Introducing Rhode Island
The smallest of the US states, Rhode Island might only take 45 minutes to drive across but it packs over 400 miles of coastline into its tiny boundaries. Quite a lot of this coastline takes the form of white sandy beaches, arguably the finest places for ocean swimming in the northeast. Otherwise there are islands to explore, seaside cliffs to walk along and isolated lighthouses where you can either indulge in brooding melancholia or maybe hold someone's hand.
Rhode Island's cities (OK, its only city) brim with fantastic museums and galleries, gorgeous old neighborhoods and excellent restaurants and bars, all set within a beautiful and walkable urban fabric. Along the coast, you'll find seaside towns with cobblestone streets, colonial-era buildings, extravagant summertime resorts and Gilded Age (and contemporary) mansions. No wonder the Vanderbilts and their friends decamped here for summer balls and swimming. You’d be wise to follow suit.