Things to do in Providence


Click Here  for the most Current Covid-19 information and protocols for Providence.

Click this link for a calendar of all events happening in Providence the week of our meeting. You’ll find information on craft classes, plays, concerts and other performances, an Asian lantern display and even Food Trucks at the Zoo or a walk in the Blithewold Mansion Gardens & Arboretum.


In Providence you can do your own thing. Sample the latest dishes at a red-hot restaurant. Score a one-of-a-kind find in distinctive neighborhood shops. We’ve got tons of public art, great museums, award-winning theater and cool music. Plus, we’re affordable and easy to get to. With so many options, you can curate a vacation that is uniquely yours. Pick your Providence today.


Some of Providence’s greatest assets are its vibrant, thriving neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality, unique history and welcoming community. Together, they have made Providence “America’s Coolest City” (GQ) and “America’s Favorite City” (Travel + Leisure).

We invite you to get out and explore these 15 neighborhoods. There are things to see, do, eat and buy in every one. Check out our favorites and then tell us what we’ve missed by using the hashtag #PVDpicks on Instagram. We will put some of our favorite suggestions on every page. Click here for more information on each neighborhood and what makes it unique and worth a visit.


Whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat or celebrating a special night out, you'll find a wide range of nationally recognized dining options in Providence and throughout Rhode Island. Browse through our guides to dining in Providence's Downtown, Federal Hill/West Side, East Side or Providence Metro neighborhoods. Thinking about a casual night in? We've got you covered with our Small Bites series and cooking demos. These easy recipes will wow even the most critical dinner guest. Check with individual restaurants to see if they offer outdoor dining, takeout and/or delivery.

Click here to search for the perfect place for a quick bite, leisurely lunch or elegant dinner


Benefit Street "Mile of History"

On this mile-long street traversing the steep hillside that rises from the river to the Brown University campus, you can see an architectural history of Providence. At one end are the restrained and elegant Federal period homes, beautifully restored with their doorways in a neat row close to the street, and as you walk farther, you'll see grand homes set back on their lawns, and later Victorian, even Arts and Crafts-style residences. Several of the city's attractions are among them - the Governor Stephen Hopkins House with its terraced garden, the Athenaeum (with Edgar Allen Poe connections), and the John Brown House. You can get details on the various buildings from an excellent Benefit Street walking tour booklet from the Providence Preservation Society.

RISD Museum of Art

Whether your artistic passion is for French Impressionists or Japanese prints, or your design tastes run to ancient Egyptian, early American, or cutting-edge contemporary, you'll find enough to keep you happy in the depth and breadth of this museum's collections. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), one of America's top art colleges, reflects its own wide range of specialties in the objects chosen for its museum. Needlework and textiles, sculpture from ancient to Rodin, Asian art, videos, furnished Federal period rooms, and galleries of priceless paintings comprise dozens of individual collections. So many outstanding works are here that each of its separate collections would be enough to make a museum of its own. Address: 224 Benefit Street, Providence Official site:

John Brown House

President John Quincy Adams described the 1786 home of merchant John Brown as "the most magnificent and elegant mansion that I have ever seen on this continent." From its lofty hillside setting he could keep an eye on his China Trade ships and warehouses at India Point, the source of his considerable wealth. That he was a man of taste as well as wealth and prominence is clear from the house, with its French wallpapers, finely worked decorative detail and moldings, and original Brown family furniture. For an unparalleled view of 18th-century life for the Providence aristocracy, as well as a look at some of the best pieces by Rhode Island cabinet makers that you'll find anywhere, don't miss this magnificent home. Address: 52 Power Street, Providence Official site:

Brown University

The Brown University campus crowns College Hill and has since 1770; its oldest building and still the center of the campus is University Hall, which served as a barracks and hospital during the Revolution. The impressive Van Wickle Gates open only twice a year, on the first day of classes and for the commencement procession in May. Stamp collectors will want to see the complete collection of US postage stamps in the John Hay Library; the John Carter Brown Library has a collection of rare early maps. The free David Winton Bell Gallery has excellent changing exhibits of contemporary and historic art. For student-led campus tours, visit the Corliss-Brackett House. Here's a secret you probably won't hear about on the tour: Brown's Environmental Center has a conservatory on Waterman Street, a glass house with a jungle of plants and exotic flowers thriving inside through the coldest of winter days. Few know about it, but the center advises that "Artists, gardeners, tinkerers, dreamers, readers, thinkers, general plant lovers, and green and brown thumbs are encouraged to visit." Address: Corliss-Brackett House, 45 Prospect Street, Providence Official site:

Roger Williams Park and Zoo

Roger Williams Park covers 435 acres with gardens; a lake with a 1915 bandstand; an amphitheater; greenhouses; the 1773 Betsy Williams Cottage; and a children's area with a carousel, trackless train rides, and other activities. Also in the park is a Museum of Natural History with insects, minerals, fossils, and the state's only planetarium. But what draws most visitors is the 40-acre Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, but a paragon of modern zoo design and concept. At this kid-friendly and largely cage-free place you can meet a snow leopard, giraffe, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, alligator, kangaroo, and red panda, and small-fry can climb into the treehouse or go for a camel ride. If you don't like the notion of caged animals and want to learn something about them and their habitats instead of just parading past, this is the zoo for you. Seasonal activities such as the October "Spooky Zoo" and pumpkin spectacular make it even more fun for kids. Address: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence Official site:


Our host hotel is situated just across the road from the Rhode Island State House. A venerable building well worth the time for a tour.

You have 2 options for tours; self-guided and docent led. There are only 2 guided tours per day so if that’s your preference, you might want to make a reservation to ensure you aren’t disappointed.

State House tour rules & information:

Docent-led tours are available Monday-Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Visitors and tour guides are required to wear masks. 

Groups of ten or more are required to request a tour reservation at least one week before their desired tour. Groups unable to submit an advance request may call the Tour Coordinator at (401) 222-3983 to inquire about other options.

Groups of fewer than ten people may request a reservation or may join scheduled tours as walk-in visitors.

Self-guided tours are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. QR codes to the State House audio tour are posted throughout the building. Printed self-guided brochures are available in the Visitor Center located on the first floor of the State House, and in the State Library on the second floor.





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