Providence offers great variety –historical architecture on College Hill, interesting art exhibits at venues such as the Rhode Island School of Design, and a wide range of entertainment options at Providence Performing Arts Center, Dunkin Donuts Center, the VETS, Trinity Repertory Theatre, and much more. Waterfire, a public celebration of community, art and music, is a unique experience not to be missed. The Roger Williams Park Zoo not only has a zoo but an annual jack o’lantern festival that includes over 5,000 pumpkins carved by local artists- a must-see at Halloween!
The city and adjacent communities offer an abundance of outdoor activities. In addition to Rhode Island’s famous beaches, there are a number of beautiful bike paths, state parks, award winning golf courses, and a wealth of places for fishing and boating of all kinds – kayaking, sailing, and more. Don’t miss Del’s Lemonade in the summer – it’s a delicious RI classic. College basketball and other sports are very popular in RI – Providence College basketball fans are diehard supporters!
In 2014, Travel and Leisure rated Providence #1 in Top Cities Overall! Architectural Digest named Providence America’s Best Small City.
All housestaff have access to the Brown athletic facilities at a reduced rate. This is frequently reported to be the “best benefit” of having a Brown ID! In addition, you get free access to RIPTA, which is the public transit system, and access to nearby RISD beach!
Bars and Restaurants
With various culinary training programs in RI, the Providence dining scene is top-notch. There are a variety of wonderful farm-to-table style restaurants using locally produced ingredients. The fresh seafood and fish are unmatched, and prices are more reasonable than you might expect. Federal Hill is the “little Italy” of Providence, and there is no better Italian food outside of Italy! Venda Ravioli and their broccoli rabe is a must have!
Whether you are interested in a post-work get-together or a date night, there are also numerous well-known bars in Providence and the surrounding area. One of the resident favorites is The Dorrance, which is a bar and restaurant in a converted federal reserve building with great cocktails. Another RIH hangout is the Hot Club, a waterside bar where you’ll be sure to find at least a handful of people you know every weekend! If you’ve got perfect weather for the day, one of the rooftop restaurants is worth a try as well: Mare or GPub.
Despite the presence of these Providence staples, there are always new restaurants and test kitchens popping up in the area, keeping the culinary scene fresh and exciting.
Out and About in RI
Regardless of your interests, you’ll be able to find something to your tastes in RI. With our hundreds of miles of coastline, there are numerous beaches to explore and even enjoy on post-call days, such as Misquamicut, Matunuck, Newport, Narragansett, and East Beach!
Block Island is a quaint and beautiful destination just a short ferry ride away, and is wonderful for biking as well as for testing out your skills on a moped! You’ll have the opportunity to feed llamas from the palm of your hand and see a ring tailed lemur in real life at a farm as well as see seals on the northern tip of the island.
In a state with so much water around it, it’s not surprising that boating is also a common pastime. Some residents are members of the Providence Community Boating Center, where you can take sailing lessons and also rent kayaks to paddle within the waterways that surround the city.
Tons of state parks are a short drive away, regardless of where you live. Going further north, you can find areas to do light hiking (like Snake Den Park, Lincoln Woods), or you can go to southern RI and check out the Cliff Walk, Newport mansions, various vineyards (Newport Vineyards, Leyden Farms, Sakonnet), or the Jazz and Folk music festivals! We have multiple bike paths for both cyclists and runners, including the 14.5 mile long East Bay Bike Path, which begins in Providence and ends in Bristol, RI.
If you’re looking for a weekend away, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are easily accessible by a beautiful ferry ride. Cape Cod is an easy drive, and New Hampshire, coastal Maine (including Acadia National Park!), and the Berkshires are also nearby. Boston and NYC are easily accessible by train and are favorites for urban weekend trips.
Skiing and snowboarding destinations can be found in RI, in nearby Massachusetts, and further north in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. All are great destinations for a weekend or longer.
Providence In the News
NYT: 52 Places to Go in 2016 (Providence, RI #33)
Mental Floss: 25 Things You Should Know About Providence
Architectural Digest: Why Providence is the Country’s Best Small City