Scarsborough Town Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island

There are so many gorgeous places to explore and activities to enjoy in the “Ocean State” that it would be difficult to condense the many choices into a Top 10 list.  From gorgeous beaches to beautiful natural preserves, Rhode Island is home to some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the US.

Below is a list of 10 Rhode Island attractions featuring the most spectacular views. I have included those activities and attractions which provide a beautiful, natural setting rather than man made appeal. A trip to Rhode Island would not be complete without planning a visit to at least a few of these mesmerizing attractions. Enjoy the list and be sure to comment on the most beautiful places in Rhode Island you have visited.

10 Must-See Attractions in Rhode Island

1. CliffWalk/Newport Mansions – Newport
2. Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge – Middletown
3. Gansett Cruises – Newport
4. Second Beach – Middletown
5. Ten Mile Drive – Newport
6. Scarsborough State Beach – Narragansett
7. Jamestown Island – Jamestown
8. East Bay Bike Path – Bristol to East Providence
9. Gooseberry Beach – Newport
10. Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge – Tiverton

1. CliffWalk & the Newport Mansions

40 stone steps along Newport Rhode Island's Cliffwalk

Newport is home to a handful of both the most visited and most scenic attractions in the state. Gorgeous coastal Newport is most famous for being home to the spectacular Newport Mansions. These architectural wonders offer a glimpse into the lives of the uber wealthy. The most famous of the 11 properties, The Breakers, comes in at an astonishing 137,000+ square feet! These aren’t your ordinary mansions: they are beyond anything you’ve ever seen.

The Breakers Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island

During the holidays, the Newport Mansions are decked out in grandiose decor. Be on the lookout for special performances throughout the season, including a production of “The Nutcracker” at Rosecliff. Although I’ve never made it to the mansions during the holiday season myself, I’ve heard that this time of the year is an especially spectacular time to plan a visit.

CliffWalk, a 3.5 mile walk which runs behind the mansions, takes you on an incredible journey with unending views of the mansions as well as the incredible Rhode Island coast. It doesn’t get any better than this! CliffWalk is by far the #1 attraction in Rhode Island; a can’t-miss activity for anyone interested in seeing the best Rhode Island has to offer.

CliffWalk in Newport, Rhode Island
Gorgeous coastal views on Newport Rhode Island's CliffWalk
Mansion views along Newport Rhode Island's CliffWalk

More info on Cliffwalk

2. Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge

Ocean view loop trail at Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge

Rhode Island is home to a number of beautiful parks, although none offer a setting as serene and beautiful as that found at Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge. A walk around the refuge enables you to experience beautiful views of the Rhode Island coast, as well as the native plants and wildlife of the area. Deer make frequent appearances, and bird watching opportunities are ample. This year, we were lucky enough to see a rare Snowy Owl.

The refuge is a fantastic place for photography – on any given day you are sure to see plenty of photographers capturing beautiful landscapes.

Pretty views along the trail at Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge - Middletown, Rhode Island

Sachuest Point offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking to take a few great photos, explore local wildlife, change up your morning exercise routine, or just escape into nature for a while, you will find that Sachuest Point offers just the relaxed environment you are seeking.

More info on Sachuest Point Refuge

3. Gansett Cruises

Newport, Rhode Island marina

A narrated boat ride aboard Gansett Cruises is a must-do for first timer’s exploring Newport. Gansetts entertaining and scenic cruise guides provide you with extensive background history of the region. You will learn many interesting tidbits about Newport, along with Jamestown, as well as general facts about Rhode Island. Tour guides conveniently point out all major attractions, while providing an informative history on each site of interest.

Castle Hill Lighthouse

Castle Hill Lighthouse - seen from Gansett Cruises in Newport, Rhode Island

The boat pictured below was used in the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean”

Pirates of the Carribean boat - Newport, RI

The views are absolutely beautiful for the entirety of the cruise. Newport is one of my favorite cities: the harbor is so quaint and picturesque. After your cruise, you can take a walk around Bowen’s Wharf for a bit of unique shopping or enjoy a great lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants.

Each cruise includes a special Rhode Island treat. Morning cruises include coffee, afternoon cruises includes ice cream, and evening cruises feature champagne. No matter which cruise you pick, whether a relaxing morning journey or a romantic evening cruise, you are guaranteed a great history lesson on the area, fabulous views, and a spectacular time!

More info on Gansett Cruises