An extensive shoreline and mild summer climate contribute to Rhode Island’s renown as a vacation state. Resorts along the coast and offshore islands are major centers for people interested in boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports. Notable resorts in the state include Block Island, which lies 16 km (10 mi) offshore, and Newport, one of the nations most popular resorts.
Rhode Island is also noted for its numerous places of historic interest, some of which are designated as state historic sites. Among the best-known tourist attractions of historic interest is Touro Synagogue National Historic Site, in Newport. It preserves the oldest synagogue in the United States. Rhode Island’s only national park is Roger Williams National Memorial, in Providence, commemorating the first government to declare religious freedom for all.
There are about 25 state parks, beaches, and management areas in Rhode Island. The largest, Beach Pond State Park, is in the hilly western part of the state and has facilities for swimming, boating, camping, and nature study. Also in the west is Dawley State Park, which has picnicking, hiking, and riding facilities. Diamond Hill State Park, in the northeast, has picnic facilities and wooded terrain. Located in the south is Fishermen’s Memorial State Park, a camping facility along Point Judith Pond, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.Burlingame State Park lies on Watchaug Pond in southwestern Rhode Island. The park includes a bird sanctuary, picnic sites and campsites, hiking trails, and facilities for boating, swimming, and fishing.
World War I Memorial State Historic Site, located in Providence, includes a granite shaft 35 m (115 ft) tall that supports a heroic figure representing peace. Noted for its excellent acoustics, Rhode Island’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence is the state’s World War II memorial. General Stanton State Historic Site, in Charlestown, is a granite shaft erected in honor of Joseph Stanton, Jr., a prominent soldier in the French and Indian wars and one of the first two U.S. senators from Rhode Island. Also in Charlestown is Indian Burial Ground State Historic Site, an 8-hectare (20-acre) plot that contains the graves of Narragansett Native Americans. Fort Ninigret State Historic Site in Charlestown holds the original outline of a fort supposedly built by Dutch traders before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620.
On the boundary between the towns of Exeter and North Kingstown is Queen’s Fort State Historic Site, which includes the ruins of an ancient Native American fort abandoned in 1676. Other state historic sites are Great Swamp Fight State Historic Site in South Kingstown, Jireh Bull Garrison State Historic Site in South Kingstown, and Bell Schoolhouse State Historic Site in Exeter. "Rhode Island" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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