Although Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, it can seem enormous when it comes to exciting activities and fun beach opportunities. And it is definitely an ideal location for capturing great aerial photography and drone footage.
Despite the fact that it is not technically an “island,” Rhode Island maintains the island environment and atmosphere with its small population and secluded communities. The largest city in the state, Providence, maintains the big city atmosphere, but with a population of only 179,000 people, it is still compact and charming. But if you are looking for a quieter, more secluded getaway, Rhode Island features over 400 miles of coastline with public beaches, bays, and coves.
If you have a drone, this post can help you plan your next trip; if not, sit back and enjoy some of the beautiful aerial views captured by our Rhode Island team.
One of the most popular tourist towns in Rhode Island is Newport. The downtown area of Newport is spectacular, and bursting with life. Thames Street stretches for 1.7 miles, and is packed with restaurants, boutiques, historic homes, and New England charm. While there are a few franchised stores sprinkled throughout the area, most of the shops and restaurants are unique to Newport. Thames Street is the ideal place to wander without a plan or even a map, and discover some of the hidden gems that Newport has to offer.
Elegant Architecture & Real Estate
Newport’s other main attraction is its mansions. In the late 1800s, some of the wealthiest people in America, including Edward Julius Berwind and the Vanderbilt family, flocked to the rocky shores of Newport. Some of these summer homes, including The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff, have been perfectly preserved and are now open to the public, complete with guided audio tours to give insight to the lives of those who lived and worked there over one hundred years ago. An area that couldn’t be more ideal for real estate aerial photography, the Newport Cliff Walk, has breathtaking views of these mansions overlooking the ocean spanning 3.5 miles of Newport’s eastern coast. Drone or no drone, this beautiful trail is ideal for a long, scenic, peaceful walk.
Fun & Educational Activities
Newport is also filled with plenty of other activities and events. The International Tennis Hall of Fame, located on Bellevue Avenue, includes museum exhibits and both indoor and outdoor tennis courts. It honors important tennis players throughout history, from the origins of the sport through the modern era. If you would like to further explore the history of Newport, Fort Adams is a essential stop. This former U.S. Army post, was established in 1799, and named for President John Adams. This fort was instrumental in several American wars, including the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. In 1965 the fort became a state park, and today it offers guided tours and hosts the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival. And don’t forget the beaches! Newport has plenty of public beaches and rocky shores, including Second Beach, with stunning and unique landscapes.
Narragansett, Rhode Island is the epitome of a New England beach town. Between the expansive state beaches, vast assortment of waterfront seafood restaurants, and other exciting activities, Narragansett is a fun destination for families of all ages. Some of the public beaches include Narragansett Town Beach, Roger Wheeler State Beach, and Salty Brine State Beach. But if you are spending the afternoon relaxing on Scarborough State Beach, the experience is not complete without a stop at the beach shack. The food is greasy, the lines are long, and the prices are high, but it is worth every penny. Or cool off with many of the ice cream bars, popsicles, and sno-cones also offered at the beach shack.
Dining & Activities
This small town also offers a variety of restaurants and activities for any occasion, age group, or price range. For an upscale night out, visit Spain of Narragansett. This elegant eatery has a variety of different plates, but is known for the fresh seafood and paella, all of which can be enjoyed outside on the patio on a cool summer evening. If you’re traveling with children, or just looking for something a bit more casual, look no further than Iggy’s. Known for its doughboys, clam cakes, and chowders, Iggy’s is a local landmark. And if you are looking for an action-packed adventure, Adventureland Family Fun Park is the place to beat. Complete with bumper boats, mini golf, go-karting, a carousel, batting cages, a trampoline park, and carnival games, Adventureland is always bursting with excitement.
But one of Rhode Island’s main attractions is actually located just 13 miles off the shore. We packed our drone equipment, hopped on a ferry at Point Judith, and headed out for an amazing day on Block Island. Block Island is a tiny sanctuary, only 9 square miles, with only 1,000 year-round residents. During the summer months, nearly 20,000 visitors and seasonal residents swarm to the remote island getaway, bringing life and excitement to the island. There is only one town on the island, New Shoreham, with one downtown area located at the ferry terminal. This downtown area contains dozens of local restaurants, including Finn’s Seafood and Beachead, with ocean-fresh seafood and beautiful waterfront views. After lunch, explore a few of the unique shops and boutiques, or grab a refreshing ice cream at one of the several ice cream shops that claim to have the “best ice cream on Block Island.”
Peace & Quiet
But if you’d like to get away from the noise and business of downtown, venture to either the north or south side of the island. On the north end, the island comes to a point. Although this beach does not allow swimming, it is perfect for a scenic walk or run along the beach. And you can also visit the iconic North Point Lighthouse, built in 1867. This lighthouse has helped ships avoid the rocky reefs around Block island for hundreds of years. And on the south side of the island, visit the Mohegan Bluffs. Unlike the usual marshy grasslands of New England beaches, the Mohegan Bluffs are huge, rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean. Whether you stay on top of the 150 foot cliffs or climb down the stairs to the beach below, the views are breathtaking with or without a drone.
The beaches of Rhode Island are some of the most quaint, fun beach communities on the East Coast. Without the built-up franchises and chain companies, the local businesses really shine. No matter where you go, whether it’s Narragansett, Newport, Block Island, or any beach in between, every town feels like home.
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