New England Part 2: Rhode Island

5/17/22: Rhode Island
Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US with only one rest stop/visitors center. This little state packs a powerful punch with its coastal cities, views of the ocean and colonial history.
Newport is a small coastal town and was told the most expensive town on the coast and that celebrity ships dock here. I saw a big one in the bay and wondered who it belonged to. There are shops and restaurants and the usual tourist attractions, and the atmosphere was very laid back.
I drove around to a little park with a large parking lot, and I walked over to the water and watched the boats. Ft. Adams is next to the docks and tours are available, but I chose to walk around the fort instead. It was cold and breezy, but the sun was shining and I enjoyed the walk. Eisenhower House, a summer home to the president, was on the walk and tours are available here, too. There’s is so much history here.
After, I drove around the “Gilded Ages” mansions area along the cliff walk and then stopped to see The Breakers, the Vanderbilt mansion, built in the late 1800’s. This is the most stunning building I’ve ever seen! I skipped the tour and walked around the cliff walk to see the other buildings along the coast. (If I go back, I’m taking the tour!) Regina Salve University is next door, and the buildings were amazing!
I finished my tour and headed out through East Greenwich, which was like driving through a fairy tale. The wooded setting and cottages scattered with flowers made me want to stay much longer. I want to live here!

Fishermen’s Memorial State Park is on the coast and though campground is a little pricey, it was worth the two night stay. The sites are all pull through, not all level, but they are paved and roomy. I chose the full hook up and had a picnic table, fire pit and bushes that provided some privacy. The bath house looked new, but there’s no garbage can or benches to sit on in the shower area. The showers are coin operated and I learned how to take a six minute shower.

It was raining the next day as I left camp and headed to Point Judith Lighthouse. The US Dept. of Homeland Security manages the lighthouse and it is no longer available to the public, but you can still walk around a small park in front and take pictures. This is a working lighthouse that houses a Fresnel lens and that’s one more I can add to my list. There is another spot just past another campground where I parked next to the water and got a better view of the lighthouse. It was fascinating to watch the large fishing boats coming in and leaving the port. The Fishermen’s Memorial is on a small hill that commemorates the Sea Fever fishing vessel that was lost at sea, hence the name.

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