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Is Rhode Island a good place to live?

Rhode Island is nicknamed the Ocean State because it has more than 400 miles of coastline. That's 400 miles of New England coastline, dripping with beaches and fresh-from-the-ocean seafood. It's also public art, swanky mansions, charming villages, and flaming rivers. It's local farms, local brews, winding trails, and walkable cities. Everyone in the state lives within a half-hour drive to the sea!

Consisting of four major islands and five counties, have you ever wondered how long it would take to drive across RI? It takes 45 minutes to drive across RI via the I-95 between Massachusetts and Connecticut. It can be divided into two geographical regions:


  • The Coastal Lowland covers the south and east, and includes the islands of Narragansett Bay and Block Island. The region has lagoons and sandy beaches. It becomes forested west of the bay.

  • The state’s northwestern corner is the Eastern New England Upland with lakes, ponds, and hills. It contains RI’s highest point, Jerimoth Hill.

The restaurant scene in RI is second to none and a source of immense pride for residents, as Providence has been consistently recognized as a top city for food. Because of RI’s proximity to the ocean, many restaurants, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets boast food sourced from the state itself, giving real meaning to the phrase “farm-to-table” dining. From bakeries and coffee shops to bars and food trucks, there is no shortage of fun, excellent, cutting-edge dining in the Ocean State. 

The Ocean State's low crime rate, top quality education, affordable housing, and natural beauty makes it one of the best places to live in the country. If you love heritage and cultural diversity, festivals and events, great tasty food, sports, and an eco-friendly environment, moving to RI is perfect for you. 


A Brief History of Rhode Island

Rhode Island (RI) is known for ship building, making silverware, and crafting fine jewelry.

The first people to live in what’s now RI are thought to have arrived at least 30,000 years ago. Thousands of years later, Native American tribes such as the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Niantic lived in the area and still do. RI was originally named Aquidneck Island by the Narragansett people. The name Aquidneck means "land at the end" in the Narragansett language.


Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano explored the area in 1524. Then in 1636, Roger Williams—a man who’d been banished from the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony because of his religious beliefs—founded the RI colony. The island was later renamed Rhode Island by Roger Williams, who was one of the first English settlers in the area. Williams named the island after the Greek island of Rhodes, which he admired for its religious tolerance. The region would become known as a spot where people of many different religions could practice freely and live peacefully together. 


Rhode Island was one of the original 13 colonies, and its capital city, Providence, was founded in 1636. The state is home to a number of historic sites, including the Roger Williams National Memorial, the Old State House, and the John Brown House. In 1776 Rhode Island became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. But it was the last of the original thirteen colonies to ratify (or sign) the U.S. Constitution in order to join the Union; RI’s delegates insisted that the Bill of Rights, which guarantees certain freedoms, be added to the Constitution before they’d sign.

There are many famous people from RI who have been involved with changing the world. Matthew C. Perry was born in South Kingston in 1794. He was the son of Christopher Raymond Perry, a Revolutionary War hero, and Sarah Kirkbride Perry. Perry entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1809 and served in the War of 1812. Perry is best known for his expedition to Japan in 1853 and 1854. He was sent by President Millard Fillmore to open Japan to trade with the United States. Perry's expedition was a success, and he is credited with opening Japan to the West. He returned to the United States a hero, and he was promoted to commodore in 1855. In addition to his expedition to Japan, Perry also served in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. He was a skilled naval officer, a diplomat, and he played a significant role in American history.


Gorham Silver is a manufacturer of sterling silver founded in Providence in 1831 by master craftsman Jabez Gorham. Other notable Rhode Islanders include former American football cornerback Will Blackmon; singer, songwriter, and actor George M. Cohan; celebrated horror author H.P. Lovecraft; journalist Meredith Vieira; and Viola Davis, an actress who has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award. She was born in Central Falls and she attended Central Falls High School.  

RI has a long and rich history of shipbuilding. The state's first shipyard was established in 1643, and shipbuilding has been an important part of the state's economy ever since. Rhode Island's shipyards have built a variety of ships, including warships, merchant ships, and fishing boats. The state's shipbuilding industry reached its peak during World War II, when RI shipyards built a large number of Liberty ships. Rhode Island's connection to the sea is also evident in its many maritime museums and historic sites. The state is home to the International Yacht Restoration School, the Museum of Newport History, and the RI State Marine Museum. RI is also home to a number of historic lighthouses, including the Beavertail Lighthouse and the Newport Tower.

Our connection to the sea is a vital part of the state's identity. The sea has shaped the state's history, its economy, and its culture. RI's maritime heritage is a source of pride for the state's residents, and it is a part of the state's DNA.

Here are some of the reasons why RI has a strong connection to the sea:

  • Geography: RI is a small state with a long coastline. RI's coastline is home to a number of bays, rivers, and inlets.

  • History: RI's early history is closely tied to the sea. The state's first settlers were fishermen and traders, and the sea played an important role in the state's economy.

  • Economy: RI's economy is still closely tied to the sea. The state's fishing industry is one of the largest in the country, and the state is also home to a number of shipyards and marine businesses. The sea also plays an important role in the state's tourism industry. RI's beaches, marinas, and historic sites attract visitors from all over the world.

Today, RI is home to a number of museums, theaters, and art galleries. The state is also home to a number of colleges and universities, including Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, Bryant University, Johnson and Wales, and Providence College.

You'll discover Rhode Island is a very diverse state, with people from all over the world calling it home. The state's population is made up of people of European, African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. And RI has a strong economy, with a number of industries, including manufacturing, tourism, and finance. The state's unemployment rate is below the national average, and its median household income is higher than the national average.


With its high quality of life, the Ocean State is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. And its a terrific place to visit! That's why we like living here.

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