Rhode Island is a small state, especially if all you see of it is the drive on Interstate 95 between New York and Boston. But don't let its size fool you. There is a lot for you and your dog to do in Rhode Island for vacation. Rhode Island is about sea, surf, and coastline. Newport is the dog-friendly center of the state and a great place to use as your base on a visit. However, you may want to spend a beach vacation on Block Island. And Providence has some places to go with your dog as well. Rhode Island is so centrally located that it is a short drive from tens of millions of people. New York is a few hours away by car, Boston and Hartford are even closer. And from Long Island you can take the car ferry or take the ferry without your vehicle. So there is much to do and it's not far away. What's not to like?
Newport is the center of the pet-friendly scene in Rhode Island. With a population of 28,000 it is a small town that looks a bit bigger than its population would indicate. Built around the water, Newport was the getaway spot for wealthy New Yorkers looking to get away from the summer heat in the Big Apple. So one thing Newport has in abundance is Old Mansions. Most of these are located along Bellevue Avenue. The Vanderbilts and the Astors were two of the most famous mansion owners. You can see these mansions on foot with your leashed dog with you, with your car by driving the Ten Mile Drive Marked Scenic Route, or take a city tour in a pet-friendly vehicle with Newport Tour and Guide Company. They will watch your dog for you so that you can enter buildings on indoor tours or for other reasons. You can also walk Newport's well known Cliff Walk with your leashed dog and your leashed dog can walk the outside grounds of the Touro Synagogue, the oldest Synagogue in the United States.
If a harbor cruise is your dog's thing, take them on the dog-friendly Gansett Cruise Harbor Tour. From the deck of the boat you can see Newport from the vantage point that many have seen it in the past, from the sea. Newport has a number of dog-friendly restaurants. The Landing on Bowen's Wharf is especially dog welcoming and offers a doggie menu for your pet to choose from. Canfield House Restaurant and Pub is also a good choice. There are a lot of other dog-friendly restaurants in Newport in our Newport Travel Guide. If you want to get a gift for your pup then take them to Wag Nation, an upscale pet boutique.
If you would rather have a beach vacation you can consider a Block Island getaway. Stay at the Blue Dory Inn or at a number of vacation rentals with your dog. The beaches on Block Island are mostly dog-friendly but do require leashes. You will need to get to Block Island on a ferry. The Viking Fleet can take you to Block Island from Montauk Long Island New York, New London, CT or Martha's Vineyard. The Block Island Ferry takes you on a two hour ferry ride from Newport to Block Island or a one hour ride from Point Judith to Block Island.
Providence offers a number of pet-friendly walking tours. Dogs are allowed on the grounds of the Roger Williams National Memorial. The Luxe Burger Restaurant offers a doggy menu and there are other dog-friendly restaurants. Snake Den State Park offers over 1000 acres of walking trails through floral and forested areas. There are a number of pet-friendly hotels from many of the major chains in Providence.
The interesting thing about Rhode Island is that you can get there quickly from Long Island, New York City, Boston and most of the northeast yet it seems more remote than that. It is well worth a dog-friendly vacation to Rhode Island.