Ken Harrison's Top 5 Reasons He Loves Rhode Island

Tuesday November 21, 2017

When I got to write Linear Park for States of Love (Rhode Island), I was thrilled. Rhode Island is my favorite state. Take a peek at my Instagram and you'll see lots of pictures from all over RI...and food...and a few from other states. But most of them are from the biggest little state in the union, Rhode Island.

Like many Rhode Islanders, I’ve lived here my entire life. It’s forty-five minutes from Boston, MA; three and a half hours from New York, NY; two and a half hours from Provincetown, MA; and two hours from Ogunquit, ME. There’s enough in the state to keep anybody occupied—bike paths, beaches, art, music, theater, and more—but a day trip outside the state is always available. 

I could go on about everything I love about my home state, but I'll keep it to just five.

1. Public spaces: Colt State Park is one of my all-time favorite parks in RI. It’s well maintained and has a great water view, which makes it ideal for flying kites. You can also see some spectacular kites at Brenton Point State Park on Aquidneck Island in Newport. Roger Williams Park is a great destination for wedding photos and public events. It may not be on the water, but they have a river with duck boats and the Temple of Music. There is also Linear Park and India Point Park. But those are just a handful of parks in a state full of lush green spaces.

2. Art: Rhode Island is full of art and music. It’s home to RISD, Rhode Island School of Design, which also has an amazing museum full of paintings by well-known artists, mummies, and a buddha that takes up an entire room. There are art festivals, musical events and theater. Trinity Playhouse is a local theater that is often a stop for plays before they go on to New York City. In its 52-year history, it has produced 67 worldwide premiers. In the summer, Water Place Park hosts live music and theater performances. 

3. Food: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the food. Being on the water, we have some of the freshest seafood you can find. We’re also known for a lot of specialty foods you can’t find anyplace else, like coffee milk, stuffies, pizza strips, quahogs, etc… Whenever my sister comes to visit, the first thing she does when she steps off the plane is eat; and when I see her, she spouts out a litany of what she ate in the first half hour. I kid you not.

4. History: walk down the streets of Bristol, Warren, Newport and even the capitol city of Providence, and you will see historic places. Rhode Island has a relationship with its history and works hard to keep it alive. There are the mansions of Newport, the main streets of Bristol and Warren and historic buildings in Providence. There is also Swan Point Cemetery, which was established in 1846 and is in the National Registry of Historic Places. It’s also where HP Lovecraft is buried

5. Providence: I love the capitol city of Providence, RI. It’s chock full of things to do, has public viewing of movies in the summer, theater, dining, music, shopping, history, art festivals, and Waterfire. And on top of all that, it’s also just downright beautiful and romantic.  After Randon and I were married, we took a gondola ride down the Woonasquatucket and Providence rivers. It’s a day I’ll never forget.