Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the country but it’s one of the largest in terms of scenic outdoor settings. 

Rivers runs through Providence, the sea embraces Newport, and there are manmade sights that are easy on the eyes as well, from gorgeous historic mansions to attractive college campuses.

During a meeting itinerary in one of these classic New England destinations, groups that venture outside for a fun add-on activity or gathering will feel like they’re in the middle of a postcard picture.

Following are some great outdoors ideas, courtesy of local experts from Discover Newport and the Providence Warwick CVB.

Newport 

Gracing many a postcard from Newport is a beautiful image showing the “Sailing Capital of the World” in all its glory. Lucky for groups, they can jump right into this experience. 

Groups convening in the place that’s synonymous with the America’s Cup, the oldest and perhaps most prestigious trophy in international yachting, can experience a memorable waterborne excursion.

According to Tim Walsh, vice president of sales at Discover Newport, America’s Cup Charters will facilitate an outing aboard an authentic 12-meter yacht that once raced with a regatta in the celebrated competition. 

“Channel your inner Dennis Conner (aka “Mr. America’s Cup”) to grind the winches and raise the sails in a friendly competition with your colleagues,” he said. “There’s nothing like the thrill of sailing on captivating Narragansett Bay. Moreover, sailing a 12-meter takes teamwork. It can help you see your colleagues and industry partners in a whole new light, all surrounded by the natural beauty of Newport’s iconic New England coastline.”

This past spring, Newport welcomed another option for groups interested in a mobile outdoor experience.

Rail Explorers, operating out of Portsmouth, are pedal-powered bicycle/vehicle hybrids that seat two and four people and ride on the railroad tracks along the edge of Narragansett Bay. 

There is no need to steer, as riding is hands-free, and groups are flanked by tour guides in the lead and last positions. 

“All explorers leave at the same time and each group enjoys the freedom of the outdoors and the magic of the railroad at their own pace and in their own space,” Walsh said. “The explorers are easy to ride and have been a huge success with groups, as the experience can accommodate all ages and fitness levels.” 

 Similar to its renowned status as a yachting mecca, Newport ranks among the country’s most foodie-friendly destinations. For groups, it’s prime territory to include a delicious outing at some point during a meeting here.   

Rhode Island Red Food Tours offers walking tours that highlight popular eats while also filling attendees in on stories and fun facts about the local history and culture.