Walk Around Providence
Providence is a great walking city — up and down the hills, along the river, and within a four-acre park in the center of town. For a wonderful meal, be sure to check our great dining recommendations. When you just can’t eat another bite, you’ll find plenty of historic sites, homes, world-class shopping venues, and outstanding museums and art galleries to while away the hours. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Federal Hill (“Little Italy”) greets visitors with an arched gateway marked by a bronze pinecone (an Italian symbol of abundance and hospitality). The main drag is Atwells Avenue, and finding a great snack or bracing espresso couldn’t be easier.
Providence Department of Art, Culture & Tourism, 401-421-7740
2. Cobblestoned Benefit Street is an eye-popping mile burgeoning with history and great architecture. Among all the jewels here, don’t miss the Nightingale-Brown House, the Georgian-style mansion at number 357 (tours by appointment).
Providence Preservation Society, 401-831-7440; John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization, Brown University, 401-863-1177
3. Thayer Street, not far from Brown University, is the hub of great browsing and buying, with everything from consignment shops and clothing boutiques to antiques, cafes, and stationery, book, and music stores. For a big hit, Providence Place offers an enclosed mall featuring national department stores, including Nordstrom.
4. Providence is home to the world-renowned Rhode Island School of Design, which molds thousands of young artists in all art media. The school has it own museum, but don’t miss the many smaller galleries throughout town showing students’ (past and present) works, as well.
RISD Museum, 224 Benefit St. 401-454-6500
5. The culinary school at Johnson & Wales University offers one of the finest collections of kitchenware, appliances, cookbooks, menus, historic showpieces, and diner artifacts in the world.