Providence, Rhode Island
Providence packs all the amenities and arts of a large city into a compact and culturally rich small city. In addition, the coastal gem of Newport is less than an hour’s drive away, making the Providence area a perfect vacation choice.
Flights to and from Providence are offered seasonally. Dates may vary.
Why Go To Providence
Providence embraces its water-centric locale from an award-winning art installation on the Providence River to the surrounding Narragansett Bay that supplies the area with abundant seafood and sea-borne activities. And with more restaurants per capita than most U.S. cities, it’s easy to recharge for another day of sightseeing and touring.
Another splendid reason to fly into Providence is to visit the town of Newport, tour its Gilded Age mansions, and walk the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk with is panoramic ocean views on one side and stunning homes on the other.
Visit Newport and tour The Breakers, one of the historic summer "cottages"
What To Do
Located in the heart of downtown and on a river that flows through the city, this light and fire installation runs over a half mile along the surface of the water. Along with bonfires just above the surface, there are musicians and performers. The event is free and happens twice a month on Saturday evenings.
Just 34 miles south of downtown Providence, lies the resort town of Newport, home to the summer homes built in the late 1800s/early 1900s for the incredibly rich and famous, including the Vanderbilts. Many of the “cottages” are now open for tours including Marble House, made up of 500,000 cubic feet of marble; Rosecliff, where many movies have been shot; and The Breakers, a National Historic Landmark and the most magnificent of Newport’s summer residences at a mere 70 rooms. Newport has numerous other grand and Victorian homes to tour and see and a downtown area and waterfront oozing with charm, history, as well as boutiques, restaurants, and bars.
Two of the most important U.S. music festivals happen in Newport — the Newport Folk Festival, usually the last weekend in July and the Newport Jazz Festival, usually the first weekend in August.
Trendy shops can be found on Providence’s East Side, Providence Place is a huge shopping and entertainment shopping mall, and Arcade Providence has long been a shopping draw. And as Providence has a long history, there are numerous vintage and antique shops around town. Newport overflows with unique boutiques, artist galleries, and fashionable clothing shops.
For great Italian restaurants, as well as a diverse selection of other cuisines, explore both sides of Atwells Avenue in the Federal Hill neighborhood. Waterplace Park and the adjacent Providence Place are popular for familiar chain restaurants, as well as the WaterFire art installation that lights up during most summer nights. When in Newport, head to the wharf for the most concentrated area of restaurants and bars and not far away is the White Horse Tavern, dating from 1673.
And seafood — coming from the Atlantic’s cold waters and all around Narragansett Bay — is outstanding no matter where you go.
Providence’s nightlife ranges from laid-back craft breweries, Irish pubs, sports bars and comedy clubs, to exceptional performances of Broadway shows and plays, and big-name, indie and classical concerts.