Historic sites include mansions, lighthouses, gardens, military museums
Rhode Island was established during Colonial times as offshot of the Massachusetts Puritans. On a vacation trip to Rhode Island today, historic fans can enjoy the Gilded-Age Newport mansions like the Breakers and Rosecliff; tour Slater Mill, where the Industrial Revolution in America was born; and dine at Federal Hill, Providence's Little Italy. Historic lighthouses and boat cruises to take you there are plentiful.
680 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI, 02840
An American tale written on the Newport oceanfront
This historic oceanfront estate was built by Frederick Vanderbilt and at the time in 1887, was the largest of the Newport summer mansions. Designed in the English manorial style with landscaping by Frederick Law Olmstead’s firm, it was built to evoke the feel of an English country home. Purchased in 1922 by James B. Duke, it was left to his 12 year-old daughter Doris upon his death. After years in New York City, Doris returned her attention to refurnishing Rough Point and began purchasing art and antiques to combine with family treasures. Today the house is decorated as she left it, filled with French furniture, European art, Chinese porcelains, and Flemish tapestries. Guided and self-guided tours are open to the public from April to November.
117 Memorial Boulevard
Newport, RI, 02840
The Chanler at Cliff Walk Preserves Old World Elegance
The Chanler at Cliff Walk is one of the most historic mansions in Newport, RI, a hotel imbued with a sense of history and gilded with architectural reminders of decades past. Our story begins in 1873, when New York Congressman John Winthrop Chanler and his wife Margaret Astor Ward completed construction on the mansion they built as a summertime retreat. Prominent visitors through the years have included poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and President Theodore Roosevelt. In 2000 Detroit businessman John Shufelt purchased the property and began an extensive three-year renovation. The result: The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a Newport, RI luxury hotel and restaurant experience unlike any other in New England. Book a getaway and experience the elegance and comfort yourself.
548 West Main Road (Route 77)
Little Compton, RI, 02837
Built in the 17th century and expanded and remodeled over the next 200 years, the property was restored in 1956 by the Little Compton Historical Society. The house contains period furniture and artifacts. The barn features historic farm items, vehicles, and tools. There is a Colonial herb garden. Guided tours available.
Hours: Late June through Labor Day and other times by special appointment.
Admission: Cost: Adults, $5; Children, $1.
Long Wharf, Thames Street and America's Cup Avenue
Originally built in 1762 as a market and granary, this complex has been restored and is now a popular mall.
St. Mary's Church
Newport, RI, 02840
Rhode Islands oldest Roman Catholic parish was founded in 1828. The church is best known as the site of the wedding of Jacqueline Bouvier to John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1953.
Hours: Open Monday-Friday, 7-11 am.; closed holidays.
Hearthside House / Hannaway Blacksmith Shop / Chase Farm
677 Great Road (Route 123)
Hearthside House, built in 1810, is a fieldstone mansion on the first road between Providence and Mendon, Massachusetts. It is an example of 1800s Federal architecture and it is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is named after the ten fireplaces, one in each room of the house. Tours of the house are held monthly. Seasonal and special events include afternoon teas, Early American crafts demonstrations, a Victorian Christmas , an Antiques Fair and Antiques Appraisal Day, and a Civil War re-enactment. Information: http://www.hearthsidehouse.org
Chase Farm at 100 Great Road, Lincoln, RI (401-333-1100). This 118-acre dairy farm is preserved as a green space and is used for activities such as summer concerts. Also on site are a butterfly garden and the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop, which is open several times a year for blacksmithing demonstrations. Open from dawn to dusk.
Old Narragansett Church
Church Lane off Main Street
One of the four original colonial parishes in Rhode Island, this church was built in 1707. Includes antique communion silver, slave gallery, and the oldest church organ in North America, built in 1680. Gilbert Stuart, the portrait artist, was baptized there in 1755.
Hours: Open July-August, Sunday only, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
67 Roosevelt Avenue
Pawtucket, RI, 02862
Site of several colonial structures, including Slater Mill (1793), birthplace of American industry, the Sylvanus Brown House (1758), and Wilkinson Mill (1810), home to an authentic 19th century machine shop. This rhode Island site also features a eight-ton working water wheel, constructed in 1826, and regular demonstrations of early textile machinery, hand-spinning, and weaving, , making for an interesting place to visit and thing to do especially on your next family vacation.
Hours: Vary seasonally; call ahead.
Admission: Adults age 13-64, $12; seniors over age 64, $10; children age 6-12, $8.50
50 Taft Street
The home of George Washington's second-in-command, built in 1770. The grounds include a veterans garden and Revolutionary War cannon.
Hours: April 1-October 31, Monday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; children, $3.
Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge
Central Pike, over Hemlock Brook
The only remaining covered bridge in Rhode Island, this bridge was completed in 1994 and is a reproduction of an early 19th century covered bridge. The lumber for the bridge was donated and cut from local forests.
Newport Congregational Church
Spring and Pelham Streets
The most recently built church for a congregation originally formed in 1695. Constructed in 1835, this is one of only two churches in the U.S. to be completely decorated by 19th century painter John LaFarge. Open by appointment only.
Trinity Church (RI)
Queen Anne Square, 141 Spring Street
Historic church completed in 1726. George Washington worshipped there, and the organ was tested by George Frederick Handel before being sent from England. Contains Tiffany stained-glass windows and the only three-tiered, wine glass pulpit in America.
Hours: Open May, daily, 1-4 p.m.; June 15-Labor Day, daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; September-April, daily, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Slater Memorial Park Carousel
Newport Avenue (Route 1A)
Pawtucket, RI, 02861
Phone: 401-728-0500 Ext - 25
The stately grounds of this park include an early carousel by Danish immigrant Charles I. D. Looff. The carousel boasts 42 horses, three dogs, and a lion, camel, and giraffe; they are some of the earliest examples of Looffs work.
Hours: Open during warm weather: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Call ahead for changes in hours.
Admission: Rides are 25 cents.
Historic seaside village founded in 1641, visitors will find great water views, 17th- and 18th-century buildings that are well preserved, and many fine shops and restaurants.
Prospect, Waterman, Thayer and George streets
One of the Ivy League universities, Brown was founded in 1764. The campus houses several historic buildings and sites, most of which are still in use today. The campus and neighborhood provide ample opportunity for both long and short walks. The university can information concerning the myriad of historic buildings.
Slatersville Village Green
Off Route 146
North Smithfield, RI
Slatersville is one of the country's oldest mill villages, and this typical New England village green is surrounded by a meeting house and numerous homes from the 17th and 18th centuries. Open year-round.
311 Berkeley Avenue
Middletown, RI, 02842
Built in 1729 by Dean George Berkeley, an Anglican bishop and philosopher. The home is authentically furnished with 18th century antiques and the small gardens are landscaped with a variety of plants and flowers.
Hours: July-August, daily except Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults over age 15, $5.
50 Belleville Avenue
Outstanding portraits done in the 18th and 19th centuries can be found in the nation's oldest library building. The library hosts many special cultural and seasonal oublic events throughout the year.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. OPen until 8 p.m. on Thursdays,
220 Stillwater Road
A restored farmhouse, built in 1696, is a 12-room structure near Georgiaville Pond and is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are led by interpreters in Colonial attire. Visitors learn about the house's history and architecture; hear stories about the Smith-Appleby family; and see demonstrations of 18th- and 19th-centurey life.
Hours: Seasonal hours; tours are held Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Call ahead to confirm house is open.
100 Ochre Point Ave.
Newport, RI, 02840
A nationally recognized university in the heart of historic Newport, Salve Regina has a beautiful oceanside campus on the edge of the scenic Cliff Walk.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
101 Ferry Road / Route 114
Bristol, RI, 02809
Designated by Yankee Magazine as one of the five best public gardens in New England, Blithewold is a 435-room English-style manor house and home of the prosperous Van Wickle family. Its beautiful grounds and gardens offer sweeping view of Narraganssett Bay below. The original Blithewold, built in 1896, was a shingled, Queen Anne style mansion. It burned down in 1906 and was replaced with a grander design in the English Country Manor style with influences of the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Tours of the house give personal insights into the talented and interesting Van Wickle clan. Blithwold hosts many seasonal celebrations, lectures, classes, and family events throughout the year.
Lawns, gardens, and planted beds cover 33 acres of property. They include a Rock Garden, a formal display garden, a rose garden with a centenarian Chestnut Rose; and enclosed garden with its curved pathways, and a summerhouse that looks out on one of the tallest Giant Sequoias on the east coast.
Hours: The Mansion is open mid-April through Columbus Day, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gardens and grounds are open year-round, daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $11; seniors, $9; youths age 6-17, $3.
2325 Boston Neck Road (Route 1A)
Saunderstown, RI, 02874
Explore this working farm with a tour that includes the farmyard and the family cemetery, where six generations of Caseys are buried. Visitors are welcome to ramble along trails and view the organic vegetable and flower gardens. The farm also keeps a flock of heirloom Dominique chickens as well as heritage-breed turkeys. Hiking trails surround the property.
Hours: June 1-October 15, Tuesday and Thursday, 1-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Coastal Grower’s Farmers’ Market is held on Saturdays, May through October, 9 a.m.-noon.
Admission: $4; seniors, $3; students and children, $2.
75 North Main Street
This is the oldest Baptist Church in America, established by Rhode Island founder Roger Williams in 1638. The existing structure was built in 1775, and sports a Waterford crystal chandelier designed and constructed in 1792.
Hours: Guided tours of the Meeting House are available Memorial Day through Labor Day; self-guided tours are available the rest of the year; Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.; there is a guided tour each Sunday following the Worship Service
Admission: $2 per person
Beavertail Point, Beavertail Road
While the current tower of this lighthouse was built in 1856, it sits on the site of just the third lighthouse built in the United States--back in 1749. A museum discusses the history of the lighthouse and the area.
John Brown House Museum
52 Power Street
Providence, RI, 02906
One of America's grandest mansions when completed in 1788, the house at 52 Power Street was home first to John Brown, a businessman, patriot, politician, China trade pioneer, and slave trader who participated in the debates and practices that shaped the new nation. Group, school, and special tours are available by appointment when you decide to visit this Rhode Island museum on your next vacation or getaway. .
Hours: December 1-March 31, Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.; April 1-November 30, Tuesday-Friday, 1:30 and 3 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors and students, $8; children age 7-17, $6.
23 Clarke Street
Newport, RI, 02840
In the Newport Armory, built in 1836, the museum contains a large collection of military artifacts, both from the U.S. and foreign sources representing more than 100 countries past and present. The museum is run by the Rhode Island Militia, which was chartered in 1741 and is the country's oldest military organization.
Hours: May–October, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment the rest of the year.
Admission: Free; donations are accepted.
Great Friends Meeting House
Farewell Street and Marlborough Street
Built in 1699, the meeting house is the oldest religious building in Newport. Features the history of the Quakers, once the dominant religion in Newport colony. Open by appointment only, call at least one week in advance.
Old School House
East Main Road and Union Street
The oldest schoolhouse in the United States, built in 1716. Antique textbooks, school bells, and school furniture on display.
Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day, Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; also by appointment.
The Towers are all that remains of the historic Narragansett Pier Casino, built in 1883 and designed by world famous architect Stanford White, who also built the original Madison Square Garden in New York City. Restoration of the property currently is underway, and there are exhibits to view there, in adition to the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center. Open daily 9 am-4 pm. Summer tours are available.
Flying Horse Carousel
Watch Hill, RI
The Flying Horse Carousel is the oldest in the country, and records show it was used earlier than 1879. It was brought to Watch Hill in 1883. Each carousel horse is hand-carved from a single piece of wood, and features authentic tails, manes, leather saddles, and agate eyes. They are suspended from a frame in the center, swinging out above the base of the carousel when it is in motion. Only children are permitted to ride the carousel.
Hours: Open June 15-Labor Day, 1-9 p.m.
251 Benefit Street
The Athenaeum is one of the oldest libraries in the country, founded in 1753. The building itself was constructed in 1838 in granite Greek Revival style. Still a fully functional subscription library, interesting exhibits of rare and historic books are often found on the site.
Settled in 1642 Pawtuxet Village lays claim to being New England's oldest village. This Historic District features many colonial and historic homes along tree-lined streets. During the early years of settlement colonists were beset by Indian attacks. Pawutuxet Village also was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
199 Hope Street
Providence, RI, 02906
A Victorian mansion built in 1865, it is a National Historic Landmark. Home of two Rhode Island governors. Intricately decorated and furnished with authentic pieces from the Victorian period.
Hours: May-October, Friday, 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $10.
North Road, off Route 138
Built in 1787, this windmill has been restored and is owned by the Jamestown Historical Society. Tours are available.
Hours: Open mid-June to mid-September, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.
135 Pelham Street
Built in 1880, this Unitarian Church was named for William Ellery Channing, a leader in the Unitarian Church and the abolitionist movement. The structure is built mostly of granite, and features artistic stained glass windows and a bronze plaque by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This church was attended by Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Hours: Open for Sunday worship at 10 a.m., and by appointment.
85 Touro Street
The oldest synagogue in North America is a worldwide symbol of religious freedom. Built in 1763, the synagogue houses the oldest torah in North America and a letter written by George Washington 1790.
Hours: Hours vary seasonally. Call for specific times or to make an appointment.
55 Richard Smith Drive
This National Landmark was built in 1678, and is very near to the trading center built by Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, in 1636. Numerous archeological discovers have been made here, and in 1995 the original house underwent a major restoration.
Hours: Open May-June and September-October, Friday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; July-August, Thursday-Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $6; children age 6-112, $2.
1351 Cranston Street
Cranston, RI, 02920
Built in 1790, this home was owned by the Sprague family, who produced two Rhode Island governors. The house contains period furniture and artifacts. In the stable house there are carriages, carts, winter sleighs, and a Bicentennial Conestoga wagon. Open year-round by appointment.
15 Hopkins Street
Providence, RI, 02903
This is the home of Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, his family, and their slaves, for over 40 years. Hopkins added the Georgian style front in 1743. Twice moved, it was restored amd opened as a museum in 1929. Eight rooms are filled with period antiques & Hopkins heirlooms.
Hours: Guided tours given May through November, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and also year-round by appointment. Donations are requested in lieu of an admission charge.
Herreshoff Marine Museum and America's Cup Hall of Fame
1 Burnside Street
Bristol, RI, 02809
The museum and hall of fame present the story of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America's Cup competition. From 1863 to 1945, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company produced the world's finest yachts on the cutting edge of design and engineering. This Rhode Island museum's collection includes 60 original Herreshoff boats, steam engines, artifacts, and photographs from the Golden Age of Yachting.
Hours: April 26-November 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; other times of year by appointment.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors over age 65, $8; military, $8, youth over age 10, $5.
National Museum of American Illustration and Frederick Law Olmsted Park
Vernon Court at 492 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI, 02840
This essential American art form is on display at this largest collection original artworks from the Golden Age of American Illustration anywhere in the world. The museum includes artworks by N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, and more than 100 other artists. Vernon Court is a furnished 1898 mansion, a unique union of art and architecture, and a national treasure.
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with a public tour at 3 p.m. Fridays. Labor Day to Memorial Day, Friday only, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with a public tour at 3 p.m. Closed holidays; see website for last-minute changes. Open year-round by advance reservation for groups or private tours.
Admission: See website.
487 Great Road
In 1693, Eleazer Arnold built his imposing house along the Great Road. Two stories high, with a pilastered chimney, the home dominated the modest dwellings of nearby farmers. With its massive chimney end wall, the house is a rare survivor of a building type known as a stone ender. Visitors find evidence of 17th-century construction methods, 18th-century additions, 19th-century graffiti, and 20th-century preservation.
Hours: Open year round, Saturdays and Sundays; tours on the hour, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $5; seniors, $4; students and children, $2.50.
455 North Road
This working farm is managed according to the principles of sustainable agriculture and raises heritage-breed cattle and other livestock. Visitors follow a self-guided walking tour to explore the open fields and pastures. Walk to commanding views of Narragansett Bay, stroll along the shore, and observe wildlife and the seasonal activities of the farm. The house is not open to the public. Owned and operated by Historic New England.
Hours: June 1-October 15, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $4; seniors, $3; students and children, $2.
Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum
815 Gilbert Stuart Road
Saunderstown, RI, 02874
A showplace for reproductions of the works of Gilbert Stuart, one of America’s foremost portrait painters, this home also is an authentically restored and furnished workingman’s home and the site of the first snuff mill in America. The lovely wooded homestead on the banks of the Mattatuxet Brook also features a partially restored grist mill and a fascinating fish ladder. The grist mill houses the original fine-grained granite stones used to grind corn for the famous Rhode Island johnny cakes.
Hours: May- September; limited hours in October; call ahead for days and times.
Admission: Adults, $10; children age 6-12, $6
Historic fort property hosts picnics, swimming, fishing, historic reenactments, sailing
An active military fort from 1799 to 1945, Fort Adams sits on over 21 acres and held up to 2,400 troops. The Fort often hosts special historical events like reenactments of battles and the daily lives of soldiers in a historic setting. The original defenses still standing include walls, powder magazines, guns and cannons, and tunnels.
See full description
of Fort Adams State Park.
Old Stone Mill
A bit of mystery surrounds this site: some theorize it was built by Colonial farmers, others that it is far older and actually may have been constructed by visiting Norsemen before the 15th century.
Hours: Open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Newport, RI, 02840
The oldest restored home in Newport, built in 1675. The house is the site of the Stamp Act Riot of 1765 and was home to Colonial governors, justices, and patriots. Property also contains a Colonial herb garden.
Hours: Open during the summer or by appointment. Call for times.
Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum
4157 Post Road
Centrally located, the museum is a 27-room granite Gothic Victorian mansion, complete with original furnishings and collections. Annual exhibits include 100 Years of Romance, a collection of wedding gowns and memorabilia for every decade from 1880 through 1980, in February; Gardens in Bloom in June; A Day in the Country, honoring old-time farming, in the fall; and the Christmas display, with 12 rooms decorated for the holidays, in December.
Hours: Tours daily by appointment
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $10; college students, $8; youth age 12 and younger, $5.
500 Hope St. / Route 114
Bristol, RI, 02809
Linden Place mansion was built in 1810 by the seafaring General George DeWolf. The property includes the mansion, a ballroom built in 1906, a barn built in the 19th century, and an 18th-century summer house. The grounds include historic sculpture and gardens. Live music performances are offered throughout the year.
Guided tours of the estate, featured in the film "The Great Gatsby," are given May through Columbus Day, Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and occasional Sundays. Tours by appointment are available November through April.
Hours: Mansion and museum store, May 1 through Columbus Day, Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; office open daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Along Route 138
South Kingstown, RI
Kingston Village was founded in 1723, and many historic buildings remain, adding to the atmosphere of Colonial life in Rhode Island. Located right at the entrance to the University of Rhode Island.
282 North Main Street
Rhode Island's only national park on the site of the original Providence colonial settlement. A visitors center chronicles the life and times of Roger Williams, founder of the state of Rhode Island.
Hours: The visitor center at the memorial is open daily, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Crescent Park Carousel
Crescent Park, 700 Bullocks Point Avenue
Riverside, RI, 02915
This classic Victorian carousel was designed by Charles I.D. Loof, and constructed in 1895. The mechanism includes 66 figures and a carved band organ. It's the official Rhode Island State Symbol of Folk Art. Concession stand and a gift shop are available.
Hours: Spring and fall, Saturday-Sunday, noon-9 p.m.; Memorial Day-July, Friday-Sunday, noon-9 p.m.; July-Labor Day, Wednesday-Sunday, noon-9 p.m.
Coggeshall Farm Museum
Off Route 114
Bristol, RI, 02809
This is a 35-acre colonial farm, established in 1750. This Rhode Island museum features rare breeds of livestock, a barn, cooling house, blacksmith, and springhouse, making it a great thing to do with kids for a family activity on vacation.
Hours: Year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $5; children, $3.
82 Smith Street
Completed in 1904, the building has the fourth largest self-supported dome in the world. Historic Rhode Island items on display include the original Rhode Island Charter (1663) and a portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, a Rhode Island native. Free guided tours are offered year-round, Monday through Friday, by advance arrangement. Tour stops include the Bell Room, where Rhode Island's replica of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell is displayed; the State Room, where Gilbert Stuart's famous portrait of George Washington hangs.
Hours: See website to arrange tours. Tours are 50 minutes. Allow enough extra time to pass through security.
North End of Corn Neck Road
New Shoreham (Block Island), RI
This is the fourth Rhode Island lighthouse erected on the shifting sands on Block Island's Sandy Point. The building was opened in 1993 as an interpretive center. The lighthouse is on the grounds of the National Wildlife Sanctuary, which contains hiking trails. No tower access. Reaching the lighthouse requires walking for about 20 minutes from the parking area on a sandy beach. There is an interpretive center in the first floor of the building.
Hours: Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Tuesday & Wednesday and on rainy days
4 Main Street
Little Compton, RI
One of the oldest continuously operation stores in the United States, Gray's was built in 1788. On the premises are the areas original post office, built in 1804, a historic soda fountain, display cases, and an ice chest. Numerous antiques are on display, and the store has cheddar cheese, penny candy, and collectibles for sale.
Hours: Open year-round, call for operating hours.
416 Thames Street
Newport, RI, 02840
The fully furnished, Federal-style Whitehorne House features some of the best examples of Newport and Rhode Island furniture from the late 18th century, with work from the Townsend and Goddard workshops. Guests may stroll through formal gardens, with their beautiful array of period flowers and plants.
Hours: Open for tours May 1-October 31, Thursday-Monday. Self-guided tours, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $12 for a guided tour and $6 for a self-guided tour; children age 12 and younger, free.
1460 Ocean Road
Built in 1816, this eight-sided building replaced the original lighthouse, which was lost in a gale in 1815. During the American Revolution, the light was the site of a Coast Guard station. The grounds are open to visitors and plenty of information is available on the history of the site. Access to the lighthouse and the Coast Guard Station are restricted, but tours for groups can be arranged by appointment.
Hours: Open Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
124 Granite Street
Built in 1734, this was the home of Dr. Joshua Babcock, who was the first physician to practice in Westerly, and who also served as postmaster. Babcock is known as a friend of Benjamin Franklin. A later resident of the house, Orlando Smith, discovered granite on the property, which became a major industry for the community in the 19th century.
Hours: May 30 through October 31, Saturday, 2-5 p.m.; July and August, Friday and Saturdays, 2-5 p.m. Group tours by arrangement.
Admission: Adults, $5; children, $1.
Atwells Avenue and surrounding streets
This is Rhode Island's Little Italy. A true example of Providence's old-world roots, with historic buildings and a big splash of the Italian culture that made Providence grow in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy bakeries, shops, and some of the best restaurants in New England. Take an evening or afternoon walk or stroll through these colorful streets and feel like you have stepped into the Old World for a day.
150 Benefit Street
Home to the Rhode Island General Assembly during the Revolutionary War period, built in 1762. The Declaration of Independence was signed here on May 4, 1776, two months before the other colonies. Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
General James Mitchell Varnum House
57 Peirce Street
East Greenwich, RI, 02818
James Mitchell Varnum was one of George Washington’s generals. His mansion was built in 1773, and visitors can enjoy the Colonial garden, the paneled walls, and period furnishings.
Hours: June-August, Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Donation suggested.
Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House
82 Touro Street
Next to the Newport Historical Society Museum, this church was built in 1729 and is the oldest 7th Day Baptist structure in the U.S. The pulpit is rich in decor. The building includes a William Claggett clock. Call for hours and to make an appointment.
Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum
14 Lighthouse Road
Watch Hill, RI
Exhibits feature information about life in the area in the 18th and 19th century, particularly relating to marine issues. Facing Fisher's Island Sound, the lighthouse was built in 1858.
Hours: July-August, Tuesday and Thursday, 1-3 p.m.