Rhode Island has two nicknames: The Ocean State and the Plantation State. The first refers to the remarkable coastline of Rhode Island. The term Plantation State, however, comes from the full name of the state, which is "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Who knew? I bet there is a lot that you don't know about Rhode Island, like all the fun things you can do and see especially aboard a charter bus. The historical attractions in Rhode Island are numerous and spectacular.
The historical sites to see in Rhode Island are abundant, and the states small size lends to them being easy to travel between. The Blackstone Valley and Northern Rhode Island offers several different historical attractions. In Glocester, you can enjoy visiting the Brown and Hopkins Country store, a general store operating since 1809 that features candles, reproduction furniture, home accessories, penny candy and coffee. The store is in the Chepachet Village of Glocester. This precious small village offers antique shops as well as collectible shops. The history buff will also appreciate the Friends Meeting House, which is New England's oldest Quaker meeting house that is still in use and is a National Historic Landmark.
Block Island also offers attractions for the historically minded individual. There is the Block Island Historical society and two light houses to visit: The North Light and the Southeast Lighthouse. The North Light was opened in 1993 as an interpretive center and though there is no tower access, hiking trails of the National Wildlife Sanctuary lead to the lighthouse. The Southeast Lighthouse, however, provides one of the "most powerful electric beacons on the eastern United States coast” according to Visit Rhode Island. The lighthouse, which was President Grant himself visited, was moved from the edge of the Mohegan Bluffs in 1993.
The East Bay region of Rhode Island has several historical places to visit. The Bristol Historical Preservation Society Museum and Library is a great example. Built as the county jail in 1828, the building is now a museum housing collections from as early as the Revolutionary War. The Library portion is for historical and genealogical research that visitors can enjoy by appointment. The East Bay area also claims home to the John Hung House, Linden Place, Colt State Park and many other historical attractions.
Then of course, there is Providence and the surrounding areas. One of the most intriguing places to visit is the John Brown House. Visit Rhode Island quotes John Quincy Adams as saying this home was the "most magnificent and elegant private mansion that I [he] has ever seen on this continent.” The three-story mansion offers the best of Rhode Island history. There is also the Roger Williams Landing Place Monument, which is the location on the Rhode Island shore where Roger Williams placed his feet after being exiled from Massachusetts. The Providence area offers many more historical and cultural attractions, but there is still more to Rhode Island to be introduced to!
Take Newport County for instance. One of the most interesting places to see is the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum in Jamestown. According to Visit Rhode Island, it was a hurricane in 1938 that revealed the base of the third lighthouse established in America, dated in 1749. The lighthouse conveys early Colonial stonework. The rooms in the lighthouse where the keepers stayed are now part of a museum dedicated to preserving the history of Rhode Island Light houses. Newport County also offers the Astors' Beechwood Mansion, the Chase-Cory House, the Brick Market Place, Newport Vineyards and Winery along with many other historical places to visit.
The last two regions in Rhode Island are South County, and the Warwick and West Bay areas. You can enjoy exploring the Narragansett Indian Longhouse as well as the Narragansett Indian Meeting House and Church in South County. South County is also home to Smith's Castle, which was one of the largest 18th century slave-holding plantations in Rhode Island, according to Visit Rhode Island. In the Warwick/West Bay area you can visit Pontiac Mills, a 19th century textile mill that was once home to the Fruit of the Loom Company. There is also the Pawtuxet Village, St. Mary's Church, the Warwick Museum of Art, and the John Waterman Arnold House all within this area.
Rhode Island is chock full of historical sites to keep travelers enlightened and entertained. Instead of driving your way past all of these great landmarks, consider a charter bus service and tour your way through each one, savoring it the way they should be.
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