- Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, being approximately 37 miles from east to west and 48 miles from north to south. Within this area over one million people reside. Most of the residents live in or near Providence, the state capital and largest city. Providence lies at the northern reaches of Narragansett Bay. Because this city, like most others around the state, has existed for nearly 350 years it harbors many historical attractions. Providence is also a cultural center of the state.
Copyright: National Park Service
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
Narragansett Bay is the most outstanding natural feature within Rhode Island. The bay leads 28 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and Rhode Island Sound. It is the second largest estuary on the east coast of North America. The shores of this large body of water provide recreation opportunities for everyone in the state.
Rhode Island is nicknamed the Ocean State due to the 400 miles of shoreline within its borders. Many ocean side communities maintain public beaches for visitors and residents alike. In addition to these natural areas the state boasts 11 nature preserves and six state parks both with various facilities.
Recreation - The large number of public beaches and piers provide ample water access for fishing, sailing, swimming, boating and whale watching. Inland recreation includes hiking, biking and camping. During the winter months many state parks are open for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Climate - The large bodies of water surrounding Rhode Island make the climate temperate, although high humidity does exist. Summer highs usually average near 70 degrees F, with a few days, usually in July and August, reaching 90 degrees. Nights along the water can be cool, but usually temperatures remain at a comfortable level near 60 degrees. Winter temperatures average near 30 degrees for daytime highs. Snow is often changed to rain as it reaches the coast and doesn't last long if it does fall to the ground. The wind can be bitter during the winter months so be prepared with a wind breaking jacket.