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Rhode Island Best Attractions 2010

Rhode Island Best Attractions 2010
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by in May 2010

Best Urban Paddling
ROGER WILLIAMS PADDLE TRAIL, East Providence & Providence
Along a water trail that Providence founder Roger Williams followed in 1636 as he fled the Massachusetts Bay Colony, kayakers get a varied trip: across Omega Pond, hauling out to the Seekonk River, passing through the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, and on to the Roger Williams National Memorial. exploreri.org/waterTrails.php

Best City Safari
ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO, Providence
The “Fabric of Africa” exhibit lets you watch giraffes and elephants. You’ll also spot zebras, wildebeests, wild dogs, and aoudads (sheep). Informative displays tell how Africa’s people and animals are interconnected. 1000 Elmwood Ave. 401-785-3510; www.rogerwilliamsparkzoo.org

Best Sandy Strand
EAST BEACH STATE BEACH, Charlestown
This three-mile barrier beach on Block Island Sound is adjacent to Ninigret Pond, renowned for windsurfing. Trek through the deep sand to an unpeopled stretch just waiting for you to claim it. East Beach Road (off Route 1). 401-322-0450; riparks.com/eastbeach.htm

Best Short Hike
LONG POND WOODS, Hopkinton
Scramble for a quarter mile over glacier-dumped boulders and under mountain laurel. The expansive view from high bluffs above Ell and Long ponds is truly breathtaking at this National Natural Landmark and wildlife refuge. North Road (off Canonchet Road, off Route 3 or Route 138). 401-949-5454, asri.org; 401-331-7110, nature.org

Best Wonderment
ST. COLUMBA’S CHAPEL, Middletown
Restored stained-glass windows here are remarkable for their swirling Art Nouveau designs and hand-faceted glass chunks, transforming each window into a glowing jewel box. 55 Vaucluse Ave. 401-847-5571; stcolumbaschapel.org

Best Living-History Experience
SOUTH COUNTY MUSEUM, Narragansett
Vivid exhibits capture the life of farmers, fishermen, and home cooks 150 years ago. The carpentry shop, blacksmith shop, textile arts center, working print shop, and a small working farm (with a heritage flock of Rhode Island Reds) enhance any visit. 100 Strathmore St. 401-783-5400; southcountymuseum.org

Best Old-Time Browsing
BROWN & HOPKINS COUNTRY STORE, Chepachet
The oldest country store in the U.S. in continuous operation. Explore two floors of goodies (furnishings to dolls, fabrics to candles) and dig deep into treats (Mary Janes, Squirrel Nut Zippers) that generations before you have always enjoyed. 1179 Putnam Pike; 401-568-4830; brownandhopkins.com

Best “Green” Shopping
DID YOU KNOW?, Wakefield
Fun, eco-friendly choices: candy-wrapper handbags, recycled soda bottles for pet beds, bicycle-chain picture frames, and much more. 326 Main St. 401-284-1109; thedidyouknowstore.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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