Rhode Island may be small, but when it comes to things to do and places to go, its offerings are far bigger than its size.
It’s a delightful destination with stunning shorelines that draw both vacationers and locals alike.
However, if you’re looking for the perfect time to visit ‘The Ocean State’ then there’s some key information you need to know before making your schedule.
Read on for a comprehensive overview of the best—and worst—times to explore Rhode Island.
The Worst Time To Visit Rhode Island
The worst time to visit Rhode Island would be during the winter months.
Although Rhode Island has a relatively mild climate compared to other parts of the country, temperatures tend to drop during this season and there is more precipitation.
What’s more, many outdoor activities are largely inaccessible due to unsafe driving conditions.
While it’s still possible to enjoy all that RI has to offer at this time, visitors should be prepared for potentially cold and wet weather.
Unless it’s a white Christmas you’re after, it’s always better to plan a trip between late spring and early fall when the days are balmy and favorable.
Why is winter the worst time to visit Rhode Island?
Following reasons make winter the worst time to visit Rhode Island:
1. Temperatures Dip During Winter – During winter, temperatures in Rhode Island can get unpleasantly cold. You may experience snowfall or sleet in some parts of the state during this season. This makes it difficult to explore outdoors and participate in activities like beach-going, kayaking, and hiking that are popular among tourists.
2. Lots of Inclement Weather – There is a higher chance for inclement weather such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail during the winter months across most parts of the state. As a result, outdoor adventures become less accessible due to potential safety concerns with driving in such conditions.
3. Reduced Hours at Attractions – During winter, some attractions may have reduced hours of operation due to the lack of tourism. This means that you may not be able to enjoy all of the activities and sights that Rhode Island has to offer during this time.
4. Limited Accessibility – Some areas of the state can become impassable due to bad weather or icy roads, making them inaccessible for visitors. This is especially true in rural parts of Rhode Island, where access is limited no matter what time of year it is.
5. Higher Accommodation Rates – Accommodation rates tend to be higher during the winter months as hotels, resorts, and other establishments are competing for fewer customers at this time.
All in all, while Rhode Island remains a great destination year-round, winter isn’t the best time to visit. With the potential for inclement weather and reduced hours at attractions, visitors should plan their trip around warmer months for a truly memorable experience.
What are some of the hazards of winter in Rhode Island?
Slippery Roads – Winter can bring lots of snow, sleet, and rain which can lead to slippery roads. This makes it difficult for drivers to safely navigate the state’s highways and byways.
Black Ice – When there is snow on the ground, the top layers may freeze over forming a thin layer of ice known as black ice that can be difficult to spot until you are actually driving on it. Therefore, it is important to drive carefully in winter conditions and watch for signs of black ice on the roads.
Power Outages – Winter storms often cause power outages across Rhode Island, leaving many without electricity or heat during this time. It is important to have a backup plan in case of a power outage.
Freezing Temperatures – The cold temperatures during winter can cause pipes to freeze and even burst, leading to costly water damage repairs. It is important to take measures like insulating exposed pipes and keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature to avoid any issues with frozen pipes.
Closed Attractions – Due to inclement weather, some attractions may close temporarily or reduce their hours of operation during the winter months across Rhode Island. Therefore, it is best to check ahead before planning your visit so you know what will be open and when.
How can I avoid the worst of winter in Rhode Island?
Certainly, the best way to avoid the worst of winter in Rhode Island is by visiting during spring and fall. However, if you must visit during winter, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your experience is as pleasant as possible.
☑ Dress Appropriately – Make sure to pack warm and waterproof clothing when visiting Rhode Island during winter months. Layering is also important as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day.
☑ Check Road Conditions – Before driving in any part of the state, always check for local road conditions to ensure that you are aware of any potential hazards or closures.
☑ Bring an Emergency Kit – An emergency kit should include items like a flashlight, a first-aid kit, extra food and water, blankets, and extra clothes. This will come in handy if you find yourself stranded due to inclement weather.
☑ Have a Backup Plan – In case you experience unexpected closures or bad weather while out exploring, it is best to have a backup plan for the day. This could include staying somewhere indoors or doing alternative activities that can be enjoyed in any weather.
☑ Call Ahead – Before visiting attractions, it is always best to call ahead and make sure they are open during the winter months. That way you don’t waste time going out of your way only to find out they are closed.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable visit to Rhode Island during the winter months. With some preparation and caution, you can make the most of your stay no matter what time of year it is.