Nestled in the Northeast, hugged by green plateaus and crashing waves of blue, Rhode Island has long since been the perfect vacation destination.
Here you’ll find cozy small towns on the coast and unique towns with their own charm just waiting to be explored.
Check out these top 15 most gorgeous small towns in Rhode Island to get your bucket list started.
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Spend your weekend by the sea! The slow, calming sounds of the ocean will lull you to sleep, with the rising sun over gentle waters waking you the next day.
New Shoreham is a great place to go for a getaway for couples, groups, families, single travelers, and just about everybody in between.
There’s something for everybody here, whether water sports, boating, or anything on the ocean, or maybe something more educational, like state-of-the-art museums, art exhibits and more.
As a city established in the 18th century, New Shoreham has a rich history that can still be found in beautifully preserved architecture and art all around the city.
The main attraction here has to be the sea. Hike, bike, walk the coastline trails, or maybe even visit one of the historic lighthouses.
The South East Lighthouse is beloved by tourists and citizens alike and makes for a breathtaking view where you can see the sprawl of seemingly endless water on one side and little seaside town life on the other. Cast your anchor in New Shoreham!
Address: New Shoreham, RI
For a little slice of the small-town life, check out Harrisville. This is very much the cozy, neighborly village of your vacation dreams.
This is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of working life while exploring all things Earth.
Embrace the wild side at Southwick's Zoo, with many exhibits and attractions to make this fun for the whole family.
If you are more of an exploration type of traveler, then Harrisville has so much to offer! Purgatory Chasm State Reservation is a gorgeous display of all thing’s northeast beauty.
Here the natural rock formations are beautiful and provide for a sun-soaked, vibrant day spent with Mother Nature.
Whether you are spending a day on land or sea, Harrisville will show you exactly why it is consistently considered one of the best small towns in Rhode Island.
Address: Harrisville, RI
While thinking of Rhode Island might immediately bring up thoughts of the shoreline, Rhode Island is also an incredible woodland paradise. One such place is the charming town of Cumberland.
Here you’ll find the kind of small towns that boast of bed and breakfasts', mom and pop eateries, and of course, some of the most peaceful hikes available.
With towering green trees to border your walk and little babbling creeks, this place is the vacation you’ve been dreaming of to take a break from the hustle of regular life. Come one, come all to Cumberland!
Address: Cumberland, RI
Speaking of all things beautiful, Bristol has something new around every corner. This is a great place to go for the slower speed of a small town without losing any excitement.
If you get the chance to visit in the summer, an absolute must-see is the stunning Blithewold Mansion.
And while the structure itself is both interesting and magnificent, one of the biggest draws has to be the impeccably maintained and gardened arboretum.
Moss-strewn oval entryways welcome visitors to a dazzling array of all the rainbow colors in Mother Nature's best packages: flowers!
Watch your summer bloom with a trip that is both interesting and gorgeous, all wrapped up into one exciting adventure.
For a bit of a longer stay, no Bristol trip is complete without a walk on the Colt State Park shoreline. Watch boats crash through waves on the horizon and enjoy all the calming sounds of the sea on your next vacation.
Address: Bristol, RI
“Rhode Island small towns” might mean just about anything to different people. And if you’re the kind of person looking for that mom-and-pop stores, little to no lines, and homegrown goods, then Tiverton should be your next stop.
Tiverton is a beautiful and cozy, primarily farmland city ideal for a getaway. Check out Airbnbs in the area or find a hotel away from all the action for a weekend that’s nothing but relaxing.
Many places here even offer farm tours or activities spent in the grassy fields overlooking a stunning view of all thing’s sea and beyond.
Tiverton is also a great place to explore the expression of the area. There are so many cool galleries available for viewing and even some fun, artistic events scattered throughout the year.
One of the staples found year-round, however, is the incredible cuisine. So unique and, even better, fairly priced, Tiverton is a delectable place to explore your taste buds.
All in all, Tiverton is a beautiful expanse of possibility, wrapped into one unique Rhode Island small town.
Address: Tiverton, RI
History comes alive in East Greenwich, with several historical sites that call this town their home.
Check out the New England Wireless and Steam Museum for how life moved in the past, and be sure to find some fantastic tours and informational brochures for how it all worked!
Continue the day at the Varnum Armony Museum or the Varnum House Museum for the military history of the area.
East Greenwich is a great small town to visit smaller attractions with big exhibits and embrace the tradition of ages long passed. East Greenwich is a unique city that has beautifully preserved its history.
Address: East Greenwich, RI
Nestled right on the border of Massachusetts resides a beautiful Rhode Island small town that is full of big attractions.
Little Compton is a coastal city, where you can go from stunning ocean views to gorgeous green forests in a matter of minutes.
For water lovers, you can never go wrong with a trip to South Shore Beach. This is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, with a rocky beach that features some of the most spectacular waters in the area.
If the greenery is what calls your name, Little Compton has lots for that too! Especially if you’re feeling like a nice wine in hand might brighten the day a bit.
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard is a favorite attraction in the area for a day spent finding a new favorite drink.
Here, you can find some of the most unique and delicious wines, and you get to do it all in a local winery! Little Compton is a great place to spend your next vacation.
Address: Little Compton, RI
No list of the best small towns in Rhode Island is complete without mentioning Richmond!
Richmond embodies all things R.I. with a beautiful view centered around many activities. It’s also an ideal spot for family vacations, where everybody can find something to enjoy.
Check out the festivals that run through the seasons, or see the stars that always shine! Long Pond Nature Area is a great place to hike, bike, and enjoy a beautiful day outside.
The Charlestown Breachway is a popular attraction on the coast, with those natural rock piers that just make the state what it is.
And of course, don’t forget to visit the farms surrounding the area! Some offer pumpkin picking, and others provide goat yoga, but all of these places are full of fun.
Address: Richmond, RI
What about an adventure in the small-town city? Wakefield, found in South Kingstown, is a great place to go if you’re most interested in the city aspect of a small town.
We’re talking boutiques and eateries that just can’t be found elsewhere. In connection with Peacedale, Wakefield is an excellent choice for a getaway with the girls, the family, your partner, your friends, and just about everybody.
It even has some of the most impressive architecture in the area, named the proud home of the Marble House.
And if mansions and cool builds are your things, then don’t leave without planning a day at The Breakers.
Built in the late 1800s, this mansion is nothing short of jaw-dropping! Whatever you choose, Wakefield will have you coming back for more.
Address: Wakesfield, RI
Just south of South Kingstown lays another hidden gem, known affectionately by the locals as just “Gansett”. And since we were speaking of fascinating architecture, Gansett just has to be featured.
Because not only does it have dazzling views of the water and stunning builds, but it has both in one place! The Towers is the place to be for something you just can’t get elsewhere.
Drive under it and walk through it and you’ll see just what makes this city so unique.
Made as a casino in the 19th century, this build has drawn tourists in for years, making Narragansett a small town with big-city attractions.
And since it is so steeped in history, there is so much more to explore years past in Narragansett. This is one beautiful Rhode Island small town you’re not going to want to leave!
Address: Narragansett, RI
Looking for something a little more big-town adjacent? Check out Jamestown!
Next to Newport resides one of the most charming Rhode Island small towns with tourists opting for a more relaxed vacation.
As with many sites in Rhode Island, the main attraction here can be found on the shore and sea! The Fort Wetherill State Park gently hugs the coast in a beautiful array of lush green forestry and dazzling crashing waves.
This is a great hike to just enjoy the trip and get a breath of fresh air away from any overwhelming crowds. Get up early to view a sunrise you'll never forget, or pack a lunch for a day well spent amongst the trees.
This is constantly rated as one of the best sites to visit in the area and even has a lighthouse to make things more impressive!
If new England architecture is what interests you, then don’t forget to check out the Jamestown Windmill before you go.
Towering over a gorgeous green landscape, this little piece of history is incredibly unique and well worth the stop. Really, whatever you choose to do in Jamestown will make some beautiful memories.
Address: Jamestown, RI
Providence alone might make you think it has no place on a Rhode Island small towns bucket list, but East Providence is all it's own.
It’s that big town adjacent to a city that means all the perks are just a short drive away, and all the comforts are right here.
East Providence is also one of the best trips in Rhode Island with children! Check out the Crescent Park Carousel, the Children's Museum, or any of the beautiful parks in the area.
And since it is next to Providence, it is easily accessible by plane or major highway, making this an essential stop in Rhode Island.
Address: East Providence, RI
Another popular, without being overwhelming, small town in Rhode Island is the charming city of Warwick.
Warwick is larger than most others on this list and just a short drive away from Boston, but it well earns its title as a beautiful small town.
Check out the shoreline for the coastal city vibes that make any vacation feel like home. Bike your day away on the East Bay Bike Path, or soak up some sun at the Goddard Memorial State Park.
This small town is an ideal and stunning place for all things outdoor adventure. Stretch your legs and enjoy the view in Warwick.
Address: Warwick, RI
Culture, art, and so much more awaits in Woonsocket! Bordered by forests and nestled in a welcoming small town, Woonsocket is an excellent addition to any traveler's itinerary.
Here, the Museum of Work and Culture is an interesting and exciting display of Woonsocket’s history, specifically featuring the mining industry that made its past.
St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center will make you feel like you’re at the epicenter of architecture, with wide, towering arches and impressive ceiling art that will have you craning your neck for more.
Woonsocket is art embodied and easily one of Rhode Island's most beautiful small towns.
Address: Woonsocket, RI
Calling all history buffs! This is the Rhode Island small town you’ve been looking for, and that’s been waiting for you for ages.
One of the best things to do here if you’re really trying to learn and live it all: find some tours! There are plenty in the area offering a wide array of historical day trips with a plethora of knowledge you just can’t find anywhere else.
And as Wickford Village is in North Kingstown, you are just a short trip away from even more architecture, culture, art, and all the perks of a big town, while being able to rest, relax, and learn in a small setting.
Founded in 1709, this village has many monuments still standing and available for touring, exploring, and so much more.
Even if history isn’t what calls you, Wickford Village is an ideal stop while in Rhode Island. It’s got that calming, cool feeling that means you can take a load off of typical day-to-day stress and just enjoy the views.
There are so many beautiful piers here where you can embrace the warming sun, let your feet dangle in the cool water a bit, and just watch the water move in a calming area.
Wickford Village has been an exciting small town to see in Rhode Island for many years!
Address: Wickford Village, RI
From land to sea to art never before seen, Rhode Island is a beautiful display of all the things that make New England special.
Gorgeous coastal sites await, with hikes and outdoor activities easily accessible, making any town on this list well worth the visit.
Whether history, art, culture, or natural attractions is what draws you to the East Coast, you can never go wrong!
Maybe even visit them all, and figure out your own ranking of the most beautiful small towns in Rhode Island for the best, immersive experience in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States.