Rhode Island Staycation Bucket List

A vacation doesn’t have to include a trip to an exotic, faraway place. There are hidden treasures all throughout New England, and Rhode Island is no exception. While you may have seen the Newport Mansions a hundred times or spent too much time weaving through tourists at Roger Williams Park Zoo, this staycation bucket list celebrates attractions that are off the beaten path. Wherever you find your Rhode Island staycation taking you, this tiny state has plenty to explore.

Block Island Bucket List
Photo: Block Island Tourism Council

Treat Yourself to Topiary at Green Animal Topiary Garden

Kids and adults alike love the walk through the Green Animals Topiary Garden. Wander through the garden and marvel at the skill it takes to create these animals. Whether you go alone or with friends, you’ll never be lonely surrounded by these green sculptures. As you walk through the garden, you will also be able to marvel at the adjacent Newport Mansions. This Narragansett Bay attraction is often overlooked, so be sure to add it to your staycation bucket list.

Mellow out in the Mud at Mohegan Bluffs

A trip to Block Island can easily fill an entire day. Take in the gorgeous views by scooting around the island on mopeds or bicycles. If you ride past Mohegan Bluffs (or “the bluffs” to locals), stop and experience an all-natural “spa treatment.” Cover your skin with the green clay from the cliffs, and then rinse in the ocean, all in the midst of some of the most breathtaking views Rhode Island has to offer.

Get Goofy and Plan a Mr. Potato Head Tour

In 2000, tourism officials named Mr. Potato Head the official ambassador for the state of Rhode Island. Since then over 30 six-foot tall Mr. Potato Head statues have been erected across Rhode Island. Start your tour in Warwick, where you can find the glowing Red Hot Potato, and keep an eye out for these giant spuds as you work on your staycation bucket list!

WaterFire Rhode Island
Photo: Barnaby Evans, WaterFire

Check Rhode Island’s Funny Food Off Your Staycation Bucket List

New England has many food oddities, but Rhode Island has a list that stands on its own. In fact, there’s so many delicious items, you may need to make a separate bucket list just for food. Quahogs, stuffies, Del’s lemonade, zeppole, doughboys, pizza strips, coffee milk and clam cakes are must-trys. You are bound to see them on a menu or two—cross them off as you go. You can also knock off a bunch of items at once by taking the Rhode Island Red Food Tour in Newport.

Gather Inspiration at WaterFire

Whether you are a resident or a tourist, an evening filled with world music, performers, and a river illuminated with floating fire will be a memorable part of your Rhode Island vacation. WaterFire is a Providence staple and a great way to enjoy an evening in the city. Events are held throughout the year, but be sure to check the schedule and attend a full lighting to get the complete experience. And if you’re in the area during December, WaterFire looks especially magical in holiday lighting.

Sometimes discovering what is in your own backyard is all the fun you need! Tell us which activities you would add to your staycation bucket list on Facebook and Twitter

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