Rhode Island? Isn’t that the peninsula off New York? Nope, that’s Long Island, which with its Hamptons is a magnet for the beautiful and the super-rich of this world. From Montauk, the northern tip of Long Island, you can see the coast of Rhode Island to the north. This “island”, which in fact consists mostly of the mainland, is the smallest state in the USA.
According to a2zcamerablog, the size of Rhode Island is roughly comparable to the Saarland. In the south, the Atlantic borders this – according to US standards – Lilliput state; to the north and east it is Massachusetts and to the west Connecticut Rhode Island sets its limits. The small state with just over a million residents is part of the Greater New England region. If you are planning a tour to the Northeast of the USA, you should definitely not skip Rhode Island – if only for the sake of completeness. But of course there is also a lot to see there. The official name of the state is by the way “State of Rhode Islands and Providence Plantations”, the capital is Providence. It is not far from Boston, Massachusetts. Like all US states, of course, Rhode Island has its nicknames. While “Ocean State” is derived from the location on the Atlantic, “Little Rhody” testifies to the caring affection of the Americans for the mini-member in their confederation.
Discovered by the Portuguese and colonized by the Dutch
So how does a mainland state, albeit a small one, get the part of the name “island”? In fact, there is an island in the Atlantic called “Rhode Island”, which later became the name of the entire state. I took possession and baptized it by the Dutchman Roger Williams, who called it “Rhode Eylandt” because of the color of its earth. In the course of time it became today’s name. However, others have discovered this piece of earth. As early as 1511, the Portuguese sailed past what is now Rhode Island under the adventurer and discoverer Miguel de Cortereal. However, they did not go ashore, only registered the existence of the coastal region.
Roger Williams came to Rhode Island in 1636. From today’s perspective, things could have been worse for the indigenous people. The Dutch Baptist founded his colony with the intention of being able to live democratically and peacefully with the Indians. Not only did the Europeans who followed him very soon prevent this, but also circumstances. The whites brought in diseases that the indigenous immune systems could not cope with. Those who did not die from it were mostly killed by the intruders. Roger Williams was not up to this development. The little he could do was preserve the native language. In 1643 he published the book “A Key to the Languages in America”, in which the otherwise extinct Narragansett is recorded. The bay in which the island of Rhode Island is located Incidentally, it was named Narragansett Bay after the indigenous people. Williams’ liberal attitude kept shining through despite all the opposition. In 1652, Rhode Island was one of the first states to outlaw slavery. Racial segregation was abolished in 1866. In between, Rhode Island was also a theater of war. The British claimed the area but lost interest and focused on what was more promising later New York. They were followed by the French, under whose rule Rhode Island became the 13th member of the American Confederation in 1790.
Enough history, now let’s move on to the present. 800 kilometers of coastline can at least theoretically be explored in Rhode Island. In practice, many of them are inaccessible because they are privately owned. You can get a good idea of both the coastal landscape and architecture in the New England region on a designated coastal footpath that begins on the outskirts of Newport City. The ” Cliff Walk ” is a good six kilometers long and offers not only breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, but also of the adjoining gardens of magnificent villas in the New England style. Not far from there is Fort Adams State Park. Since 1953 the renowned ” Newport Jazz Festival ” instead of. It was co-founded by Albert Grossman, who later became the manager of Bob Dylan. Famous musicians like Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and James Taylor found here a stepping stone for their world careers. Since 1958, the Newport Folk Festival has also attracted music lovers from all over the world to Little Rhody. Also definitely see in Newport: The ” Marble House “596 Bellevue Ave), where the wealthy entrepreneurial family of the Vanderbilts once lived. They had their tea house in the garden specially shipped from China to Rhode Island! ” The Breakers “(44 Ocher Point Ave) was also part of the Vanderbilts real estate collection and is no less impressive.
The Narragansett Bay and Providence
If you visit Rhode Island, you shouldn’t miss Narragansett Bay. In a flat state in which the highest point, Jerimoth Hill, measures just under 250 meters, the close proximity to the ocean is the scenic highlight. More than 30 small and tiny islands cavort in Narragansett Bay. The best place to stay is on the largest island, Aquidneck Island, which is home to the towns of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth. However, you will not have this paradise, in which water is omnipresent, all alone. In 2012, Narragansett Bay was voted one of the top twelve adventure travel destinations in the world by National Geographic magazine and organization. That has something to do with the fascinating outdoor leisure activities that are available here.
The capital city of Providence is also well worth a visit. Art and culture play such an important role here that the city is considered one of the most livable in the entire United States. After dark you should check out the permanent installation “WaterFire”. Where the city’s three rivers converge, a hundred braziers light up the water while live music is played at the same time. This is art with goosebumps factor!
During the day a visit to the ” Athenaeum “(251 Benefit Street), a magnificent library that also exhibits art. In the “Benefit Street Mile’s of History” (52, Power Street) you can walk in the footsteps of feminists from the 19th century.
Rhode Island at a glance
- Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States
- Newport is the capital of music and has hosted jazz and folk festivals on a regular basis since the 1950s
- The “Cliff Walk” leads along the coast
- Marble House and The Breakers in Newport once belonged to the wealthy Vanderbilt family
- There are 30 islands in Narragansett Bay
- Providence is full of culture
- The WaterFire fire and water installation is a must in Providence