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Rhode Island Best Attractions 2011

Rhode Island Best Attractions 2011
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by in May 2011

BEST ART FIX
St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center,
Woonsocket
Tour “the Sistine Chapel of America.” The walls, vaults, and ceilings of this former church are covered in frescos beautiful enough to convert an atheist. 84 Cumberland St. 401-356-0713; stannartsctr.org

BEST ANTIQUE SHOP
Heir Antiques,
Providence
Heir’s natty owner, interior decorator Tyler Doran, displays an irreverent, eclectic mix of Victorian ephemera, nautical and industrial wares, and taxidermy. 65 Eddy St. 401-331-5680; heirantiques.com

BEST WALKING TOUR
Newport History Tours,
Newport
Not your father’s dusty G-rated tour: Hear stories of the city’s former distilleries and rum runners in “Rum and Revolution,” or visit where privateers profited in “Pirates and Scoundrels.” 51 Touro St., 401-841-8770 (office); 127 Thames St., 401-841-8770 (tickets); newporthistorytours.org/

BEST BETA MOM STORE
Nonchalant Mom,
Wakefield
Former fashion designer Carina Schott is the antithesis of a momzilla: Her jewelry, toys, and clothing for kids and women reflect her whimsical yet functional Scandinavian style. She also sells her kids’ clothing line, woven from organic and vegetable-dyed fabric. 365D Main St. 401-284-4551; nonchalantmom.com

BEST LOCAL SHOPPING
The Wooden Midshipman,
Warren
Invest in affordable crafts (letterpress cards, hand-bound books, pottery, and photographs) by RISD grads and other locals. Art is sales-tax-free in this district, and the shop also hosts gallery openings, readings, and concerts. 146 Water St. 401-245-3431;woodenmidshipman.com

BEST FOOD TOUR
Rhody Food Tours,
Providence
Peek into the pantries of local restaurants, farms, kitchens, and wineries. Themes range from “Immigrant Cuisines” to “The Hangover Cure,” which, just so you know, is not set at any vineyard. RhodyFoodTours.com

BEST ZOO
Butterfly Farm,
Tiverton
This breeding farm is home to hundreds of species hailing from New Guinea to Costa Rica. Scientists lead informative tours of these “flying flowers.” Open June through August, but closed on cloudy and rainy days. 409 Bulgarmarsh Road. 401-849-9519; butterflyzoo.com

BEST SHOP FOR THE SENSES
Farmaesthetics Skincare Apothecary,
Newport
This eco-friendly local skin-care line is found at five-star resorts–and at its Newport store. Retaining the original hardwood floor and tin ceiling of this 1800s building, the design reflects Farmaesthetics’ aesthetic of vintage cobalt-blue bottles. Facials, acupressure, and massage are also available. 144 Bellevue Ave. 401-619-4199; farmaesthetics.com

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