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Destinations / City Breaks / Providence

Similar to Rome, Providence huddles among seven hills and this little city has cemented itself on the shortlist of the coolest cities in the States. Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States and is the capital city of Rhode Island, the smallest U.S. state in terms of land area. It is located at the head of Narragansett Bay, the Providence River runs through the city, and you're within driving distance from some lovely East Coast beaches. It's a charmingly quirky New England city full of history and can satiate even the most diverse of interests.

Due to its fluency in the arts, experimental and colourful foodie culture, and service as home to some of the best institutions of higher learning in the United States and the world including the Ivy League’s Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence sure does pack a punch despite its smaller size.

Things to do in Providence

  • Walk down Benefit Street which has one of the largest concentrations of colonial architecture in the U.S. From old Victorians with their turrets and gables to impressive Colonials, you can waltz along of American architecture down one simple street.
  • Go to Federal Hill – specifically along Atwells Avenue - to indulge in some fantastic Italian food in Providence’s own Little Italy.
  • Visit the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art to see impressive items from every era. From Paul Revere’s silver to art by European masters, this 80,000 piece collection is here to impress.
  • Take a walk through the four-acre Water Place Park and River Walk past beautiful bridges and amazing public art in downtown (or as the locals say, “Downcity”) Providence. You may be lucky enough to catch the WaterFire installation and show along the river depending on the season. 
  • Tour the 18th-century house of Stephen Hopkins, an original signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Eat at any of Providence’s acclaimed and trendy restaurants. Maybe it’s because the famous culinary school at Johnson & Wales is close by, but the Providence food scene is fantastic. There are plenty of options as the city is burgeoning with amazing places to eat.
  • Mosey onto Brown’s campus for a history fix and continue on to Thayer Street in the College Hill neighbourhood. It has a conglomeration of cool shops and cafes which attract a young hip student crowd and acts as a communal space for locals  
  • Visit the house of H.P. Lovecraft, the famous Providence-born-and-raised horror fiction writer, and the locations that inspired some of his most bone-chilling works.