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Rhode Island

Rhode Island, the smallest of the US states, isn't actually an island. Although it only takes about an hour to traverse, this little wonder packs in more than 400 miles of coastline with wonderful, white-sand swimming beaches and some of the country's finest historic architecture, galleries and museums. What's more, Rhode Islanders are about as friendly as folks come.

Hugging the rugged shoreline before heading inland, seaside resorts, quaint Colonial villages and extravagant country homes give way to lush fields of berry farms, vineyards and horse studs. Rhode Island's main cities – Providence, with working-class roots, and Newport, born of old money the likes of which most cannot conceive – are among New England's finest.

With year-round cultural attractions, festivals, events, top-notch restaurants and seriously cool bars, it's no wonder the nouveau riche continue to flock here for summer shenanigans. While visiting Rhode Island ain't cheap, it's worth every penny.

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