Rhode Island is, as a fact, the country’s smallest state. It only measures about 1,200 square miles—and the entire state would fit into Texas more than 220 times—but don’t be deceived by the square mileage. The Ocean State is literally packed with amazing culture, food, scenery, and people. If you caught my earlier blog, “What’s Going on With Rhode Island?”, you may have read that my wife, Julie, and I are dual state citizens. We own a small home in Rhode Island, and we travel there throughout the year.
Though my initial experience with Rhode Island was a little rocky, I’m nothing if not enthusiastically in love with the state by now. Let’s not pretend that I’m not a Kentucky man through and through (come on now), but I really love Rhode Island. The whole place has a calm, chill vibe that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
When Julie and I spend time in Rhode Island and we’re surrounded by our friends, I feel like this other Ken fits right in. I’m still me—I’m just an oyster-eating, walking-by-the-beach version of my best self. There’s a lot to love about this small state, and while I’m there, my Instagram is a love affair with the seafood (no words can really do this justice) and the scenery.
Here are just a handful of the reasons why I love Rhode Island:
- It was made for sweaty men. Let me clarify: Rhode Island is NOT packed with sweaty men, and we have the climate to thank for that! The weather throughout the year is only about 200 times better than weather in the hills of Kentucky. For instance, the average temperature in January is a brisk 30 degrees, but that’s pretty comparable with winters in the Ohio valley. Here’s where things get amazing: the average temperature in July is 72 degrees! Take any day in July in Rhode Island, add in a little sea breeze and some freshly caught seafood, and you’re well on your way to heaven.
- The beach sets the tone for the day. If you wake up and look out your window on a summer day in Rhode Island, more than likely you’re going to see sunshine and hazy mist as things start to warm up. The serenity of the day is set with that initial calmness, and then the ocean controls the mood from there on out. If the weather kicks up an afternoon storm, everyone heads home to relax for a couple of hours and stay out of the rain. If the day is bright, sunny, and cheerful, you’ll see families outside enjoying the weather all day long.
- The water. Period. Rhode Island actually has 400 miles of coastline. It has long, sandy beaches that are perfect for splashing around with friends or taking a morning stroll. It also has rocky shores that offer an ideal backdrop for moments of solitary reflection. The water greets you in the morning—even if you can’t see it—and bids you goodnight at the end of the day.
- Culture is celebrated. Mixing seafood and wine and bourbon with the arts and movies and performances is a normal part of Rhode Island’s culture. My absolute favorite event is Newport film—a year-round, non-profit documentary film series in Newport that features established and emerging filmmakers and their current documentary files, curated from film festivals from around the world. We set up outside, near the water, and bring chairs and food to enjoy an amazing film. It’s a fantastic experience every time.
There’s so much to love about Rhode Island! If these little snapshots of my life in New England didn’t convince you to put a trip in the books, we need to talk. Connect with me and I’ll make it my mission to get you there!
Craig Binder says
This is how I feel about Maine!
Chef Ken says
Maine is definitely beautiful almost any time of the year I think.
Came for the bourbon cookie recipe, stayed for this post & the one about June 8. You’re a great writer, Ken! After that hot summer and the heat here in Fuyang, this entry makes me want to move to RI!
Thank you for sharing beyond the food. And what lovely photos!