How To Spend A Rainy Rhode Island Weekend With Your Bestie
There is nothing like girl time with your bestie. Time to kick back, let your hair down, talk a little shit, and laugh all the belly laughs.
I was thrilled to have my best friend coming to stay with me for five days in early July to catch up on some much-needed girl time and to finally see my new house. We’ve been friends for 20 years now, since high school, and though she lives hundreds of miles and two time zones away in Colorado we keep in touch, often daily, with the help of the BEST chat app ever: Marco Polo. Still, there is something about spending time in person. We were both really looking forward to it.
Corey is my bestie in general, but especially in a few arenas: Hiking and the beach. We have been beach buddies since we were 15 years old, taking the train from Salem, MA up to Manchester-by-the-Sea to play in the waves and dig our toes in the sand at Singing Beach. After college, both working in restaurants with evening and weekend schedules, we made it a habit in the Summer to hit up good old Long Beach in Rockport a couple times a week. It is one of our most favorite things to do together.
The end of June brought a heat wave to the Northeast (that followed in the rest of the country as well). Temperatures above 90 with equal humidity for days, stretching into weeks.
Before Corey’s arrival, I got ready for a bestie beach vacation blast. I bought new beach chairs, a beach umbrella for when the sun got too hot, three different levels of SPF (reef safe and paraben-free, of course), a tub of aloe in case of burns, and a season parking pass for all of Rhode Island’s State beaches. We were all set.
Things go how they go, though, and the day my bestie was to arrive, the heatwave left town. In its place, my weather app showed five straight days of temperatures in the mid-60s and rain. We hoped it would change, but it didn’t. So, we did the next best thing and had fun anyway.
Here are some of the things we did, and some of the things you can do, if you find yourself stuck in the rain on a Rhode Island summer getaway.
8 Ways to Spend a Rainy Weekend in Rhode Island
(With your Bestie.)
1. Take Lots of Walks
(With appropriate weather gear, of course)
The beach was out, but we weren’t about to stay shuttered indoors during our rainy weekend in Rhode Island.
We strolled through Roger Williams Park in Providence, where we caught a rain storm and I introduced Corey to some of the hulk-sized squirrels that have been marring my existence since moving to Rhode Island. The Park contains a zoo, a botanical garden, swan boats for the kids, and lots of trails for walking, running, and biking.
We had fun checking out the mansions and the sea on our miles long outing at the Cliff Walk in Newport. This is a very must-do Rhode Island thing, so be sure to check it out if you’re visiting.
We also trekked along the Mohegan Bluffs Trail, a coastal “hike” on Block Island. Luckily, we met no showers here, and instead we stayed dry and went home sunburnt.
If you have a rain jacket, getting outside is still one of the top things to do on a rainy weekend in Rhode Island IMO.
Mohegan Bluffs Trail, Block Island
2. Check out some Museums
Okay, my bestie and I did not do this, but someday I will. Providence has tons of museums, which is the perfect way to spend a rainy day in Rhode Island. Check out the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, or tour some of the Mansions of Newport, now open to the public.
Here is a list of museums in Rhode Island from Tripadvisor.
Selfies with your bestie are a crucial component to having fun on your rainy Rhode Island weekend.
3. Soak in some Nostalgia at The Mist
Next up on our list of things to do on a rainy weekend in Rhode Island, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. Or to Nostalgia-ville. Or to Reminiscing Road. You get the idea.
The Ocean Mist Beach Bar is a staple and an icon in the Matunuck Beach area, on Rhode Island’s Southern coast. At least for Corey and I it is. In fact, my first introduction to the tiny state of Rhode Island was through lazy beach days in Matunuck, complete with heavy drinking and lots of laughs at The Mist—with my bestie, of course! A Rhode Island girls’ weekend would not have been complete without a trip here. The Mist is a basic bar—beach, or dive, you choose your adjective, with an emphasis on seafood and pub grub. Plenty of alcohol if that’s your jam, including some specialty cocktails that did sound tasty if I do say so myself. We were EVEN lucky enough to see some old friends from back in the day who still worked there. If you find yourself in Matunuck and are looking for good food & drinks, live music, and a laid back vibe, hit up the Ocean Mist Beach Bar. Ask for Jay the manager and tell him what a great job he’s doing! (JK, I’m only saying this to annoy him) and send your compliments to Jobin in the kitchen. Tell them Toni sent you.
Having fun, no matter what, since 2000.
4. Hit the Mall
Okay, hear me out. I normally stay as far away from the mall as possible, but the Providence Place Mall is huge and when it’s raining for five days straight, shopping is as good an activity as any. Alas, a visit to the mall has made our list of things to do on a rainy weekend in Rhode Island. We didn’t really have much shopping to do, so we perused Bath & Body Works for too long, smelling every scent and settling on a few of the aerosol room sprays, which if you read my ‘How to Poop on a Plane’ post, you’d know are the best bathroom deodorizers around. We grabbed a couple of matching shirts, which has become a bit of a tradition on our visits, and mostly just moseyed around.
If ice cream on a Summer day is wrong, then I don't want to be right.
5. Eat lots of yummy food
Eating is one of the best rainy day activities to do if your Rhode Island getaway gets gloomy. Providence is known for it’s restaurant scene. Despite being a tiny city, there are apparently a fair amount of foodie gems. I’m still a newbie around here, but some of the restaurants I’ve found and like so far are:
Plant City, Providence—A vegan restaurant with food so good you wouldn’t label it that. No animal products are used in any of their pizzas, tacos, burgers, or Italian fare, but there is no shortage of flavor or satisfaction on the menu.
Julian’s, Broadway, Providence—A weird, hip, funky, eclectic, idk any more adjectives type of place with delicious breakfasts and good portions. (They have lunch and dinner, too, I just can never get myself off the breakfast menu.) There are daily drink and food specials and menu items to accommodate vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free folx.
Ristorante Il Massimo, Atwells Ave, Providence—In Providence’s thriving Little Italy you’ll find dozens of Italian restaurants (and hookah bars, weirdly.) After dinner, you can stroll through the neighborhood and stop into a bakery for some fresh, made to order cannolis. Massimo came recommended to me from a fellow flight attendant, and it did not disappoint. Apparently, according to their website, it was voted the number one restaurant in Rhode Island, so I’d say it’s worth a visit.
Italian. Delicious. Enough said.
Brickway on Wickenden, Wickenden St., Providence—Another breakfast spot I love for the variety of options for dietary restricted folx and drool-inducing daily specials. The portions are good, the people are friendly, the atmosphere is cozy. It’s everything you want in a breakfast spot.
Thai Orchid, Park Ave, Cranston—This little takeout Thai spot is unassuming from the street view, but they make some seriously good stuff. The drunken noodle is phenomenal and the spicy basil Pad Thai is, too. I have yet to find a dish I didn’t love here. Also they give thin coconut crackers, in addition to fortune cookies, that are the friggin bees’ knees.
Ocean Mist Beach Bar, Matunuck Beach Rd., Wakefield RI—I know we touched on this already, but even though The Mist is a beach bar, it is a still a great thing to do on a rainy trip to Rhode Island. Comfort pub grub, seafood, specialty drinks and draught beers, plus live music and beach vibes. Their motto is “just a beach bar” and it hits the nail on the head. The type of place for a break from the sun and making new friends. Their indoor bar is under construction and should look fantastic by the time it is finished, but there is plenty of outdoor and indoor space to have a drink, eat a meal, and socialize.
We stumbled upon the cutest food truck by the lighthouse on Block Island. They served up lobster rolls, lobster grilled cheese, and caprese sandwhiches, for the non-seafood-eaters.
My bestie getting to know Block Island
6. Go to Block Island—Rain or Shine!
Block Island is an island off the coast of Li’l Rhody that provides a summer escape for Islanders and New Yorkers. Maybe Connecticut-ites too. Trails criss-cross the Island, perfect for walking or biking, and some of the best beaches in Rhode Island—according to literally every list I’ve read—line its shores. You can catch a ferry to Block Island from Newport or Point Judith in Rhode Island, and there are also ferries from New London, CT and Long Island, NY. We took the highspeed ferry out of Newport and found it quite pleasant. Lots of space and GREAT people watching, especially on the ride home after Fourth of July festivities.
Our plan was to visit Block Island on the 3rd of July. We excitedly talked over the phone as I booked our ferry tickets and Corey booked bike rentals the week before. We had been debating which ferry port to use, whether to bring my car, what time to depart, bicycle or moped rentals. When we finally made our decisions and booked it felt like a wave of excitement. That moment when you click “confirm” and then your vacation is real and ACTUALLY HAPPENNING! It’s a great feeling.
But it didn’t last long. By the time my bestie arrived in town the forecast showed a total wash of the week, especially wet and miserable on the 3rd. In fact, the weather was so bad that the ferry cancelled. We made the decision to roll the dice and shoot for Sunday. Not a beautiful summer day, but in the high 60’s, cloudy with a chance of sun. And boy, we’re glad we did.
Our gamble was rewarded. The morning was chilly, but we dressed in our layers, and packed up our backpacks and made our way to Block Island. By late morning the sun was out and strong. The temperature ended up being perfect for our long beach hike.
and adorable homes make Block Island a must-do.
7. Hang on the Couch
One part of my new house that my bestie Corey was especially excited to see was my Albany Park green velvet sofa. We spent much time on said sofa. Reminiscing on the old times, making plans for the day ahead, eating ice cream and watching murdery shit.
Sometimes Netflix & Chill (with your other besties, Ben & Jerry) is the best way to spend a rainy weekend in Rhode Island.
8. Watch Murdery Shows
I know, watching TV in the summertime is blasphemous, but our outdoor adventures were rained out and neither of us drink. That leaves a very indulgent nighttime entertainment option: Netflix. While Corey was visiting, we watched the Netflix series ‘Sophie: A Murder in West Cork’, about a French woman found dead in a small town in Cork County, Ireland. It gave us everything we needed in a mystery—plot twists, suspense, multiple suspects, and something to feel really creepy about.
We also watched some Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries for good measure.
And that was our rainy, long holiday weekend in Rhode Island.
Was it a bummer that we did not get a SINGLE beach day on our girls’ weekend in Rhode Island? Yes it sure was. But we made the most of it and had fun, even doing nothing, the way only your best besties can. I hope the next time she comes to town we get some glorious beach days and real New England Summer. And maybe by that time I’ll be excellent host who knows all the ins and outs of Li’l Rhody. But in the meantime, it was a true joy just to have the time in-person with my person.
Any New Englanders out there reading this? Islanders? (Can I call us that?) Tell me all your favorite Rhode Island Summer things in the comments below! Summer is only half over and I am determined to enjoy my new home state like an all-star tourist!
Thanks for popping by and hope to see you again soon.
Safe travels, y’all.
Hey, there, thanks for stopping by! I’m Toni and I run the show here at A Wheel in the Sky. Here, we talk all things travel, flight attendant life, and personal growth. If you’re interested in more New England-focused travel content, try one of these posts:
New England Summer Week 2019
4 Essential Southern Maine Hikes
Adventure Awaits! Corona-approved local travel
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