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5 Rhode Islanders You’ll Meet This Summer

IT’S OFFICIALLY SUMMER!!!! Which means, you’ll be visiting Rhode Island soon, right? We hope you do.

When you do make it to our lovely terra firma, you will most likely encounter 5 types of Rhode Islanders during your stay. Because we aren’t called the Insider’s Guide to Rhode Island for nothing, we created a  handy-dandy breakdown so you will know which species you have encountered:

  1. THE RAD DUDE aka the surfer/beach volleyball player/beach bum: You’ll first recognize THE RAD DUDE by his/her scent: eu de sunscreen with notes of sweat and sea salt. Their enviable tan, goofy grin and naturally highlighted hair are also dead giveaways, as is the surfboard or volleyball tucked under one sweaty pit and their frequent use of the words “rad” and “gnarly.”  You’ll find them along the seawall in Narragansett, on the beaches of Block Island, or pretty much anywhere where sand and sea collide.
  1. THE PREP: The Prep can be found in it’s natural environment, a swath of land that ranges from the East Side, to Barrington, to the prepicenter (hah!) of Newport.  You should have no difficulty spotting them since they have distinctive plumage consisting of Ray Bans, a popped collar, pastel sailboat dotted shorts and a KJP bracelet with anchor detail. Take them for a sail and you will make them happier than when they got their first Vineyard Vines whale bumper sticker.
  1. THE GRANOLA FARMER: You’ll encounter this RI breed in the shaded acres of South County, the northwest corridor of the state (Johnston, Scituate, Smithfield), or anywhere there’s a bit of green poking through. They often roll up to things like baby showers and weddings with freshly plucked purslane or radishes in hand. They can be found at the community vegetable plot, the farm, or local farmer’s markets when they do deign to enter the urban jungle.
  1. THE FOODIE: The term foodie may have many enemies (there’s always a food critic attempting to slay the term with their sharpened pens) but there are LOTSA foodies in RI (moral of the story: food is mightier than the sword, my friends). You’re bound to encounter a FOODIE this summer; it’s inevitable. They are the ones who, upon imbibing a Matunuck oyster, close their eyes and slowly slurp down the succulent bivalve, pausing halfway through to comment on the slight sea-salt tang that would go perfectly with a chilled glass of organic Riesling from Newport Vineyards.
  1. THE RI MAN/WOMAN/CHILD: Ah, our personal favorite! The RI MAN/WOMAN/CHILD is easily spotted; just stop at the sign of the Del’s lemon and an entire flock will greet you. This breed speaks a particular dialect, laced with added ‘r’s (“what a great idear it is to go to Del’s!”) and dropped ‘r’s (“Oh my Gawd, Donna, he couldn’t find the cahhh keys!”), all used at their own discretion. Ever the charmers, they will surely ask you to grab a hot wiener and coffee milk with them (our advice: don’t ask, just do it).


  1. The TOURIST: Oh wait, that’s you! But heck, we’ll give it a shot at describing you guys anyway. A tourist to Rhode Island usually possesses the following qualities: patience, a car, a spare tire and um, patience. You are easy to spot, since you often smile at locals and cheerily say “hullo!” while zooming around in scoot coupes on Newport’s cobbled roads. We locals admire your friendly demeanor and willingness to try all the weird and wonderful things our state has to offer (Quahogs, anyone?) Just pretty please, try to remember one little thing: NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER drink Del’s through a straw. EVER. Okay, carry on exploring!


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