The University of Rhode Island is located in Kingston, a small village about 30 miles south of Providence. Kingston was originally known as "Little Rest", because of its use by Colonial-era soldiers during times of war. The village retains much of its 18th century New England flavor, with many historic buildings dating back to the 1700s.
Narraganset Bay provides ample opportunities for swimming, beach-going, sailing, scuba diving and fishing. South County also offers much unspoiled wilderness for hiking, canoeing and horseback riding. Because southern Rhode Island has a large resort community, one of its most active times socially and culturally is during the summer, when the University and the neighboring communities host summer theater, art workshops, festival, fairs and clam bakes.
Rhode Island also offers a variety of cultural activities year round. Providence has many museums and galleries, a symphony orchestra, and the renowned Trinity Square Repertory Company. Newport, a beautiful and celebrated seaside town, is noted for its superb restaurants, fine shops, and historical attractions, as well as its yearly series of concerts and plays. New York and Boston are easy day trips from the University. Boston is about 80 miles to the north and New York about 160 miles to the southwest. Both can be reached via Amtrak from the Kingston station, or by bus or car along Interstate 95. Cape Cod is about 50 miles northeast of Kingston. Within a half-day's drive from campus are the New Hampshire White Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Berkshire hills in Massachusetts with their appeal of weekend hiking and ski trips.