15 Hidden Gems In Rhode Island

15 Of The Littlest Hidden Gems In Rhode Island, America's Littlest State

Rhode Island may be small, but it's got a LOT of little places that make it super wonderful.

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When I first moved to Rhode Island for college, I was asked a lot of questions about school. One big question was, "why Rhode Island?" I had a handful of reasons I chose to come to URI, but the closer I got to coming here, the more I realized how little I knew about the state itself.

Over the course of this school year, I've been able to explore some of the coolest, cutest, and strangest things that this state has to offer. Let me tell you about them...

1. Crazy Burger

Crazy Burger / Instagram

This one is kind of a given. This restaurant is known for its stellar food, friendly atmosphere, and just being one of the cutest places around. Not only does this place have super good milkshakes, but has a variety of options for everyone. I am a vegetarian and let me tell you, their Poco Loco Vegan Burger SLAPS. Also, I found out that Mark Ruffalo ate there less than a month before I came to school, so basically we know each other now.

2. Gardner's Wharf Seafood

Bailey VanderVeen, photo by Tori Britton

There's this cute little place in Wickford with docks and buoys and a few benches to watch the boats in the water. I haven't ever gotten food from here and really have just gone for the #Views.

3. Newport Cliff Walk

This cool touristy spot was something I did before coming to school here. It is beyond beautiful and getting some friends together and taking a hike is such an amazing thing to do.

4. Kinney Azalea Gardens

Bailey VanderVeen

Let me tell you that when I say this is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen I am not being dramatic. The trees, the flowers, the rocks and bridges and pathways.

5. Thames Street

Cheap touristy shops by the water's edge and cobblestone streets. What more could a person ask for? My mom and I went into so many of these tourist shops when we visited for the first time and I loved every minute of it. Every time I'm there I feel so happy and carefree.

6. Fantasy Zone

My comic book store from back in my hometown has my heart, but Fantasy Zone is slowly but surely feeling more and more like home. The people in there are so kind and I love the atmosphere in there. It's super ;)

7. Barber Pond

Bailey VanderVeen

This little pond is something I stumbled upon on my way back from breakfast with a friend one morning. I looked over and through the trees I saw a ton of people out on this huge frozen pond (that's more like a lake) all ice fishing. There's a place you can park to look out over the pond and see these trees on the water. So so pretty.

8. Big Blue Bug 

It's literally just a giant blue bug that sits on top of this building. It's so weird but I love passing by and smiling to myself about how crazy this little state of mine is.

9. The Landing

Bailey VanderVeen, photo by Tori Britton

One of the first trips I took to Newport with my girls, we went to this restaurant and got to sit outside and next to the water. The sun was reflecting off of the boats and the breeze was so nice and fresh. Also, their mac and cheese HITS. 10/10 would recommend.

10.  Jitters Cafe 

Not only does this cafe share the name of the cafe in one of my favorite TV shows, "The Flash," but it's also relatively close to campus, makes amazing coffee, and is one of the cutest coffee spots I ever did see.

11.  URI Bay Campus

Bailey VanderVeen

Fifteen minutes is how far away I have to drive to get to a beach that has free parking and an amazing view. HELLO? This was one of the best perks of coming to this university. I cannot wait for it to warm up around here so I can take a hundred more beach trips.

12.  Corner Cupboard

One of the coolest shops I've been into. My roommate and I were driving around one day and found this store that has a bunch of cool and vintage knick-knacks inside. Plus, it's close to Jitters. Go thrift some cool household things and then get yourself a coffee after!

13.  Beech Tree Inn and Cottage 

My dad and I stayed here when he came up for a weekend. It's this cute little spot in Newport tucked into the heart of the action. It's perfect for a little staycation and I would for sure stay there again. The staff are all so kind and they have free snack and tea. So cute and quaint and pretty.

14.  The Fantastic Umbrella Factory 

This is the only place on this entire list I haven't actually been to yet but have been meaning to. It is literally a place with a bunch of outdoor space and gardens and a whole bunch of other stuff. That's so quirky and fun. I will for sure be spending a day there before this semester ends.

15.  Del's Lemonade 

I'd never had Del's before moving here but I'd heard about how much hype it got. I tried it once and I stick by this statement: IT'S AMAZING. Perfect for a beach day or driving around Newport and looking at the mansions. So, so good.

I love Rhode Island and all of these little things that make this tiny state so magnificent.

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11 Things To Do In Buckfield, Maine

They say there's not a lot to do in small town, but I can prove you wrong!
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What's Buckfield? Where is it? This small town is one you've probably never heard of, but it is still a great place to visit! This small town is where former "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsy grew up. Like any other small town, it's claimed there's nothing to do there. After living in a town for so many years, you forget about all the great things it really has to offer. Here are just a few of Buckfield's most attributable places and activities.

1. Visit the tavern.

A small town favorite! Stop by Captain Bly's Tavern for drinks, delicious food, live music, karaoke nights and an all around fun environment.

2. See the garden.

Visit the community garden located behind Buckfield High School. A cool project originally started by Annette Caldwell, Gretchen Kimball and other teachers and community members, this garden gives students hands on working experience and a fun chance to learn to play, grow, build things and spend time outdoors (even in the summer time). Buckfield's community garden is one of the biggest community gardens in the state of Maine.

3. Swim at the Bennett Quarry and Orchard Pit.

With permission, you can visit these lovely and fun adventure spots. The Bennet Quarries (first picture) are known for having some great gem finds, and the Orchard Pit (second picture) is, as well, but it is more known as a great swim spot!

4. Go to the biggest mall in town.

Well, the only mall in town! Much to your surprise (I'm sure), it's not the mall where you can buy all your clothes, shoes and perfumes! Though you can buy a few "Maine" shirts and hats, you can also fill up your gas tank and get a wonderful Italian or pizza at the Buckfield Mall.


5. Travel the Railroad Bed.

Nearly a five-mile stretch going from Hebron to Sumner (with Buckfield in the middle), this is the perfect place to go four-wheeling, biking, walking, running, horseback riding and in the winter, snowmobiling!

6. Hike the Packard Trail.

A two-mile-long, five-foot-wide loop trail located off of the railroad bed. This trail is rated to be a moderately difficult hike, but it's well worth the views you see along the way.

7. Play at the "Rec field."

A small park between two baseball fields, this is the perfect kid place with slides, swings, merry-go-round and more. You can also watch a local baseball or softball game during the summer!

8. Travel the Nezinscot.

Take a canoe or kayak down the Nezinscot River for a peaceful, scenic river, stretching through several small Maine towns.

9. See the Zadoc Long Free Library.

Located in the heart of Buckfield is the public library. The Zadoc Long Library has several rows of books for all ages. It also holds weekly book clubs, children's books readings and other fun groups. Also, in front of the library is a memorial to honor veterans.

10. Visit Basin Falls

A trip to Basin falls is a great idea in the summer (probably not so child friendly) and leads to a shady, rocky falls and small pools of water for a dip on hot days!

11. Visit Roundabout Farm.

Visit the Roundabout Farm and take a mini horse carriage ride down one of their travels, or visit the various farm animals.

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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