Summer Guide

Museums for Summer Only

Get to these beautiful (and strange) attractions before they close at the end of the season


Summers are for the beach, but if you need to get out of the sun – just for a little while – we’d recommend a day at the museum. Quirky and rich in history, this is the kind of summertime educational experience we can get behind.
Enjoy the cool air off the bay as you learn about one of the oldest lighthouses in the entire country at the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum in Jamestown. Get up close with history through the artifacts that await at this bright little gem.

The Southeast Light on Block Island is a perfect place to visit right now. Towering over 200 feet above the water atop the Mohegan Bluffs, this lighthouse is a spectacle to witness both at a distance and from inside.

The South County Museum in Narragansett comes to life in the summertime. With a collection of over 20,000 pieces, including antique carriages and cars, 19th-century letterpresses and a blacksmith’s forge, this is a history buff’s paradise.

The Herreshoff Museum in Bristol is perfect for learning the history of sailing, whether your interest is in shipbuilding, sailboat racing or the Herreshoff’s contributions to the Navy. Sit in on summer lectures or sign up for sailing lessons to really immerse yourself in the experience.

See the birthplace and family home of famed portrait artist Gilbert Stuart in Saunderstown, which now serves as a museum of period life and industry. Furnished with antiques, the mill/home is an awe-inspiring visit that is perfect for a summer adventure back in time.

It wouldn’t be Rhode Island without something weird, so spice up your summer with a visit to Musee Patamecanique. This appointment-only museum of curiosities is for groups, because with wild displays like a bumblebee’s dream machine or a chandelier of singing animatronics, you’ll need a friend to pinch you every so often.