You call yourself a Rhode Islander? There are certain places and events that everyone should experience. Hit these local landmarks and you'll no longer have to be embarrassed to admit you've never done them before.
• Hang with Roger Williams at PROSPECT TERRACE PARK. Sometimes you want a place where you can get the big picture — a panoramic view of the city — while being a little removed from it at the same time. The best such spot on Congdon St in Providence. It features a nice expanse of grass, plenty of park benches, and a sweeping vista of the city, from the State House to the downtown financial buildings. A statue of our illustrious founder beneficently surveys the scene — and, as demonstrated by the steady stream of visitors, there's something incredibly appealing about being able to see so much of the city from such a tranquil spot.
• Get on the ferry at Point Judith and head to BLOCK ISLAND. Grab a Del's and browse the trendy boutiques along Water and Spring streets before spending the day lounging and getting served on Ballard's Beach.
• In small print on Rhode Island birth certificates, it states that you must dine at TWIN OAKS (100 Sabra St, Cranston, twinoaksrest.com) at least once. Go on a Friday when the wait is epic (it's a great place for people-watching) and absorb a full-on Rhody night out. And we're adding WRIGHT'S FARM RESTAURANT (84 Inman Rd, Harrisville, wrightsfarm.com) to the must list. The massive dinners are served family-style, bringing an abundance of rolls, French fries, shell macaroni, and chicken (there are 75 ovens!) to the hungry hoards. And get a slab of homemade fudge for the ride home.
• WATERFIRE. The next lighting is on August 18. Go. Then grab a burger at HAVEN BROS., waiting for you a few blocks away outside City Hall. A downcity two-fer!
• SWAN POINT CEMETERY, founded in 1847, is considered one of the most beautiful garden cemeteries in the country. It has eight miles of winding paths, views of the Seekonk River, several 19th-century sculptures and fountains, and the graves of noted Rhode Islanders from Thomas Dorr and H.P. Lovecraft to several governors and other statesmen. A map of trees and monuments, plus rules (proper attire, no dog-walking, skateboarding, rollerblading, or earphones), may be picked up at the office near the main entrance (585 Blackstone Blvd, Providence, 401.272.1314; open till 7 pm).
• Head to Newport and do the CLIFF WALK. The 3.5-mile path has mansions and well-kept grounds on one side, and the glorious shoreline on the other. Don't fall off!
Get the adrenaline pumping
If you're a risk-taker and feel like jumping out of a plane or rafting down a river, there's no need to leave your home state. Rhode Island is a perfect place to be a daredevil and have some extreme fun.
• SKYDIVE NEWPORT | Newport State Airport, Middletown | skydivenewport.com
• THE KAYAK CENTRE OF RI | 9 Phillips St, Wickford + 562 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown | kayakcentre.com