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Moving To Rhode Island: 20 Things You Need To Know First

It may be tiny, but this state has got big personality.
  • Spencer McKee
  • 42,231 views
  • 51 comments
  • Spencer McKee
  • 42,231 views, 51 comments

1. Just Because It’s Tiny, Doesn’t Mean It’s Any Less Exciting

Living in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User tburling
Rhode Island actually has some huge cities despite being only 1,214 square miles total. One city that’s definitely a blast to visit is Providence, with tons of cool events and a big city nightlife that it’s metro area of over 1.6 million takes advantage of on a regular basis.

2. There’s This Thing Called An Awful Awful

Newport Creamery in Rhode Island
Source: Newport Creamery via Facebook

If you ever happen to find yourself in Newport, the first thing you do should is punch Newport Creamery into the GPS. Home of the Awful Awful iced drink, this frozen treat is a blend of flavoring, milk, and a secret ice milk mix. It’s Awful delicious and Awful addictive. You’ll start craving them in no time.

3. New York System Isn’t A New York Thing

New York System in Rhode Island
Source: Olneyville New York System via Facebook (cropped)

Rhode Island has their own variation of the hot dog and it’s one of the best in the entire country, oddly it’s called a “New York System wiener” despite it being a Little Rhody thing.

They’re usually thin hot dogs made with veal and pork before being topped with celery salt, yellow mustard, chopped onions, and a meat sauce but never, ever ketchup. If you want to order it with all the toppings, just say you want it “all the way.” One great local place to give it a try is Olneyville New York System restaurant.

4. Tomatoes Never Go In Clam Chowder

Tomatoes in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User Leonid Mamchenkov

Just like ketchup can’t be put on a hot wiener in Rhode Island, you can’t put tomatoes in clam chowder either. It’s a New York City thing and the people here find it gross.

5. Coffee Milk Is The Local Drink

Coffee Milk in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User spablab

The official state drink of Rhode Island, coffee milk is basically a sweet coffee concentrate that’s added into milk. It’s hard to stop at just one glass.

6. Invest In Some Serious Snow Gear

Snow in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User quinn.anya

While the warm summers are absolutely perfect in Rhode Island, the winters are a different story. Sometimes snowstorms can hit that will have you car buried for a week in a matter of minutes. You don’t want to be the person that realizes they’ve got nothing to wear on the first really cold night of the year.

7. Some License Plates Are As Valuable As A Firstborn

License Plates in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User vetaturfumare – thanks for 1 MILLION views!!!

This might sound strange to outsiders, but black plates with low numbers in Rhode Island are so coveted that they’ll even get handed down in wills. They act as a status symbol and sign of prestige and wealth. Seriously, some people could sell their plate for more than they could sell their car.

8. Accents Here Are All Over The Place

Accents in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User bark

Lots of local influences from nearby metropolises make it hard to pin down the Rhode Island accent. It gets compared to Boston a lot and even Brooklyn. It’s neither. It’s a Rhode Island accent through and through.

9. Rhode Island Has Their Own Red Sox

Red Sox in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User fpharpua2002 (cropped)

Everyone’s heard of the Boston Red Sox, but when it comes to the Pawtucket Red Sox, it’s a little different story. This local minor league team is affiliated with Boston and plays their games at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium. To keep things from getting too confusing, the locals usually just call them the PawSox instead of their full name.

10. Don’t Go Hunting For The Town Of Quahog

The Town Of Quahog in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User istolethetv

If an out-of-towner thinks they know anything about Rhode Island, it’s probably because they’ve seen a few “Family Guy” episodes before. A cartoon loaded with slapstick humor, it’s technically set in Rhode Island, but the town the characters are in is completely fictional. That’s right, Peter Griffin’s Quahog doesn’t actually exist.

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11. Hunt For The Food Called A Quahog Instead

The Food in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User NOAA Photo Library

The term “quahog” is actually another name for a hard clam. They’re one of the native creatures in this area and they’re super delicious.

12. Del’s Is Extremely Addictive In The Best Way Possible

Del's in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User fabulousfabs

If you want a great way to cool off on a hot Rhode Island day, a Del’s frozen lemonade is always sure to hit the spot. It’s known for having the perfect amount of slushiness and it’s made from crushed ice, lemons, and sugar, giving it a great natural flavor. Interestingly enough, it was almost the state drink until coffee milk beat it out in 1993.

13. Party Pizzas Are A Whole New Type Of Delicious Treat

Party Pizzas in Rhode Island
Source: Wikimedia Commons by David Iannotti

They’re strips of pizza with a thicker crust and a thick tomato sauce, but usually no cheese. They’re also typically served at room temperature instead of being piping hot like a New York slice. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

14. Johnnycakes Are Not Pancakes

Johnnycakes in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User Shockingly Tasty

Pancakes are made from a starch-based batter with eggs, milk, and butter, while Johnnycakes are made from fried cornmeal gruel. They have a similar appearance at times, but they taste completely different.

15. Never Second Guess An Area Code

Area Code in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User makelessnoise

Rhode Island has one area code and it’s 401. If only more states kept things that simple.

16. Always Be On The Lookout For Potholes

Potholes in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User MCC Current

Probably thanks to the huge temperature swings throughout the year, Rhode Island has a pretty difficult time maintaining their roads. It’s completely normal to see people in front of you start swerving and think nothing of it. Rhode Island drivers know they’ll be doing the same thing soon, too.

17. “Stuffies” Are Stuffed Clams

Stuffies in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User flickr4jazz

Another popular dish in Rhode Island, “stuffies” consist of a breadcrumb and clam mixture that’s baked inside of a quahog shell. Other ingredients are also often added into the mix, like bacon, onion, and garlic. This is definitely a must-try if you’re moving to Little Rhody. And while we’re on the subject of clams, clam cakes in this state are equally as famously delicious.

18. People Aren’t Used To Road Trips Here

Road Trips in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User Lars Plougmann

When your state is less than 50 miles long and less than 40 miles wide, drives between places don’t take too long. If you bring your new Rhode Island friends on any long trip, expect to hear “are we there yet?” asked several times before you’re even halfway to the destination.

19. Don’t Get Too Embarrassed If You Struggle Pronouncing Town Names

Pronouncing Names in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User walknboston

The further from the East Coast you’re moving from, the more you’ll struggle with the regional words in the Rhode Island area. You’ll be expected to pronounce words like Narragansett and Quonochontaug on a regular basis. The locals might chuckle as you bumble through the first few attempts, but they’ll always be willing to help you get it right.

20. Rhode Island Is One Of The Most Underrated States Around

Living in Rhode Island
Source: Flickr User m01229

Rhode Island might be tiny, but it’s got a huge personality. From its awesome coastline to its unbeatable seafood to the down-to-earth residents that are a breath of fresh air on the hectic East Coast, it’s pretty hard to find anything to complain about around here. One things for sure, if you move to Rhode Island, you’ll fall in love with the area before you’ve made it through your first week there.

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Posted on: June 24, 2014
42,231 views, 51 comments
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New Listings in Rhode Island
625 Angell St, Providence, RI
$699,000
  • 5 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 2,764 Sq. Ft.
  • 1 Days on Movoto
141 Cole Ave, Providence, RI
$559,900
  • 5 Beds
  • 3.5 Baths
  • 2,957 Sq. Ft.
  • 0 Days on Movoto
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