Drive into summer with these budget-friendly activities

Seeking budget-friendly activities that won’t break the bank? The smallest state in the country has plenty of opportunities to explore and experience some of the state’s best gems, all summer long. Check out our Top 10 picks for affordable/free things to do in Rhode Island!

1. Cliff Walk (FREE)

Beginning at Memorial Boulevard, Newport’s beloved Cliff Walk is 3½ miles of stunning ocean scenery paired with views of Gilded Age mansions. Open sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year. Learn more here.

2. North Kingstown Town Beach Summer Concert Series (FREE)

The 2024 Summer Concert Series takes place on Tuesday’s starting in June. Venue is North Kingstown Town Beach – 6:30pm. Food trucks are always there too! For a full listing of dates June through August, click here.

3. WaterFire Providence (FREE)

Enjoy a summer evening in downtown Providence during WaterFire. This event is actually a live art installation where 100 braziers in the winding Providence River are lit, illuminating the city and creating a magnificent spectacle. Stroll along the river, grab a snack from the numerous food trucks parked along the way and simply enjoy. Check event schedule here for dates.

4. Tunes on the Dunes (FREE)

The Summer Concert Series at Westerly Town Beach brings back Tunes on the Dunes for its 24th year.  This Free concert series, brought to us by the Town of Westerly and our many generous sponsors, runs July 8 through August 14, every Monday and Wednesday Night, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, rain or shine.  Click here for the schedule:

5. Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge (FREE)

One of five national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island, Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge is home to 242 acres that offer an important stopover and wintering area for migratory birds in Middletown. Situated on the coast overlooking the ocean, a hike at Sachuest Point is relatively flat and easy, and offers scenic views without having to climb. For more details, click here.

6. Audrain Auto Museum (FREE for MEMBERS)

With access to more than 300 of the most remarkable and rare vehicles ever made, the Museum (located in Newport) takes pride in its ability to display automobiles from 1899 to modern day. Vehicles are chosen specifically and showcased based on ever-changing exhibition themes. By displaying 15-20 cars at a time, the Museum gives patrons and enthusiasts of all ages a completely unique experience with each visit. Members get in for FREE, Adults are $18, and children (6-17) are $8. Learn more here.

7. Frosty Drew Observatory (FREE)

Spend a night under the stars! This campus in Charlestown is situated in one of the darkest sections of Southern New England, making it the perfect place to spot hundreds of millions of stars. Bring your own telescope or use the observatory’s. Open every Friday at 6:30pm, pending inclement weather. Tickets are free, though a suggested donation of $5 per person, either online or at the event, is very appreciated. To see the schedule, click here.

8. Brenton Point State Park (FREE)

Situated on renowned Ocean Drive in Newport, Brenton Point State Park offers commanding views of Narragansett Bay at its juncture with the Atlantic Ocean. Occupying the former grounds of one of Newport’s grandest estates, the park’s 89-acre site is ideal for picnicking, hiking, bird watching, kite flying, fishing or enjoying the majestic views of the ocean. For directions, click here.

9. Slater Memorial Park (FREE)

The park (located in Pawtucket) has full recreational facilities, including tennis courts and thirteen picnic sites. The Looff Carousel also located here, was built in 1894, installed in the park in 1910 and restored in 1978. Tickets are $ 1 per person / per ride, regardless of age. Popcorn and beverages are available at the concession stand as well as an array of carousel apparel to remember your visit. The carousel ONLY ACCEPTS CASH for all transactions.

10. The Fantastic Umbrella Factory (FREE)

The Fantastic Umbrella Factory (located on Old Post Road in Charlestown) isn’t what it sounds like. Since 1968, this gem of a property has given life to a 19th century farm with a cafe, gardens, animals, candy and jewelry shops and more dotting the pastural complex. Oh, and a bamboo forest. Learn more here.

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