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#MMGYTravels: Debunking the Myth of the “Drive-Through” State

Erika Reals

TRAVEL FACTS:

The Trip: We road tripped to our client Visit Rhode Island with four influencer couples from the East Coast

Location: Five of the six Rhode Island regions: Newport County, Providence, Warwick, South County and Blackstone Valley

Miles Traveled: 178 miles

Destination Highlight: Being transported back in time while touring the Gilded Age mansions in Newport

Car snacks: check. Road trip playlist: check. Map of Rhode Island: check. And before we knew it, we were #OnTheRhode!

A colleague and I presented the concept of #OnTheRhode to challenge the perception of Rhode Island being merely a “drive-through” state. Each component of this integrated campaign aimed to encourage aspiring travelers to commit to an extended weekend stay and explore this idyllic New England region thoroughly. 

We met our team of influencers in Providence. From there, we hopped in our cars and made pit stops in Newport, Warwick, Pawtucket, Lincoln, Narragansett, Watch Hill and several other towns within this fun-sized state. 

Stop 1: Providence and Warwick

Whether you’re traveling by boat, car, train or plane, Providence is accessible, affordable and full of surprises. Besides being the state capital and Rhode Island’s urban center, Providence is also home to Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and Johnson & Wales University. You’ll find some of the best eateries, bars and doughnuts in the region. Science fiction cult author H.P. Lovecraft must have enjoyed having a cruller or two because he called Providence home for most of his life.

Just south of Providence and west of Bristol across the Providence River is Warwick, home to classic Rhode Island destinations like Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House and the beautiful Goddard Memorial State Park. Stop by Main Street Coffee, a town gem in East Greenwich, for an espresso pick-me-up and quaint downtown experience. 

Streets/buildings i Providence

Stop 2: Newport County

Newport County is a sailor’s best friend and a top place on any history buff’s bucket list. We recommend visiting in its quieter off-season between October and November. One thing we noticed while exploring Newport was the abundance of amazing, locally owned restaurants and shops. 

Our Newport to-do list included a variety of activities and sights beyond the gorgeous shorelines. We enjoyed classic New England charm while taking morning walks around Colonial-era homes, historic architecture, athenaeums, museums and cobblestone streets. Whether your backdrop is the beautiful coastline, opulent mansions or cobblestones, you’ll leave with an abundance of Instagram-worthy photos as well as memories.

Stop 3: Blackstone Valley

When you’re done enjoying the surf, travel north toward Blackstone Valley for a kaleidoscope of color at the height of autumn. This region is home to beautiful state parks coupled with small-town charm, including Lincoln Woods State Park, Colonial Bakery, Slater Mill Historic Site (home of the American Industrial Revolution!) and Brown & Hopkins Country Store. If New England leaf peeping is in your plans, Blackstone Valley won’t disappoint.

Lincoln Woods

 

Stop 4: South County 

Yes, South County houses Taylor Swift’s East Coast seaside oasis, which was made famous in her 2016 celeb-clad Fourth of July bash and “New Year’s Day” fan performance on ABC. Famous neighbors aside, South County embodies classic coastal living, rustic natural settings and lot of history for good measure. Whether you prefer a low-key bed and breakfast or a splurge at the grand Ocean House, South County is the perfect summertime stay for New England-based families of all backgrounds, tastes and places.

Ocean House

 

Going #OnTheRhode with Visit Rhode Island alongside influencers Miles & Miles, Annah Todd, Robbin Watson and The DC Darlings was both personally and professionally fulfilling. We not only promoted the state’s wonderful attributes but had a blast. I hope this fuels your own interest in planning your first of many “Rhode trips.” Just be sure to remember the snacks.

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