Known as the Ocean State, sandy shores and Colonial towns abound in Rhode Island.
With 400 miles of coastline, it's easy to fall under the spell of America's smallest state. The landscape offers miles of sandy beaches, craggy coves, and cliff walks above crashing waves. The sheltered waters of Narragansett Bay are also prime turf for saltwater angling and world-class sailing.
Little Rhody has a culture all its own, starting with down-home seafood delicacies like clam cakes and Quahogs. The Ocean State's waves are tops in New England for surfing, particularly near the Narragansett and Newport beaches. On the eastern side of the Narragansett Bay, the lowlands hold some of the most pristine waterfronts, including the Goosewing Beach Preserve.
Rhode Island's beach camping scene favors RVs. There are several RV parks with gorgeous waterfront views like the Charlestown Breachway. Campers determined to pitch beside blue water can reserve a tent site at Fort Getty Park. If you don't mind a walk to the beach, Fisherman's Memorial State Park Campground has well-maintained primitive camping and RV sites near Point Judith. Many waterfront camping areas prohibit alcohol, so check ahead before you pack that wine.
Further inland, forests and silvery lakes offer quiet beauty. Backpackers head to George Washington State Campground for solitude without the amenities. Burlingame, the largest state park, is popular as a family campground for swimming and boating.
Day trips are ridiculously easy in this small state. Don't overlook the parks and beaches within easy driving distance. Catch the ferry to Block Island, Rhode Island's laid-back version of Nantucket. (Don't miss the nightly party at Ballard's Beach.) Sample the finer things in life with a tour of the Gilded Age mansions in Newport. Followed by a polo match on the beach.