Factory (Charlestown) which is an unusual 250-year-old farm that features sculptures, a petting zoo and small shops.
3. Enjoy dinner in your backyard but let someone else do the cooking. We recently reported that several Newport Restaurant Group restaurants are offering family-style takeout options. That means you can enjoy dinner from Bar ‘Cino and Smoke House with your quarantine crew in the safety of your own backyard.
4. Discover a local brewery. Ragged Island Brewing Co (Portsmouth) has teamed up with McGrath Clambakes & Catering to host a series of outdoor beer and food events at their farm at 54 Bristol Ferry Road. These events are held weekly thru September 27 on: Fridays: 4:00-8:00 PM, Saturdays: 3:00-5:00 PM and 6:00-8:00 PM, Sundays: 2:00-6:00 PM. We also recently discovered a hidden gem of a brewery on Gilbert Stuart Road called Wickford Alewerks (Saunderstown). Seating is outdoors and the crowds are small – check them out!
5. Take a hike. A couple of our favorite spots hikes include: Arcadia Management Area (Richmond), Weetamoo Woods Trail (Tiverton), Jerimoth Hill (Foster) and a trail through Great Swamp (South Kingstown) that leads to this monument deep in the woods.
6. Watch a film. Newportfilm is bas been offering film screenings in a drive-in format this summer. Check out their schedule to see when and where the net one is and book tickets early – space is limited and they sell out fast. Rainy day? You can choose a movie from the wide selection at the Jane Pickens Theater Virtual Screening Room and watch at home.
7. Spin outdoors with a harbor view. Local spin studio WaveCycle had to innovate during the pandemic and now offers outdoor, socially distant spin classes in the mornings or evenings right on the water at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.
8. Go on a walking tour. A walking tour is a great way to spend time outdoors while learning a ton. Discover Newport has a great selection of walking tours in town that cover everything from ghost stories to rum distilleries, Browse Airbnb Experiences for some great options as well. If you’ve never done a guided tour of Fort Adams, we highly recommend it!
9. Kayak. There are plenty of good spots to kayak around the state for both kayak owners and renters. We recommend checking our the Narrow River and renting from Narrow River Kayaks (Narragansett).
10. Take a ferry ride. The Block Island Ferry is operating with limited passenger capacity due to the pandemic, but it’s still running! Check the schedule and ticket availability here and plan to spend a day exploring this beautiful island that’s just a short ferry ride away. The Seastreak Ferry is also still offering service between Newport and Providence during the pandemic. Check out schedule and ticket availability here and spend a day walking around Providence to see its murals, architecture, and the new Providence River Pedestrian Bridge.