Our Favorite Rhode Island Museums

Rhode Island has everything—beaches, breweries, islands, an incredible food scene, world-class educational institutions, and incredible, one-of-a-kind museums. From the gardens of the Breakers to the planetarium and natural history museum, you do not want to miss the opportunity to see one of these historic collections.


Green Animals Topiary Garden; Portsmouth, RI

This small estate is the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States. Open seasonally, the garden is run by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Green Animals remains a rare example of a self-sufficient estate combining formal topiaries, vegetables and herb gardens, orchards, and a Victorian home overlooking Narragansett Bay.


Providence Children’s Museum; Providence, RI

The Providence Children’s Museum is one of the largest, most comprehensive in the country. With programming every day, a range of rotating exhibitions, and countless educational programs, this is a staple in the childhoods of many Rhode Island natives. Membership fees are relatively low, making this an excellent and affordable option for both visiting and residing families.


National Museum of American Illustration; Newport, RI

Founded in 1998 by Judy Goffman Cutler and Laurence S. Cutler, the National Museum of American Illustration was originally a private collection. Now, it houses and exhibits Golden Age American Illustration art and American illustration from all periods, styles, and talents. The gardens outside the museum were designed by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, making this a delight for lovers of architecture, art, and landscape.


Museum of Natural History and Planetarium; Providence, RI

The Museum of Natural History is Rhode Island’s only natural history museum, and it is home to the state’s only planetarium. For more than a century, the museum has served as a unique educational, scientific, and cultural resource by offering exhibits and programming for children and adults alike. Perfect for lovers of the environment and history, make this a stop on your trip through Rhode Island.