Seeking a cheap, no-frills motel in Rhode Island for Labor Day weekend. Advice?

A female friend and I are planning a last-minute roadtrip to RI for Labor Day weekend. All the name-brand motels, especially the ones near the major tourist areas, are sold out or asking well over $100/night. That’s more than we want to pay. Besides, we are used to “roughing it” and RI is a tiny state, so we don’t need to stay in a top-tier hotel right near the hotspots. A no-frills, out-of-the-way, mom&pop-style place is just fine for us. Anybody got a suggestion?

You don’t say where it is you want to go in RI, but if it’s the East Bay (East Providence, Barrington, Warren or Bristol) or Providence itself, try Seekonk, MA. There are several inexpensive motels,

Hmm, oddly, the motel I pass on the way home from work every day isn’t in the yellow pages. I checked out the rates of the Comfort Inn in Pawtucket, and they were well over $100 a night. I don’t think you’ll do too much better than that, unfortunately, Pawtucket isn’t really a tourist destination, so it would be one of the least expensive RI towns to stay in, I think.

Try out Seekonk, as Caricci suggested. It intertwines a lot with RI, so it’s almost like you’re here. has a Days Inn in Cranston for $90 a night. Cranston is close to Providence, and it is as close to Newport as anything else you can find will be. If you’re flying to RI, it wll also be convenient to the airport.

I stayed in one like you want just a couple of weeks ago. It was in N. Attleboro, MA (about 2 miles from the RI border) and only cost $39 a night. It was not bad at all and my room even had a hot tub. The only problem is I can’t remember the name. I will try to find it and get back to you here.

I found it but I didn’t stay in N. Attleboro like I thought. It was in Wrentham, MA. That is about 10 miles from the RI border (but there is a huge and spectacular outlet mall complex in Wrentham). Here is the information if you want it:

Arbor Inn Motor Lodge 900 Washington Street Wrentham (508) 384-2122

I think that rates are always $39 a night for singles. Doubles may be a few dollars more.

Travel time from Wrentham to Providence is 25 minutes. For Newport, it is about 40+ minutes.

Thanks, guys. All these suggestions are great. But my companion, who is a bit of a beach bunny) and I have decided to limit our options to the “South County” (primarily Westerly and North and South Kingston). Any suggestions in that region would be extra appreciated.

The CT town closest to Westerly is Pawcatuck. You might find something there; I don’t know anything offhand but it’s very easy to get tothe South County beaches from Pawcatuck. (“Easy” is relative; Route 78 is a pain in the ass no matter where you are.)

There are motels in that part of CT that seem to be there to cash in on Foxwoods- going cheapskates. You might try Stonington as well.

This thread uncovered another Rhode Islander for me . That’s cool.

Okay. We found a basic, $75/night motel in Wyoming. (Wyoming, Rhode Island, that is!) It appears to be about 8 to 10 miles from the shore, which can’t be that bad for beach-going, right?

Now that I’ve got the attention of all the RIers on the board, can you guys recommend some must-do things to do and places to eat in your litt… err… diminutive state?

Wyoming is right down there and that part of the state has good surf. As an East Bayer I don’t know much about South County but I will say have some clam cakes! I never had them before and I spent my whole life on the beaches of Long Island. Yummy! And don’t laugh at the fact that there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner.

You must have some clam fritters and Rhode Island clam chowder. There’s pretty much no place to get those except in RI.

Are you a baseball fan? You could hit the Pawtucket Red Sox for a minor league game. Tickets are about $8. Everybody in RI seems to be very proud of the Pawsox.

If you’re into food, you have to check out Federal Hill in Providence. It’s Atwells Avenue, I believe. It used to be primarily Italian food, as I understand it, but it’s branched out to be the place for good food in general.

I’ve only been a Rhode Islander for two years now, but this is the list of what natives tell me to do:

Pawsox (done, and it was fun!)
Eat a hot weiner (hotdog on a steamed bun with ‘meat’ sauce)
Visit Block Island (take the Block Island Ferry)
Visit Newport and all the mansions (done as a kid - they’re impressive, and the beach is right there)
Visit Wright’s Farm for Family Style Chicken (done, and overrated, IMHO. But it’s pure RI)
If Caricci (Hi!) is a native, I’m sure he can give you more ideas. I’m still the new kid on the block.