The 2018 Best of Rhode Island Winners!

Editors and readers name their picks for the state's best spots for food, shopping, fun and beauty.



New Album


The Low Anthem. Courtesy of the Low Anthem.

The Low Anthem
The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea
This new release by the PVD-based Low Anthem chronicles the fable of the Salt Doll, who lives on land but sets out to explore the sea. The doll dissolves bit by bit and eventually becomes one with the ocean it sought to know. The poig-
nancy of the tale, paired with whispery vocals and tiny, curated instrumentals — think: the inner loops of vinyl; a theater cat jumping on a piano — make for a transformative sonic experience.

Sky-High Attraction

Soaring Eagle Zip Ride
Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 785-3510,
Here goes: You and your partner are fastened in and pulled backwards up the line, with incredible views of the park and the city beyond. Once you reach the peak, you coast downward over the pond at a quick, thrilling speed. It goes by fast, but time flies — and so do you — when you’re having fun on this zoo attraction.

Tiki Bar

Harbor Lights Marina
200 Gray St., Warwick, 737-6353,
Warwick Neck isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re thinking tiki. But Harbor Lights, a marina and golf course, proved us all wrong with its poolside bar and tiki food truck. The
infinity pool overlooking Narragansett Bay is open to the public for $20 per day, so bring your suit, take a dip, then order a West Bay Mai Tai and blackened fish tacos to complete the resort experience.

Family-Friendly Outing


Courtesy of Alex and Ani City Center/Kyle Auclair

PVD Bumper Cars
Alex and Ani City Center, Kennedy Plaza, Providence,
In sun or snow, visitors can spin and bump their way around the rink in the heart of Providence. The bumper cars operate on pavement in the spring, summer and fall, but with winter comes the real adventure: the cars take to the ice for slip-sliding fun. Tickets cost $12 for twenty minutes, and kids three to five ride free with a paying adult.

Independent Radio Station

90.3 WRIU
The little commercial-free station that could, based at URI in Kingston, recently raised enough funds for a new transmitter, which carries its tunes clear to Providence and beyond. You can now hear jazz and soul all the way to work and the Reggae Showcase on weekend errands. Tune in and enjoy the ride.

Indoor Play Spot


Playdate. Photograph by Chris Vaccaro.

1460 Fall River Ave., Seekonk, Mass., 508-557-0122,
This intimate playroom was built for parents just as much as for the kids. The area is filled with hands-on stations geared to young girls and boys, including a play kitchen, sandbox with trucks, a playhouse, crafting tables and a costuming section, plus there’s a central location for moms and dads to camp out on couches and sip $5 all-you-can-drink coffee with little ones in plain view.

Purveyor of Public Art

The Avenue Concept
304 Lockwood St., Providence,
Providence is an arts destination, and the Avenue Concept deserves a big helping of credit. Since 2012, the nonprofit has commissioned hundreds of works of public art in Providence, from sculptures by Rhode Island-based artist
Peruko Ccopacatty in Kennedy Plaza to “She Never Came,” a massive mural by Polish artist Betz — green ring; sad man; rat on shoulder — on a brick building overlooking a parking lot on Washington Street. Keep a lookout for new installations this summer and fall.

Rainy Day Fun

RI Riddle Room
20 Water St., Level 2, East Greenwich,
Engage your inner Sherlock Holmes at this fun escape room, where participants dissect clues and try to solve a mystery in one hour or less. (It’s one of the tougher escape rooms we’ve tried.) We love the Rhody-themed challenges, from the missing person’s case set at the former Ladd School to undercover work with the mob on Federal Hill. If only all of our quirky state’s puzzles could be solved here.

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