Fodor's Expert Review Roger Williams Park and Zoo
Plan a full day to take in this regal 435-acre Victorian park where you can picnic, feed ducks in the lakes, rent a swan-shape paddleboat, and ride a Victorian-style carousel. The 40-acre zoo—one of the nation's oldest—has African elephants, Masai giraffes, zebras, red pandas, snow leopards, moon bears, gibbons, giant anteaters, giraffes, and river otters in natural settings. In October, more than 5,000 carved pumpkins line the Wetlands Trail for the well-attended Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. The Museum of Natural History has a collection of more than 250,000 specimens, including preserved animals, plants, rocks, fossils, and ethnographic objects, in a setting that you will either find quaint or antiquated. The Cormack Planetarium has a 2 pm show on weekends year-round, daily in summer. The Botanical Center has two greenhouses and 12,000 square feet of indoor gardens.