Things to Do in Portsmouth Rhode Island

Discover the charm of Portsmouth, Rhode Island with our guide to its top attractions, from scenic landscapes and historic landmarks to outdoor adventures and local dining experiences.

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An image showcasing a variety of activities in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The left side of the image illustrates a beautiful coastal view with sailboats on the water. Adjacent to this, a portion of the verdant vineyards, representative of the local wine industry. Next, incorporate the depicted image of a historic site, such as windmill, without any people present. The right side of the image houses a biking trail stretching through picturesque landscape. The bottom portion of the image shows a tantalizing spread of local seafood and produce (no brand names). The entire image is devoid of texts, logos, and people.

Explore the Natural Beauty of Green Animals Topiary Garden

If you’re a fan of botanical gardens, you might want to check out the Green Animals Topiary Garden. This seven-acre topiary garden is the oldest and most northern in the United States.

Here, you’ll find over 80 pieces of sculptured trees and shrubs, shaped like various animals and geometric figures. It’s a delightful spot for a relaxing afternoon stroll and offers a unique opportunity for some fantastic photography.

Many visitors say that the sheer whimsical nature of the garden is worth the visit alone. Make sure to go when the flowers are in full bloom for the best experience.

Visit the Portsmouth Historical Society

If history peaks your interest, the Portsmouth Historical Society is a must-visit. The society has numerous exhibits that tell the story of Portsmouth and its surrounding areas.

The historical society is especially enlightening for those who appreciate a well-preserved glimpse into the past. They have various artifacts, from ancient weaponry to household items, offering a comprehensive look at life in early Portsmouth.

The people you meet here often share fascinating anecdotes and insights, making history come alive in a very personal way.

Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Greenvale Vineyards

For a more adult-friendly activity, consider visiting Greenvale Vineyards. This family-owned vineyard offers wine tastings and tours, showcasing their exceptional selection of wines.

The vineyard is located along the Sakonnet River, offering stunning views as you sip on some of Rhode Island’s finest wines.

It is said that many visitors love the inviting and friendly atmosphere here. Going during harvest season will add an extra layer of charm to your visit.

Relax at Sandy Point Beach

Sandy Point Beach is another fantastic destination for those who want to unwind by the water. This picturesque beach offers a serene setting and is less crowded than some of the more popular beaches in Rhode Island.

Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or have a leisurely picnic, Sandy Point Beach offers ample space and beautiful views. It’s a great spot for families as well, with shallow waters for younger kids to enjoy safely.

Early mornings or weekdays are the best times to visit if you’re looking to avoid the larger crowds.

Savor Local Delicacies at Local Restaurants

The dining scene in Portsmouth is something to behold. From seafood to more diverse cuisines, you’re likely to find something that suits your palate.

One standout is the 15 Point Road Restaurant, which offers a phenomenal seafood menu. If you’re a fan of clam chowder, this place is noted by many for having a particularly delicious and hearty version.

Explore Historical Landmarks

History buffs will find plenty to love in Portsmouth. One spot worth your time is the Old Schoolhouse, one of the oldest in the United States.

This simple building offers a striking look back at early American education, and it’s often said that the guides here add rich narratives that make your exploration memorable.

Another noteworthy landmark is the Founder’s Brook Park, which pays homage to the town’s original settlers. It’s a peaceful place to reflect and learn about the early history of Portsmouth.

These historical landmarks provide a unique and enriching complement to the natural beauty and modern amenities of Portsmouth.

Join a Yoga Retreat

If you are looking for ways to balance relaxation with physical activity, joining one of the area’s leading yoga retreats can be an excellent choice.

Many retreats offer classes suitable for beginners to advanced practitioners, often held in serene outdoor settings.

You could find the experience both physically rewarding and mentally refreshing, making it a must-try activity when in Portsmouth.

It’s often noted that these retreats not only focus on yoga but offer holistic wellness, including meditation and mindfulness practices.

If you are interested in more health-oriented activities in Rhode Island, you might find more recommendations in leading-yoga-retreats-in-rhode-island-for-holistic-health

Take a Scenic Walk or Bike Ride on the Sakonnet Greenway Trail

For those who love the outdoors, the Sakonnet Greenway Trail offers an eight-mile path perfect for walking, jogging, or biking.

This trail winds through Portsmouth and Middletown, offering picturesque scenes of Rhode Island’s beautiful landscapes.

It’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying nature, and it’s accessible to individuals of all fitness levels.

It’s often mentioned that the trail is well-maintained and offers a peaceful setting, away from the hustle and bustle of town life.

Visit Local Farms and Farmers Markets

Another fantastic way to enjoy Portsmouth is by visiting its local farms and farmers markets.

These spots not only offer fresh produce but also often feature locally-made products and artisanal goods.

Simmons Farm is a popular choice, offering seasonal events, homemade cheeses, and even yoga with goats.

The Portsmouth Farmers Market is another great place to find fresh, locally-sourced produce, delicious baked goods, and unique crafts.

These markets are perfect for supporting local businesses and getting a true taste of the local culture.

If organic selections are your thing, you might find more options by exploring top-farmers-markets-in-rhode-island-for-organic-selections

Explore Art and Culture at Common Fence Point Community Hall

Common Fence Point Community Hall often hosts events and programs to engage visitors in local arts and culture.

From musical performances to art exhibits, there is always something interesting happening here.

The community atmosphere is welcoming, and it’s a great place to meet locals and experience the artistic side of Portsmouth.

Attending an event here can add a special touch to your visit and provide insight into the area’s creative community.

Spend a Day at Glen Park

Glen Park is an excellent destination for a fun-filled family day out. Featuring picnic areas, walking trails, and playgrounds, it offers something for everyone.

The park also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including festivals and concerts, making it a lively place to visit.

With its scenic views and wide-open spaces, Glen Park is ideal for both relaxing and active pursuits.

Locals often mention it as a favorite spot for family gatherings and outdoor fun.

Take a Historical Tour of Fort Butts

History enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Fort Butts, a site with significant historical importance dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Guided tours offer unique insights into the fort’s past and the role it played in American history.

The panoramic views from the site are breathtaking, making it a great spot for photography as well.

Many find the narratives provided by tour guides to be particularly engaging and educational, adding to the overall experience.

Discover Hidden Gems at Escape Rooms

If you enjoy puzzles and challenges, Portsmouth has some fantastic escape rooms that you can try.

These interactive experiences are perfect for groups of friends or family members looking for a fun and engaging activity.

One popular choice is the Escape Room Rhode Island, known for its intricate puzzles and immersive scenarios.

This is an ideal activity for rainy days or when you’re looking to switch up your usual routine.

Unwind at the Carnegie Abbey Club

For a luxurious and relaxing experience, consider spending some time at the Carnegie Abbey Club.

This private club offers a stunning golf course, spa services, and fine dining options.

While it’s a bit on the pricier side, many say that the exceptional amenities and serene environment make it worth the visit.

It’s a fantastic place to unwind and indulge in some upscale leisure activities.

Attend Local Festivals and Events

Portsmouth hosts numerous local festivals and events throughout the year, each offering a unique glimpse into the town’s culture.

From food festivals to cultural celebrations, there’s usually something happening that you can enjoy.

Some of the notable events include the Portsmouth Fireworks display in July and the Fall Harvest Festival.

These events are great for families and provide a fun, festive atmosphere, making them a must-see if you’re in town during these times.

Explore Marine Life at Save The Bay Exploration Center

For those fascinated by marine life, the Save The Bay Exploration Center is a top-notch destination.

This center offers interactive exhibits and aquariums showcasing the diverse marine life found in the Narragansett Bay.

It’s highly educational and perfect for visitors of all ages, especially families with young children.

The center also offers eco-tours and boat trips, providing a hands-on experience with the local marine ecosystem.

Enjoy a Scenic Drive on Ocean Drive

If you’re in the mood for a relaxing drive with stunning views, taking a scenic drive along Ocean Drive is highly recommended. The route offers picturesque coastal vistas that are perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

It’s said that many visitors find the route to be both calming and mesmerizing, with plenty of spots to pull over for photos.

Driving along this route at sunset will give you some of the most beautiful views, making it an ideal way to end your day.

Explore the Sakonnet Lighthouse

The Sakonnet Lighthouse is a hidden gem that is well worth the effort to visit. Located off the coast, this historic lighthouse offers beautiful views and a sense of tranquility.

Accessible by boat, many visitors take guided tours to get up close and personal with this picturesque landmark.

It’s often mentioned that the journey to the lighthouse is almost as rewarding as the destination itself, offering unique perspectives on the surrounding waters.

Discover Local Talent at Portsmouth Arts Guild

If you have an appreciation for the arts, the Portsmouth Arts Guild is a must-visit. This community-based organization showcases the work of local artists in various mediums.

Featuring rotating exhibits, workshops, and classes, it’s a fantastic way to dive into the local creative scene.

Many people find the atmosphere welcoming and inspiring, making it a perfect stop for art enthusiasts.

Experience Wildlife at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge offers an excellent opportunity to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Portsmouth. This 242-acre refuge is a prime spot for bird watching and nature walks.

It’s said that many visitors appreciate the well-maintained trails and the serene environment of the refuge.

Whether you’re an experienced ornithologist or just enjoy a peaceful walk, this location offers something for everyone.

Learn About Local Marine History at Prudence Island Historical and Preservation Society

The Prudence Island Historical and Preservation Society offers an excellent glimpse into the marine history of Portsmouth and its surrounding areas. Located on Prudence Island, the society is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the island’s rich history.

Exhibits include historical artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of the island’s past.

Many visitors find the ferry ride to Prudence Island to be an enjoyable part of the trip, offering stunning views of the bay.

Shop and Dine at Island Park

Island Park in Portsmouth offers a mix of dining and shopping experiences that are sure to delight visitors. Known for its charming waterfront views and local eateries, it’s a fantastic spot for a casual day out.

Try some local delicacies at The Beachcomber Restaurant, known for its seafood dishes and relaxed atmosphere.

Many people say the local shops offer unique, locally-made products, making it a great place to find souvenirs.

Experience Golfing at Montaup Country Club

Montaup Country Club offers an exceptional golfing experience in Portsmouth. This semi-private golf course features well-manicured greens and fairways, making it a favorite among both locals and visitors.

It’s often noted that the course provides a balanced challenge suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned golfers.

With stunning views of the Narragansett Bay, a day spent here is both relaxing and invigorating.

Unwind at Paradise Valley Park

Paradise Valley Park is another excellent destination for outdoor activities. Featuring walking trails, picnic areas, and open spaces, it’s a lovely spot for a day in nature.

The park is often praised for its tranquility, making it an excellent choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of town life.

Kids will enjoy the playground facilities, and families often find it an ideal spot for leisure activities and gatherings.

Take a Historical Walking Tour with Heritage Trails

Heritage Trails offers guided walking tours that delve into the rich history of Portsmouth. These tours are informative and engaging, providing a deeper understanding of the town’s past.

Visitors often mention that the guides are knowledgeable and passionate, making the experience all the more captivating.

It’s a great way to see the town and learn about its historical significance in a fun and interactive manner.

Enjoy Water Sports at Tiverton Four Corners

For those who love water activities, Tiverton Four Corners, just a short drive from Portsmouth, is the place to be. Offering kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing opportunities, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts.

The area is also known for its vibrant community and charming shops, making it a well-rounded destination for a day trip.

Many people find the experience here to be both exhilarating and relaxing, suitable for all levels of expertise.

Attend a Class or Workshop at Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center

The Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center frequently hosts classes and workshops for a variety of art forms. From painting and pottery to dance and music, there’s something for everyone to explore their creative side.

Attendees often appreciate the friendly and supportive environment, making it easy to learn something new and meet like-minded individuals.

It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover new talents.

Sample Craft Beers at Ragged Island Brewing Company

Craft beer enthusiasts will not want to miss Ragged Island Brewing Company. This local brewery offers a range of craft beers, each crafted with care and creativity.

Many visitors praise the quality and variety of beers available, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore local brews.

The brewery often hosts events and live music, adding to its lively atmosphere and making it a great place to unwind with friends.

Embark on a Fishing Adventure

Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy their favorite activity in Portsmouth. With its coastal location, the town offers numerous spots for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Charter a local fishing boat for an exciting day on the water or try your luck at one of the public fishing piers.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the fishing experience here is said to be highly rewarding and enjoyable.

Stroll Through Prescott Farm

Prescott Farm offers a unique blend of history and nature. This historic site features beautifully preserved buildings, walking trails, and gardens.

Visitors often mention that the guided tours provide fascinating insights into the farm’s past, making it a delightful educational experience.

It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, surrounded by scenic beauty and historical charm.

Relax at the Local Spa

For those looking to pamper themselves, a visit to a local spa in Portsmouth can be incredibly rejuvenating. Many spas in the area offer a range of treatments, from massages to facials, helping you unwind and de-stress.

It’s said that spa visits here often provide a much-needed escape from the daily grind, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Make sure to book in advance, as these spots can get busy, especially during weekends and holidays.

Visit the Newport Car Museum

Just a short drive from Portsmouth, the Newport Car Museum is a fantastic destination for car enthusiasts. This museum showcases a stunning collection of classic and vintage cars, each meticulously maintained and presented.

Many people find the museum to be both educational and aesthetically pleasing, offering a journey through automotive history.

The interactive displays and knowledgeable staff add to the overall experience, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in cars.

Explore the Unique Villages of Portsmouth

Portsmouth is home to several unique villages, each with its own charm and character. Villages like Melville and South Portsmouth offer a glimpse into the town’s diverse community and vibrant culture.

Stroll through these villages to discover quaint shops, local eateries, and historic landmarks.

It’s often noted that exploring these villages provides a deeper appreciation for the town’s rich heritage and friendly atmosphere.

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Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram


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