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There are so many different ways to experience Rhode Island, it would be foolhardy to try to list them all. But fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and we're just the fools for the job.

Do we have to tell you that the following is offered for informational purposes only, and that inclusion of a tour on this page should not be construed as an endorsement by Quahog.org? Well, consider yourself told.



The latest information regarding the condition and accessibility of Rhode Island's bike paths is available from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation website.


Bellevue Avenue History Trail
Bellevue Avenue (between Memorial Avenue and Rough Point), Newport
The self-guided trail consists of eleven markers placed along Bellevue Avenue that describe notable architectural features, including some that no longer exist. Call (401) 847-1000, email info@newportmansions.org, or visit the Preservation Society of Newport County website for more information.

Cap'n Nick's Newport Pirate Walk
May-October 30
Did ye' know that Newport, Rhode Island, has its own pirate cave? Want t' know more about Newport's notorious sea dogs, rum runners, an' buried booty? If yer lookin' fer ninety excitin' minutes o' swashbucklin' scuttlebutt, set yer course fer Cap'n Nick's Newport Pirate Walk. Call (401) 294-4922, email cybergull@piratewalk.com, or visit Cap'n Nick's Newport Pirate Walk website for more information.

Cliff Walk Historical Walking Tour
See and hear stories of some of the most extravagant "Gilded Age" mansions ever built and enjoy the ocean views on a tour of historic Cliff Walk, led by Ed Morris and Barbara Underwood. Call (401) 841-0679, or write to Ed and Barbara at 21 Underwood Court, Newport, Rhode Island 02840 for more information.

Ghosts and Graveyards of Newport
Summer and Fall
Join Yankee storyteller Christopher Rondina for a two-hour walking tour among the graves of Newport's Common Burying Ground. Combining ghostly folklore from across the region with historical information about gravestone carving, cemetery history, and more, this tour is as informative as it is eerie! Visit the Ghosts of New England website for more information.

Ghost Tours of Newport
April 1-October 31
Two different walking tours are offered: Olde Town Ghost Walk, a ninety-minute, lantern-led evening stroll down the shadowy lanes of historic Newport; and Carved in Stone, a ninety-minute walking tour of the Common Burying Ground, Newport's oldest and largest colonial burying ground. Call (401) 841-8600, toll-free 1-866-33GHOST, or visit the Ghost Tours of Newport website for more information.

Newport Gourmet Tours
Newport, Thursdays and Saturdays, 2pm
Providence, Fridays, 2pm
In Newport, take your pick of two two-hour chef-led culinary walking tours—The Broadway Tour or The Bellevue Tour. In Providence, take the Providence Riverwalk Tour. All three offer a behind-the-scenes look into some of New England's best kitchens, where you'll meet and learn from the creative and talented chefs who are using the bounty the region offers up each season. You'll also step inside the city's best gourmet shops to meet the experts who know what you crave, from chocolate to cheese! Best of all, at every stop you'll be treated to a delicious bite to eat! Call (800) 979-3370 or (401) 787-4058, email newportgourmet@yahoo.com, or visit the Newport Gourmet Tours website for more information.

Newport Historical Society Walking Tours
Stroll through Newport's oldest neighborhoods, discover their hidden architecture, and learn about the people who labored there to establish a legacy of liberty. Guided tours include the Historic Hill, Point, and Cliff Walk Tours, the African-American and Religious Heritage Tours, and Holiday Lantern and Hidden Treasures Tours of Colonial Newport. Call (401) 846-0813, or visit the Newport Historical Society website for more information.

Newport History Tours
Guided walking tours, illustrated lectures, and behind-the-scenes building tours from three esteemed organizations, The Newport Historical Society (see above), The Newport Restoration Foundation, and the Touro Synagogue Foundation. Call (401) 841-8770, or visit the Newport History Tours website for more information.

Newport on Foot
Historical and architectural walking tours of Newport's historic neighborhoods and Cliff Walk, led by storyteller Anita Rafael, former curator of the White Horse Tavern, one of the oldest tavern buildings in the United States. By appointment only. Call (401) 846-5391, email anitarafael@gmail.com, or visit the Newport on Foot blog for more information.

Preservation Society of Pawtucket
The Society presents guided and self-guided historical and architectural tours of award-winning Greek revivals and Victorians, bungalows and triple-deckers. Call (401) 725-9581, email pawtucket.preservation@verizon.net, or visit the Preservation Society of Pawtucket website for more information.

Discovering Roger Williams
Corner of Power and Gano Streets, Providence
10am-12pm, Sundays, year-round
Walking tour to discover sites connected to Roger Williams and the history of Providence. $15. Call (401) 944-5134, email deenabl@cox.net, or visit the Providence Tours by Deena website for more information.

Independence Trail of Providence
Follow the painted green line for four centuries of history in a three mile self-guided walking tour. From where Washington slept to the spot Abraham Lincoln spoke, from saintly Roger Williams to the notorious convicted mayor, Buddy Cianci. Phone numbers posted along the way connect to recorded messages about more than seventy-five important historical sites (Call (401) 441-6401; messages are numbered 1-26). Call (401) 441-2345, or visit the Independence Trail website for more information.

Lovecraft's College Hill
Check out this handy PDF for a fascinating self-guided walking tour of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's Providence.

Original Providence Ghost Walk
Weekends in October
Join local mentalist and historian Rory Raven for a ninety-minute tour of Providence's Benefit Street, where you'll hear eerie tales about H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Rhode Island's vampires, ghostly carriages, and other assorted spookiness. Email rory@roryraven.com, or visit roryraven.com for more information.

Providence Ghost Tour
Select dates April through June, plus November; every night July through October
A walking ghost and haunted history tour of the East Side of Providence, featuring ghosts, murders, suicides, fires, and unfortunate gruesome accidents! Great for Halloween! Tours meet at Prospect Terrace, Congdon Street. Visit the Providence Ghost Tour website for tickets and more information.

Savouring Rhode Island
Food and wine tours of Federal Hill with chef Cindy Salvato. These three-hour tours take visitors behind the scenes at some of the most iconic spots in Providence's Italian neighborhood, including Scialo Bros. Bakery and Venda Ravioli. Call (401) 934-2149, or visit the Savouring Rhode Island website for reservations and more information.

Speaking of Wickenden
Wickenden Street, between Benefit and Ives
Self-guided audio tour with twelve stops. Call (401) 415-0206 from your cell phone to access the stop descriptions. Visit the Speaking of Wickenden website for route map and more information.

John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street, Providence
Tours presented by the Rhode Island Historical Society include Benefit Street: A Mile of History and Providence Riverwalk. Call (401) 438-0463 or (401) 331-8575, email provwalk@aol.com, or visit the Rhode Island Historical Society website for more information.

Providence Preservation Society
The Society has several self-guided tour booklets of Providence neighborhoods, as well as copies of A Guide to Providence Architecture by William McKenzie Woodward available for purchase. Call (401) 831-7440, visit the Providence Preservation Society website, or drop by their headquarters at 21 Meeting Street, Providence, for more information.

One to One Tours
Various locations
One to One updates the guided tour concept, allowing you to experience a place at your own pace, using a variety of media—MP3, CD, or DVD. Tours are packed with historical commentary by local historian Tim Cranston, former Rhode Island TV news anchor Dave Layman, and former TV reporter Dyana Koelsch. See the One to One Tours website for a list of available locales.

There are a number of walking tour pamphlets for Blackstone Valley towns and villages available from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Pick 'em up at the Blackstone Valley Visitor's Center, Pawtucket; the Museum of Work and Culture, Woonsocket; or anywhere tourism brochures can be found.


Blackstone Valley Scenic Railway Tours
October and November
Fall Foliage and Shopping Excursion to Putnam, Connecticut in October; Polar Express tours in November. Call (401) 724-2200 or (800) 454-2882, email info@tourblackstone.com, or visit the Blackstone Valley Scenic Railway Tours website for more information.


By Land and Sea Trolley Tours
Tuesdays in Summer
A ninety-minute fact-filled tour of the "Jewel of Narragansett Bay," featuring tales of pirates, mansions, lighthouses, local history, folklore, and gossip related by knowledgeable local guides. Call Donna Olney Kohler at (401) 423-0330 for current schedule, prices, and other information.

Tours of the Central Landfill
Rhode Island Resource Recovery, 65 Shun Pike, Johnston
9:30 and 11:30am weekdays; 9:30am most Saturdays
Looking for a unique tour experience? Why not consider a visit to the Central Landfill? Landfill and recycling experts guide you around the complex to see first-hand where your garbage goes after it leaves your curb. Next you visit the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) for an up-close look at how your recyclables are sorted and made ready for market. The tour takes about ninety minutes to complete. Call (401) 942-1430, or visit the Rhode Island Resource Recovery website for more information.

Trolley Car Rides
The Towers, 35 Ocean Road, Narragansett
10am Wednesdays, June through August
Old-fashioned trolley ride through Narragansett with historical narrative by Ted Wright. Call (401) 782-2597, or visit the Narragansett Towers website for more information.

Segue of Newport
438 Thames Street, Newport
May through October
Choose between a tour of the Newport Mansions and Salve Regina University or the historic ten-mile Ocean Drive. Tours last about one-and-a-half to two hours. Call (401) 619-4010, email info@segwayofnewport.com, or visit the Segue of Newport website for more information.

Experience Rhode Island
Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence
Take a historical tour of Providence, experience the city through its restaurants on a dining tour, enjoy the convenience of the Saturday unlimited hop-on/hop off shuttle, or create your own tour! Call (401) 886-0733, email info@riexperience.com, or visit the Experience Rhode Island website for more information.

Providence Segway Tours
2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence
Ninety-minute tours from downtown to Smith Hill or College Hill. (401) 588-4125; providencesegwaytours@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/PVDSegwayTours.

Trolley Tours of Providence
Fountain and Eddy Streets, Providence
Mid-April to Mid-December
Come spend a jolly hour on the Red Trolley in heated or air conditioned comfort. You'll enjoy a historic, entertaining, narrated tour of Rhode Island's capital city. Call (401) 421-3825, email trolley101@verizon.net, or visit Providence Trolley Tours website for more information.

Scenic and Historic Driving Tour of South Kingstown
An online guide to South Kingstown's historic, architectural, cultural, and natural highlights.

One to One Tours
See under Foot above.


Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Secret Ingredient Food Tours
Blackstone Valley
Wednesday evenings, year-round
Each Wednesday visit a different local ethnic restaurant and learn the chef's personal secrets for making their favorite meals. Prices vary; purchase tickets online. Call (401) 724-2200, email info@blackstoneculinaria.com, or visit the Blackstone Culinaria website for more information.


Blackstone Valley Explorer
Central Falls and Woonsocket
June to October
Since 1993, the forty-nine-passenger Explorer has treated more than 120,000 passengers to a number of river tours along the Blackstone River. In addition to being available for charter use, there are a number of regularly scheduled narrated and custom tours held throughout the warm weather months, in addition to various educational programs. Cruises are also offered at special events throughout the state. Call (401) 724-2200 or (800) 454-BVTC, email blackstonepatti@conversent.net, or visit the Blackstone Valley Explorer website for more information.

Frances Fleet Whale Watches
33 State Street, Galilee, Narragansett
July 1 to August 31
In mid-summer majestic Finback whales are attracted to the warm waters off the coast of Rhode Island to feed. On a whale watch trip you might also see Humpback, Minke, Pilot, False Killer, and Sei whales, as well as Portuguese man of war, and leatherback and loggerhead turtles. Deep sea fishing trips and private charters are also available. Call (401) 783-4988 or (800) 66CATCH, or visit the Frances Fleet website for more information.

Southland Cruises
Galilee, Narragansett
Memorial Day to Columbus Day
Enjoy an eleven-mile tour of Point Judith Pond and the Harbor of Refuge aboard Southland, an authentic flat-bottom riverboat. Call (401) 783-2954, email info@southlandcruises.com, or visit the Southland Cruises website for more information.

America's Cup Charters
Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina, 49 America's Cup Avenue
High rollers will love the opportunity to helm one of seven twelve-meter racing yachts, or to just sit back and let the captain and crew do whatever it is that they do. A three-hour chartered sail will run you a couple thousand bucks, mere pocket change, and it comes with a lobster roll and champagne boxed lunch. Call (401) 849-5868, or visit the America's Cup Charters website for more information.

Gansett Cruises
Bowen's Wharf, Newport
Let Captain Jeff O'Brien do the driving as he takes you for a tour around lower Narragansett Bay in the forty-nine passenger M/V Gansett. Enjoy a Sunrise Breakfast Cruise, Mid-Day Cruise, or a Sunset Cruise, each with complimentary local munchies, while local guest guides share their personal views of Newport history and lore. Dog friendly! Call (401) 787-4438 for reservations, or visit the Gansett Cruises website for more information.

Newport Cruise Company
2 Bowen's Ferry Landing, Newport
May to October
The Newport Cruise Company's Majestic is Newport's premiere luxury yacht for charter. The first class amenities of the Majestic combined with the unsurpassed beauty of Rhode Island's Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay make for an unforgettable experience on the bay. A variety of cruise offerings are available including one-hour narrated harbor tours, luncheon cruises, and elegant dinner cruises. Call (401) 849-3575 for reservations, or visit the Newport Cruise Company website for more information.

Sail Newport
Bowen's Wharf, Newport
May to Mid-October
Sail aboard the Adirondack II, an eighty-foot sail vessel built in the tradition of the pilot schooners that were popular around the end of the nineteenth century. Day sails and sunset cruises are the perfect way to see the sights of Newport. While you experience the joy of a leisurely sailing cruise, you'll see the picturesque views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, including Hammersmith Farm (the former Summer Whitehouse of JFK), Fort Adams State Park, Brenton Cove, historic lighthouses, and the Newport Bridge. Call (401) 847-0000 for reservations, or visit the Sail Newport website for more information.

Save the Bay Newport Seal Watch Tours
Bowen's Ferry Landing, Bowen's Wharf, Newport
November through early May
Come aboard Save The Bay's marine education vessel, Alletta Morris, where educators provide expert commentary on the Bay's migratory seals. Binoculars are provided for the one-hour trips to the seal haul-out near Rose Island. Runs on weekends and school vacation weeks, times based on tides. Call (401) 324-6020, or visit the Save The Bay website for more information.

Narragansett Bay Cruise Tours
1347 Roger Williams Way, North Kingstown
May through October
Experience firsthand the breathtaking coastline and ten historic lighthouses on a thirty-mile route through the waterways of North Kingstown, Jamestown, and Newport. Call (401) 295-4040, or visit the Narragansett Bay Cruise Tours website for more information.

Save The Bay Ultimate Lighthouse Tours
Save The Bay Center, 100 Save the Bay Drive, Providence
Selected Saturdays, June through October
Sail down the West Passage to Newport and return home via the East Passage, viewing more than twenty active and inactive lighthouses, including a tour of Rose Island Light. Lunch and binoculars are provided. Call (401) 272-3540 x133, email rdatta@savebay.org, or visit the Save The Bay website for more information.

Rhode Island "Jewels of the Bay" Lighthouse Cruises
Quonset Point, North Kingstown
A one of a kind ninety-minute narrated cruise of lower Narragansett Bay. Sights include nine beautiful lighthouses, ten islands, Newport Harbor, Fort Adams, Hammersmith Farm, the Jamestown and Newport Bridges, aircraft carriers, and much more! Free Parking. Call (401) 295-4040 for reservations, or visit the Rhode Island Bay Cruises website for more information.

Providence Piers Harbor Tour
June to mid-October
Take an hour-long guided tour of Upper Narragansett Bay and the city waterfront and hear the story of how Providence evolved from Indian village to twenty-first century "Renaissance City." Call (401) 274-0900, or visit the Providence Piers website for more information.

Bay Queen Cruises
461 Water Street, Gate #4, Warren
April to December
A variety of Narragansett Bay cruises are available aboard the Vista Jubilee: Newport brunch cruises, luncheon cruises, weekend/dinner cruises, Sunday sunset cruises, and special event cruises. Call (401) 245-1350 or (800) 439-1350, or visit the Bay Queen Cruises website for more information.

Lastly, always be sure to check Quahog's Events Calendar for upcoming one-off walking tours, bus tours, or bay, harbor, or river cruises.

Recommended Reading

Did we miss a tour or a guide book? Drop us a line at stuffie@quahog.org with all the pertinent info.

This article last edited August 19, 2017

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