About Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island is located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Nicknamed “The Ocean State,” it is the smallest state by area and the second most densely populated state in the country. Providence is the capital and the largest city. The state has five counties: Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington.
History of Rhode Island
A few Native American tribes such as the Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Niantic inhabited the region before the arrival of Europeans. An English Reformed theologian Roger Williams settled here in 1636, after his forced exile from Massachusetts. He named the site Providence. Over the next few decades, more religious dissenters purchased land from local tribes and settled. Conflicts between the Wampanoag tribe and European colonies escalated during the King Philip's War (1675–1676).
The state was one of the first to revolt against British rule when they burned two British vessels at the start of the American Revolution. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island was the last of the original 13 colonies to join the Union after their demand, that the Bill of Rights be included in the US Constitution, was granted. During the American Civil War, more than 25,000 soldiers from Rhode Island served in the Union Army.
Geography of Rhode Island
With a total area of 1,214 square miles, it is the smallest US state. The state is bordered by Connecticut in the north, Massachusetts to the northeast, the Atlantic Ocean and Rhode Island Sound in the south, and a water boundary with New York's Long Island to the southwest.
The state is generally flat with very little or no real mountains. The highest point is Jerimoth Hill, which is only 812 feet above sea level. To the northwest, the Uplands of New England cover the region while lower coastal plains cover the most of the state's area around the Narragansett Bay.
Travel Destinations in Rhode Island
Rhode Island's 400 miles of Atlantic Coast remains one of the main tourist draws. Block Island is located 12 miles off the mainland. It is home to 17 miles of beaches, 32 miles of trails, and over 300 freshwater ponds that make this island a popular summer destination. Besides a wide array of animal species, the Roger Williams Park Zoo features the Carousel village, the Museum of National History, and the Planetarium and Botanical Garden.
Newport's most iconic and opulent mansions like The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House evoke the charm of the Gilded Age. Newport's famous Cliff Walk, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Rough Point, and Touro Synagogue are famous attractions in the city. Waterplace Park & Riverwalk, RISD Museum of Art, and Benefit Street Mile of History are popular places to visit in Providence.
Transportation in Rhode Island
T. F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick is the primary airport in the state. However, most Rhode Islanders prefer Logan International Airport (BOS) in Boston for long-distance travel.
Amtrak's Acela Express makes a stop at Providence Station that lies on the Northeast Corridor.
Interstate 95 (southwest to northeast) passes through the state.
Education in Rhode Island
There is a total of 52 school districts and 313 public schools in Rhode Island. Among the most prestigious universities found in Rhode Island are: Brown University in Providence, Bryant University in Smithfield, and the Rhode Island School of Design, which is one of the top art schools in the US.
Facts about Rhode Island
Last Updated on: June 23, 2017
- Its official name State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the longest of any US state.
- The state has no county or local government.
- The first circus in the US was performed in Newport in 1774.