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Rhode Island Local Secrets 2010

by in May 2010
Rhode Island Local Secrets 2010
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Best Cure for What Ails You
Though often described as “medicine,” the alcohol products here aren’t intended as such. An exceptional world wine collection ($10-$20 a bottle), with knowledgeable staff, great descriptions, and tastings. Don’t miss the chilled microbrews. 632 Hope St. 401-751-1430;

Best Drink With an Ocean View
You get to this seasonal lunch and dinner spot through the Hyatt Regency’s underground parking lot. Monday evenings feature half-price appetizers, live music, and giveaways. And, yes, there are pina coladas ($8.50) and pineapple smoothies ($5.25)! 1 Goat Island. 401-851-1234;

Best Candy-Sore Transformation
A 19th-century apothecary morphs into a sweets shop and then a diner with gourmet breakfasts and lunches, including chourico and Portuguese sweet bread, plus fruit smoothies. 229 Spring St. 401-847-3540

Best Irish Fare
No blarney: eggs scrambled with corned beef, Irish breakfast with made-in-Brooklyn bangers (sausages), old-time potato cakes, and more. 116 Granite St. 401-596-9896

Best Retro Diner
Not much has changed since Rufful’s began in 1957, and that’s its charm. Where else, East Siders might ask, can you find a hot pastrami reuben on seeded rye? House-roasted turkey? Or a turkey/pastrami combo? Plus hand-cut fries and onion rings. Sandwiches: from $3.50. 208 Wayland Ave. 401-421-2712

Best Country Breakfast
THE BARN, Adamsville
Can’t get more rustic than eating in a former New England barn. Can’t be friendlier than the waitstaff here or more local than the in-season berries in the pancakes. Try “eggs on the bayou” (over crab cakes) or crepes with pears and walnuts. Breakfasts: from $3.95. 15 Main Road. 401-635-2985

Best Beginners’ Rock Climb
TREATY ROCK, South Kingstown
The woodland path wends its way around the 100-foot cliff face until the last few yards, as you mount the stony ridge to the top of this half-dome. Here, so the legend goes, is where Roger Williams purchased the land that would become Providence Plantation from Narragansett sachems Canonicus and Miantonomi in 1638. Middlebridge Road (off Route 1 North). 401-789-9301;

Best Scenic Shortcut
BURMA ROAD, Middletown
Along the eastern edge of Narragansett Bay runs a former military road, with five miles of wildflowers and water views to Prudence Island. Fishing access and great sunsets. Burma Road (off Northgate Road, off Route 114).

Best Free Beach
At the eastern end of the oh-so-private Bailey’s Beach is a public right-of-way to a small strand on the same lovely cove. Reached on foot via the Cliff Walk, by seasonal Bellevue Avenue buses, or by bike, it feels as exclusive as its neighbor. Off Ledge Road;

Best Rainy-Day Excursion
KETTLE POND VISITOR CENTER, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Charlestown
A visit here is like an indoor nature walk, with six different Rhody habitats on view. Fun “discovery drawers” offer hands-on learning about shells, feathers, antlers, and animal tracks. 50 Bend Road. 401-364-9124;

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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Updated Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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