Providence Travel Guide

Make sure your digital camera has a full complement of gigabytes for your trip to Providence. From its vibrant arts and entertainment scene to its chic restaurants and trendy shops to its historic American architecture, it's a destination that promises many memorable moments.



With a population of just 170,000, Providence exudes the friendliness and hospitality you'd expect to find in a fairly small city. It's also compact geographically, at 18.5 square miles, which makes it easy to get around Providence and see its diverse sites and attractions. Historic Prospect Terrace Park is a good first stop for any visitor, as it offers a fine view of downtown Providence. Another interesting way to learn about the city is on a Providence Ghost Tour, a guided excursion by lantern light. Young travelers will enjoy Roger Williams Park Zoo, which is home to a number of rare animals, including the snow leopard and the red panda. It has on-site science and environmental education programs like ZooCamp and Zoo Lab.


If you're visiting in the summer months, you can spend a day at the beach at Governor Notte Park in North Providence. The park has many recreational facilities, including children's swings, picnic sites, tennis courts, paddleboat rentals, a freshwater beach and a serene waterfall. There are more aquatic activities in the nearby town of Warwick, where you'll find Conimicut Point Beach and Goddard Memorial State Park. They're among the most popular outdoor spots along the town's 39-mile coastline.


Providence was founded in 1636 and pays tribute to its rich historical heritage in museums around the city. Among the most interesting are the Gov. Henry Lippitt House Museum, set in a home built in 1865, and the RISD Museum, which has nearly 80,000 works in its collection.


Shopping and Dining

The largest mall in the city is Providence Mall, where you'll find over 170 shops, as well as options for entertainment and dining. The mall is located in the heart of the city, near the Rhode Island Convention and Entertainment Complex, and is within a mile of several hotels.


If you're looking for something on the more tony side, there are a lot of boutiques, antique shops and galleries along Wickenden and Thayer streets in the town's East Side neighborhood. The streets are also set with a lot of charming restaurants and cafes. There are more shopping and dining options at Federal Hill and Wayland Square. Or head for the waterfront and enjoy dinner and cocktails at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood. Fresh seafood is a specialty here.

Where to Go in Providence


Hotel Providence

311 Westminster Street

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WaterFire Providence

101 Regent Avenue
Bonfires along South Water Street

Free public bonfires along the Providence River in the downtown area.
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Cafe Paragon

user rating

234 Thayer Street
(Angell Street)

Award winning, European bistro style, affordable quality
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Providence Performing Arts Center

220 Weybosset St

Historic theater offering Broadway tours, plays and concerts
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