Contact: Karen Cooke
South County Tourism Council
On January 25, 2008, Governor Donald L. Carcieri and Mrs. Sue Carcieri announced that the fifth annual Tour Rhode Island, There's No Place Like Home event will be held on Sat., May 3, 2008, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various locations throughout the state. This unique tour opportunity provides guided, statewide tours for Rhode Island residents.
Rhode Island residents love this state for many reasons. Tour Rhode Island offers us a special opportunity to see some of the historic and cultural treasures that bring visitors from around the nation to our state, Governor Carcieri said. We should recognize that our heritage is priceless and we need to celebrate it and protect it. Tour Rhode Island was created out of an idea expressed by Mrs. Carcieri that many Rhode Islanders do not experience the state's rich cultural and historical attractions and the natural beauty that makes our state so desirable to out-of-state tourists.
South County Tourism Council President, Myrna George observed that working together makes great things happen! Once again statewide tourism collaboration has produced 24 different tours each focusing on the notables of their specific state region. South County Tourism Council's Marketing/Program Manager, Karen Cooke has created two tours where locals can experience the gems in their own backyard. The first tour, Where Nature Meets History, highlights the tradition and culture behind South County's unique scenery and landscape. This tour includes a stop at the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace Museum in North Kingstown, where there will be a special presentation of the Annual Herring Run by a DEM representative. The Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum & Nuweetooun School in Exeter are next, along with a lunch stop in Arcadia Management Area. Sample Johnny Cakes at Kenyon's Grist Mill in South Kingstown, then watch a re-enactment of encampment as pirates and docents dressed in costumes parade the grounds at Smith's Castle in Wickford. The Arts & Culture Tour includes a stop at General Nathanael Greene Homestead in Coventry and a tour of the Babcock-Smith House in Westerly. After a drive through historic downtown, there will be a lunch stop and tour at Wilcox Park. Sample local wine from Langworthy Farm Winery in Westerly and visit the seven exhibit buildings portraying blacksmithing, carpentry, printing, textiles and early transportation at South County Museum in Narragansett.
Last year, there were more than 1,200 Rhode Island residents taking tours, giving residents a convenient and affordable opportunity to experience their state as tourists - the way 32 million visitors enjoy doing annually. The travel and tourism industry is also taking notice of this great insider's tour. Tour Rhode Island was awarded the Travel Industry of America's prestigious Odyssey Award for Geotourism in the fall of 2007.
Tour Rhode Island has also received accolades from both the National Tourism Association (NTA) and American Bus Association (ABA). A portion of the Tour Rhode Island proceeds will be donated to Tourism Cares, a non-profit charity that is supported primarily by the tourism industry. Tourism Cares brings tourism industry partners together to "give back to cultural and historic sites worldwide in the form of scholarships for students studying hospitality and tourism. Also, Tour Rhode Island is once again proud to partner with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to collect food for less fortunate Rhode Islanders. Tour participants are each asked to donate a canned good to support the cause.
Tickets go on sale January 25, 2008, and are available only over the phone by calling AAA Southern New England at 877-874-7845. Ticket prices are $30 per adult and $20 for children 12 and younger. Ticket sales are on a first-come, first-served basis, and past events have sold out. Additional information is available on www.VisitRhodeIsland.com/TourRI.
Tour Rhode Island is made possible thanks to the generous support of our valuable partners, including AAA Southern New England, CVS, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island Monthly Communications and Whole Foods.