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Eight Things to Know Before Moving to Rhode Island

  1. Country, City, or Coastal, You Can Have it All: The smallest state in the U.S. packs a lot of different living within its 1,212 square miles. Live in a cottage by the sea, on a working farm, on a pastoral expanse surrounded by ample private acres, in a Gilded Age mansion, in a Colonial Era home on the National Register of Historic Places chock full of centuries-old character, in a city, on a river overlooking a 19th century lighthouse, in a family-friendly neighborhood or in a luxurious high-rise condominium set within a private gated estate. Just about any setting can be found in Rhode Island. 

  2. Getting Anywhere Within Rhode Island Takes “About 45 Minutes:” At roughly 50 miles long and and 40 miles wide, getting from one corner of the state to the other can be done in under an hour’s time. 

  3. County Government Isn’t Here: Rhode Island has no county governing bodies. Instead, the state is divided into 39 municipalities, each having its own form of local government, which can make accessing property records, registering to vote, permitting, waste management, obtaining various licenses, recreational opportunities and other necessary pursuits a streamlined process. 

  4. Public Transportation is Rad: Don’t have your own vehicle or looking to reduce your carbon footprint? The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority provides public transportation, primarily via buses, around the entire state. Headed to Boston for business or pleasure? The MBTA Providence/Stoughton line has three stops in RI: Providence, T.F. Green Airport and Wickford Junction in North Kingston.

  5. Rhode Island Has Official (and Unofficial) Foods: The official state appetizer is calamari. The official drink is coffee milk. We also have stuffies -- a stuffing mixture packed with chopped clams, fresh herbs, onion, celery,  peppers and usually Portuguese linguiça -- packed into a quahog shell (the official state shell) and baked until golden brown. Del’s frozen lemonade, coffee cabinets (milkshakes made from coffee syrup, ice cream and milk), clam cakes, lobster rolls and Johnny cakes (thin cornmeal pancakes with crispy edges) are also our jam. And our “chowdah” is white, thick and creamy. Get used to it. 

  6. Residents Embrace a 58-Foot Long Termite on I-95: The Big Blue Bug, also known as Nibbles Woodaway, is a giant termite that sits atop the roof of New England Pest Control in Providence. They put illuminated antlers on him during the holiday season. It’s a thing. Don’t ask. 

  7. You Can Get a Lot of DMV Services Done at a AAA Office: A visit to the DMV in any state can be time consuming and frustrating. In Rhode Island though, new licenses and state IDs (and state conversions of either) require a visit to the DMV, but other services like license renewals and address changes, registration renewals, vanity plate orders and more can be done at a local AAA branch. 

  8. There’s Only One Area Code: Welcome to the 401. 

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