Providence, RI is the home of one of the country's best design schools, The Rhode Island School of Design, so it was a must to visit. The RISD Museum of art is high on my list of best design museums in the world. Their collection covers from decorative art to contemporary art to textiles. Serendipitously, we arrived during the annual RISD alumni fall art sale and purchased a lovely vase from this lovely guy (which included ten days of fretting about its safe return home).
In Newport, RI, we took a day to tour the infamous Newport Mansions. The most well-known, The Breakers, was a summer cottage of the Vanderbilts at the turn of the century. The 70 room, Italian Renaissance-style palazzo is a National Historic Landmark. The decoration of the rooms is grandiose and extravagant but the highlight is the children's playhouse on the grounds.