1. One Taste Of An Awful Awful Will Blow Your Mind
Source: Facebook user Newport Creamery
The nickname of this delicious, creamy beverage, served at Newport Creamery, is short for “Awful Big, Awful Good.” It's an extra thick milkshake that’s made with ice milk and is oh-so incredibly tasty. Once you try it, you’ll never want a milkshake from anywhere else.
2. Narragansett Beer Is The Only True Beer
Source: Flickr user walknboston
There’s no hiding it: Rhode Islanders love their Narragansett beer. The Narragansett Brewing Company was founded in Cranston, R.I., in 1890 and has been brewing beer every since. Thank. God. Trust me: once you have it, you’ll be offering it to everyone. “Hi, neighbor, Have a ’Gansett!”
3. Beer For Breakfast? Only If It’s Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout
Source: Flickr user Nathan Beaudry
In December 2013, the Narragansett Beer Company partnered with Autocrat Coffee to market a limited edition "coffee milk stout.” And Rhode Islanders couldn’t be happier. After all, it combines two of their favorite things: coffee and ’Gansett.
4. You’ll Need A Bottle Of Dave’s Coffee Syrup In Your Pantry
In Rhode Island, they all undoubtedly have a bottle of Dave’s coffee syrup in their homes. Coffee syrup is a must have in order to make coffee milk—and Dave’s is simply the best coffee syrup out there to give coffee milk a true Rhode Island taste.
5. Speaking Of Coffee, Get Used To Ordering Your Coffee Extra Extra
Source: Flickr user TheCulinaryGeek
In Rhode Island, it’s normal to order your coffee extra extra, which simply means: Extra cream, extra sugar! This is especially important to Rhode Islanders when they order coffee at their favorite coffee chain: Dunkin’ Donuts.
6. A Ride On The Roger Williams Park Carousel Will Make You Nostalgic For Childhood
Source: wikimedia user alcinoe
Not only is The Roger Williams Park Zoo one of the oldest zoos in the country, it is a beautiful, 40-acre park for Rhode Islanders to explore. Many would argue one of the best parts of the park, however, is the carousel. One ride and you’ll be instantly transported to childhood—so get ready to let out your playful side!
7. And You’re Bound To Run Into An Old Friend At The Gaspee Day Parade
Source: facebook user Gaspee Days
One thing about the state being so small is that at any big event in the state, you’re bound to see an old friend (or five!) But Rhode Islanders love the fact that the entire state has a “small town” feel—and that’s exactly what you’ll get if you visit for the Gaspee Days or the Gaspee Parade in Warwick, R.I. Watch some fireworks, shop in the outdoor market, watch a Revolutionary War reenactment, or participate in the annual 5k!
8. For A Hot Date Take Your Special Someone To WaterFire
Source: Flickr user liz west
Everyone in Rhode Island knows that WaterFire is the best place to take a date. This award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans, presented on the rivers of downtown Providence, was first created in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence.
WaterFire has grown to become an annual public art phenomenon, where, on WaterFire evenings, downtown Providence is transformed by 100 bonfires that burn just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence.
The sight is truly a beautiful, so it’s only natural this is a prime spot for young love.
9. Or Get Your Diner Fix At Loui’s Restaurant
Source: Wordpress user the rhode less traveled
Drunken Johnny omelets, granola pancakes, the best home fries you’ll ever taste, and all for prices you can actually afford? No wonder it was covered on the FoodNetwork’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Rhode Islanders love it—especially all of those at URI. Nothing better than Loui’s after a hard night of drinking!
10. Shake Your Booty In The Streets At PRONK
Source: Facebook user Providence HONK Festival
PRONK is entirely volunteer-run street band festival that takes place in Providence every fall, in the spirit of the Boston-based HONK! PRONK! is a FREE, outdoor music festival, featuring brass & drum-based street bands and other local acts. The festival hosts musicians from around the world playing alongside local performers for an always incredible afternoon and evening of music and dancing in the streets.
11. Or Make Your Taste Buds Dance With Some Of Iggy’s Clam Cakes
Source: Facebook user Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House
Iggy's has been awarded Best Clam Shack honors from Rhode Island Monthly and featured nationally on CBS's “The Early Show” as their pick for the Best Clam Chowder as part of their: A Taste of America series. And it’s no wonder why: Iggy's is just a true Rhode Island tradition that features award winning doughboys, chowder, clam cakes, fish & chips, and more. But everyone’s favorite is, by far, the clam cakes.
12. Del’s Lemonade Is Pretty Much The Nectar Of The Gods
Source: Facebook user Del’s Lemonade and Refreshments
What is more refreshing than a Del’s frozen lemonade on a hot summer day in Rhode Island? Nothing. The answer is nothing. Del’s takes shaved ice to the next level: it’s sweet, sour delicious flavor is part of what makes being a Rhode Islander so wonderful.
13. Satisfy Your Artsy Side At RISD
Source: Facebook user Rhode Island School of Design
If You’re looking for a more cultured experience, take a ride to the Rhode Island Institute for Design, where frequent art installations, museums, art exhibits, and street art will keep you perpetually entertained, all year round.
14. You’ll Need To Make Sure Your Italian Is Molto Bene
OK, so 19 percent of Rhode Island residents are Italian American, the greatest percentage of any state. Naturally, this means you better get used to some “choice” language. To consider yourself “cultured”—as a Rhode Islander, you’ll have to know how to cuss someone out in at least two languages.
15. Learn These Words: Lobstahs, Bubblahs, And Wicked
Rhode Islanders definitely have the “down east” accent, so don’t be surprised if you catch someone saying “lobstah” (the –er sound completely left out), or if someone directs you to a “bubblah” (it’s a water fountain!) Oh, and “wicked” doesn’t mean evil. It just means extreme.
16. We’ll See Your Storm And Raise You A Nor’easters
Source: wikimedia user GOES Nasa
If you can’t handle storms, then Rhode Island isn’t the place for you. Rhode Islanders are so used to nor’easters, that it’s not uncommon to hear a Rhode Islander refer to a nor’easter as “just a bit of rain.”
17. And Get Used To Cumbies Runs Before The Nor’easters Hit
Source: Wikimedia user Public Domain
Not only is Cumbies (Cumberland Farms) the prime spot to stock up before an apocalyptic sized storm, it’s also just the best gas station/grocery store around. Plus, seriously. Where else can you get everything you need for a nor’easter in one place: gas and snacks galore.
18. But When It’s Not Storming, Rhode Island Has The Best Beaches In New England
Source: wikimedia user Juliana Colton
In all honesty, Rhode Island beaches are by far the most quaint and beautiful in all of New England. They can be rocky, sandy, dramatic, or calm. So, a quintessential part of a Rhode Island is the feel of sand beneath your toes. Whether you head to the smaller beaches of Newport County or the more hidden beaches on Block Island, or a thrilling experience at the South County beaches where you’ll find the best surfing of your life—you’re bound to enjoy the endless opportunities by the water.
19. And Their Lighthouses Really Shine, Too
Source: Wikimedia user Thomsonsr
Like I said, Rhode Island beaches are dramatic: and their lighthouses help make this so. Try Castle Hill Light, where the steep rocks and bright blue water will draw you into their beauty. Or visit Newport Harbor, Plum Beach Light, or Point Judith Light, just to name a few!
20. Get Ready To Root, Root, Root For The Paw Sox
Source: Facebook user Pawtucket Red Sox
Rhode Islanders love going to see the Paw Sox, or the Pawtucket Red Sox, hit one outta the park! The Paw Sox are the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The team plays their home games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. What better way to pay homage to the best MLB team out there than by supporting their local affiliate? Go Sox!
21. This Place Is History Buff Heaven
Source: Wikimedia user Daniel Case
No matter how small the state may be, Rhode Island boasts 20 percent of the U.S.'s historical landmarks. Try the Arcade, the Aldrich house, Isaac Bell, Jr. house, or the First Baptist Meeting House (just to name a few). Plus, you know what a lot of history means: a lot of haunted buildings. Rhode Island also boasts some of the best modern day ghost stories.
22. And Has Been Home To A Lot Of Infamous Folks
Source: wikimedia user notyourbroom
For being so small, Rhode Island has a lot of big characters, like the fictional Griffith family who have given the world an “interesting” perspective on Rhode Island family life. Or Pauly D, the infamous “Jersey Shore” cast member who was born and raised in Rhode Island (not Long Island, to some people’s disbelief), or the crooked, ex-mafia member, and former mayor of Rhode Island, Buddy Cianci, who—in addition to getting famous from his questionable morality—also got famous for his pasta sauce, Mayor’s Own Marinara Sauce.”
23. Rhode Island Really Blossoms When Spring Arrives
Source: Facebook user Rhode Island Spring and Garden Show
Everyone knows the best season in Rhode Island is Spring—the flowers are spectacular, the weather is perfect, and there’s so much to do! Plus, it’s garden season. And in Rhode Island, this is no joke: the Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show attracts 30,000 people each year to come “smell the roses” Rhode Island has to offer.
24. You’d Have To Be A Total Blockhead Not To Love Their Islands
Source: wikimedia user SwampYank
Everyone knows the best island to visit in Rhode Island is Block Island. Block Island is located 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast and has been called "One of the Last Twelve Great Places in the Western Hemisphere." Its rolling green hills and dramatic bluffs are reminiscent of Ireland, while its restored Victorian hotels and inns preserve the historical elements of the island. Plus, there are long public beaches and 365 freshwater ponds, with trails for hiking and exploring.
25. Get Into The Swing Of Things At The Newport International Polo Series
Source: Wikimedia user Shabab-d
Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 near Newport, R.I., and the tradition of playing polo has withstood the test of time there. Be sure to join in the fun—you won’t regret it. Check out the Newport International Polo Series for lessons!
26. Johnny Cakes Are Heaven On A Plate
Source: facebook user Kenyon’s Grist Mill
Johnny Cakes are made simply from stone ground white corn meal, milk and magic. They are then put on a greased griddle and cooked for about six minutes per side. They are delicious. Head to the annual Johnny Cakes Festival at Kenyon’s Grist Mill in West Kingston, R.I. to join in on the tradition!
27. Discover What Snuggery Means At The Duck And Bunny
Source: Facebook User The Duck and Bunny
The Duck and Bunny is a “snuggery”—a word they coined to mean “a comfortable, cozy place.” It is an adorable restaurant that provides a nice space to get away from all of the noise of your usual day. Plus, they have incredibly tasty food! Try their crepe with Prime Roast Beef, cheddar, caramelized onion, tomato, mesculun greens, and house-made horseradish cream. Yum!
28. You’ll Be Shopping At The Best Farmer’s Markets In New England
Source: Facebook user Providence Alternative Market
Rhode Island has some incredible farmer’s markets that you won’t want to miss out on:
The Pawtucket Farmers Market (and the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmer’s Market!), the Parade Street Farmers’ Market in Providence, the Coastal Growers Market in Saunderstown, or Denison Farm Market in Mystic are just a few of the great markets where you can get farm-fresh food, deliciously cooked meals, or a plethora of home-made arts and crafts.
There are so many wonderful reasons to move to Rhode Island: great beaches, delicious food, plenty of festivals and events, a ton of history, and—of course—Awful Awfuls, for an awful good time.