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Rhode Island
Although it takes just 45 minutes to drive from one end of Rhode Island to the other, the smallest State of the Union offers more than 640km (400 miles) of coastline, broad sandy beaches, parks, cities and a wealth of historic attractions. It was also the first state to declare independence from Great Britain on 4 May 1776 and the first that passed laws against slavery in 1774.
Providence underwent a major facelift in the 1990s that has resulted in the renaissance of Rhode Island’s capital city. The revitalisation project included the rerouting of two rivers and the building of beautifully landscaped pedestrian walkways and Venetian-style footbridges.
Newport, a top sailing spot, is an all-seasons resort offering a beautiful harbour that is rich in colonial history, as well as white beaches and some splendid scenery. Newport was the setting for the marriage of John F Kennedy to Jacqueline Bouvier and hosted the Americas Cup race for 53 years.