Providence is the capital of the smallest state in the United States, rhodes island. Known for its inclusion and diversity, art and historical significance, Providence is a great city to visit no matter what your interest. The city is home to fewer than 180,000 people and offers a warm hometown feel.
There are so many fun things to do in Providence RI! From family fun to entertainment to nightlife, Providence is a popular travel destination for city lovers.
Providence is a beautiful city year-round, but the best time to visit is between June and November for incredible weather. Providence has the most coffee shops and donut shops per capita of any city and is known for its dining experiences.
Also known for its inclusiveness, the city has been named one of the "Best Places to Live Lesbian" and has a 75% higher rate of gay and lesbian relationships than the rest of the country.
Ready to learn more about this amazing city? Here are 13 things to do in Providence RI that you can't miss!
HeRhode Island School of Design MuseumIt is open every day except Monday. Permanent exhibits include 18th and 19th century American Galleries, Ancient Egyptian Galleries, Ancient Greek and Roman Galleries, Asian Art Galleries, Decorative Arts and Design Galleries, European Galleries, and Modern and Contemporary Galleries. The museum has 2,201 works of art and design, dating from ancient times to the present day, on display for the public. However, they have a total of 100,000 artworks and designs, 82,716 of them online.
It is recommended that you purchase tickets online to reserve your date and time. The museum offers guided site tours, self-guided site tours, and virtual experiences.
Founded in 1877, the RISD Museum "believes that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play a critical role in promoting broad civic participation and creating more open societies."
PARQUE ROGER WILLIAMS
parque roger williamsit spans 435 acres and includes a Botanical Garden, a zoo, a rose maze, and the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium.
The Botanical Garden is the largest greenhouse garden in New England and includes 40-foot palm trees, carnivorous plants, 10-foot cacti, and succulents. Their Rose Maze blooms from June to September.
The Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is open Friday through Monday, with exhibits in the Planetarium on Saturday and Sunday.
Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country. They are open every day and tickets are available online. The zoo is home to dozens of animals, including snakes, turtles, several species of birds, kangaroos, wildflowers, zebras, wolves, giant anteaters, moon bears, cheetahs, and more.
Roger Williams Park also features a bike park, tennis and ball courts, boating, hiking and hiking trails, and a playground.
federal hillin Providence is a lively neighborhood known for its restaurants, shops, and services. Dedicated to Italian immigrants and Italian Americans, it's no surprise that the area is known for its Italian restaurants. There are dozens of places to eat, including other varieties of food such as American, Asian, Caribbean, Mexican, and Middle Eastern. You can also find bakeries and cafes.
Federal Hill also has shopping and other services, including wholesale, retail, shopping, and hair salon services.
DePasquale Plaza is known as the heart of "Little Italy" and here you can find a large central fountain surrounded by outdoor seating and colorfully painted buildings. The plaza is a great place to people watch to sit and eat, but watch out for the seagulls that are always ready to steal your food.
HeWaterFire Center for the Artsit is a multipurpose production complex and art space. They have rotating exhibits so you can visit multiple times and see something new each time you're there.
There is also a WaterFire lighting installation in one of the parks. The facility covers eighty grills from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on certain nights. The lighting comes on shortly after sunset and the fires will stay lit until midnight, typically.
HeProvidence AthenaeumIt is a beautiful Greek Revival style library is an independent membership supported library and cultural center approaching 200 years.
The library doubles as a museum, with busts, paintings, engravings, sculptures, an Egyptian cabinet, and endless bookshelves, of course. The college is even dog-friendly with dog biscuits available at the ticket booth.
The Main Library, Children's Library and Ground Floor Reading Room are open to the public and you can book private tours of The Philbrick Rare Book Room. There are thousands of books on the college and they are divided into categories that interest members. These categories and collections consist of The Archives Collection, Founders Collection, Literature and Children's Literature, Natural History, Travel and Exploration, Private Library, and Book Arts.
Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sarah Helen Whitman were among the most famous members of the Athenaeum.
This historic landmark now hears the nameTrinity Repertory Company.The theater was founded in 1963 and presents world premiere, contemporary and classical works.
The theater sees more than 120,000 people each year. They always have shows you can check out on their website.
PROVIDENCIA CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
Providencia Children's MuseumIt's a great place for kids to learn and have fun! Among the museum's exhibits are WaterWays, Children's Garden, Coming to Rhode Island, Think Space, Innovation Lab, Littlewoods, Maker Studio, and Play Power.
Waterways teaches children all about water and the forms it can take. Children are encouraged to splash and splash throughout the exhibit, build fountains, floating boats, and more. Children's Garden has different activities for different ages, from playing in tunnels to digging in a dinosaur pit. Also in the garden, you can sit by the fountains and have your lunch or just enjoy the children's games while learning more about plants and animals. Coming to Rhode Island, for ages 4 and up, is an interactive history lesson about Rhode Island, including its culture and diversity.
Think Space is for kids ages 4-10 and teaches them about shapes, spaces, puzzles, and other fun challenges. The innovation lab allows children to play with real tools. Children are encouraged to play and create in age-appropriate ways with things like hot glue guns, sewing machines, lasers, 3D printers, hammers, and nails.
Littlewoods is for babies 4 and under and includes a tree house, slide, bear cave and a fun magical forest theme. The Maker Studio changes weekly, but allows children to experience science, nature, and artistic experimentation. Play Power gets kids playing with air tubes and building magnetic mazes.
PROVIDENCE RIVER BOAT COMPANY
Providence Riverboat Companyoffers more than 10 tour options to navigate the river and enjoy the impressive views of the city skyline. Tours include Daily Narrated Tours, Mother's Day Mimosa Tours, Twilight River Cruises, Father's Day Boat Tours, Gooseneck Vineyards Outdoor Trip, Providence Architecture Tour , Green Jacket Shoal Tour, Haunted Boat Tours, WaterFire WaterFire Boat, Private Boat Tours.
Tours vary in length and location. There are so many tour options that there is sure to be something for everyone!
Located in downtown Providence at the base of State Capitol Hill,Water parkand Riverwalk offer a quiet yet vibrant retreat from the city with magnificent water views.
On sunny days, you can find street performers drawing the river, along with live music. There are art installations and other points of interest along the river.
You can find bakeries and restaurants located nearby where you can grab takeout and sit looking out over the calm waters while you eat. The park also hosts many festivals and other outdoor activities throughout the year.
From the park, you can also take a gondola ride through the canals that are very reminiscent of Venice, Italy.
BENEFIT STREET, "MILES OF HISTORY"
If you like history, you must visit Benefit Street. The path, known asThe history mile, is known for its early colonial and federal buildings, as well as later 19th and 20th century buildings.
Along Benefit Street, you can find the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, the RISD Museum, the John Brown House, the Stephen Hopkins House, the Providence Athenaeum and Barker's Theatre, several churches and hundreds of single-family homes and multi-family residences, condominiums, and apartment buildings. The College Hill Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Providence Preservation Society self-guided walking tour is always available. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Providence RI.
brown universityFounded in 1764, it is a private Ivy League research university. Comprised of the College, the Graduate School, the Alpert School of Medicine, the School of Engineering, the School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies, it is one of the most difficult schools to get into in the country.
Brown University is the seventh oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and one of nine colonial universities chartered before the American Revolution. The main campus is located on College Hill and is open to the public for walking around the campus as well as for tours.
Also open to the public is the Brown University Herbarium, established in 1869. The herbarium houses more than 100,000 plant specimens, including specimens from all 50 US states, plants from western and southern North America, Cuban plants, plants from Mexico and Carex.
Thayer Street is a popular spot for college students and tourists alike. Here you can find shops, vintage clothing stores, bookstores, music stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, festivals, live music and even open-air cinema.
One of the most popular restaurants is East Side Pockets. East Side Pockets is a famous Middle Eastern restaurant serving the best falafel rounds, wraps, baklava, grape leaves, salads, hummus and tzatziki. Other popular places to eat include Den Den's Korean Fried Chicken, Andrea's, and Kung Fu Tea.
the little machine
Built in 1828,the little machineIt is known as the first mall in the United States. Located in the heart of downtown Providence, the mall has been renovated and features 48 loft-style apartments on the top two floors. On the first floor, you can find small retail businesses, local restaurants, a coffee shop/whiskey bar, casual dining, and many retail boutiques.
Dining options include New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Rogue Island Local Kitchen & Bar, Livi's Pockets & Livi's Burritos, and A Pizza History. Shopping options include the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council and salon services include Impulse Hair Designs and Archangels Threading Spa.
RHODE ISLAND STATE HOUSE
Built between 1895 and 1904, theRhode Island State Houseit is a wonderful place to visit. The building itself is constructed of Georgian marble and features one of the largest free-standing marble domes in the United States.
Free and open to the public, you can take a self-guided tour any day of the week. During your self-guided tour, you can use the QR codes posted throughout the building to access the audio tour. They also have brochures in the visitor center.
Docent-led tours are also available.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO RHODE ISLAND
- YOUR HOLIDAYS ON THE ISLAND OF RHODES
- NEW PORT:13 Things To Do In Newport, Rhode Island That Everyone Will Love
- RI BEACHES:16 Rhode Island Beaches Your Family Will Love
WHERE TO STAY IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
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Amanda Strube, staff writer
Amanda was raised in South Jersey and began to read and write at a young age. After graduating from Stockton University with a BA in Communications and a minor in Writing and Spanish, she began traveling the world teaching surfing and yoga while writing. While writing about travel, yoga, and tattoos, Amanda runs her own pet sitting business. When she's not working, you can find Amanda running with her retired sled dog, petting her cat, surfing or traveling.
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