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A Weekend Guide For Providence, Rhode Island

A Weekend Guide For Providence, Rhode Island

I visited Rhode Island as part of my quest to explore all 50 states before turning 50. Known as the Ocean State, Rhode Island showcases quintessential New England charm with breathtaking scenery, grand mansions, and exceptional seafood. Unlike my usual trip planning, this time, I embraced spontaneity, allowing the winds to guide me. I ventured to the capital city and will soon share a concise weekend guide for Providence, Rhode Island.


Friday Night in Providence

Arrive in the city after work or on a late flight to Providence. Uber or drive to Hotel Providence, home for the weekend. I stayed on the 6th floor, offering a great view of the vibrant Providence theater district neon-clad at night. 


Drop your bags in your room and head out. Walk two blocks to The Malted Barley for craft beer and the best pretzel you’ve ever had. Try the Asiago and Parmesan gourmet pretzel with apricot butter dipping sauce. Yum! 


It’s time to retire for the night; it’s a big day tomorrow.

Saturday Morning and Afternoon

Good morning! Today’s itinerary includes exploring Providence on foot or via Uber. Start your day savoring a coffee or tea and eating a slice of quiche at Small Point Cafe. This cozy coffee shop is perfect for catching up on social media or people-watching.


Afterward, make your way to the Providence Rink for an invigorating ice skating session. It’s a fantastic way to get your blood pumping before tackling the challenging hills ahead. Capture picturesque moments of the Providence River and its charming bridges while you’re downtown.


Next, Uber to RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design. RISD boasts an impressive collection of artwork, including fascinating pieces by Dale Chihuly, one of their esteemed alumni. Admire the magnificent white glass Chihuly chandelier in one of the halls. 

With six floors dedicated to glassware, paintings, sculptures, clothing, and other genius creations, there’s no shortage of inspiration. The art spans from ancient Greek and Roman to Modern and Contemporary.


Afterward, take a brisk walk uphill toward the private Ivy League institution, Brown University. Along the way, discover the oldest First Baptist church in the country, founded by Roger Williams in 1658. 


As you arrive at Brown University’s beautiful campus, you’ll be mesmerized. Stroll past the iconic Van Wickle Gates and admire their architectural charm. And don’t miss the statue of Bruno Bear, the university’s beloved mascot. Brown University’s colonial-era buildings, showcasing 17th and 18th-century architecture, make for a stunning backdrop for any photography enthusiasts.


Fun Fact: Brown University boasts eight Nobel Prize laureates and five National Humanities Medalists.


Ethnic Lunch and More Sightseeing

Indulge in delectable Indian cuisine like Chicken Tikka Masala or Potato Pea Naan from Kabob and Curry. Be sure to pair your meal with a traditional Mango Lassi. After lunch, explore Thayer Street, a popular spot for college students.


As you stroll down Bennett Street, admire the largest concentration of restored Colonial homes, churches, and museums in the country. Many overlook the waterfront and are registered on the National Register of Historic Places.

Take a moment to appreciate Rhode Island’s state capitol and visit the Roger Williams National Memorial along the way. From the Rhode Island State House, enjoy panoramic views of Providence. The majestic neoclassical capitol building, constructed with white Georgia marble and brick, is truly impressive.


Saturday Evening’s Festivities

After freshening up at your hotel, it’s time to consider dinner. I suggest Gracie’s, one of Providence’s top dining spots. It’s just a short walk from the hotel and a local hotspot. Gracie’s offers delicious farm-to-table cuisine, sourcing herbs and veggies from nearby farms.

I thoroughly loved their Rigatoni Campanaro, incredibly flavorful and filling, with sweet & spicy sausage and ricotta salata. And, of course, leave room for dessert – it’s truly worth it.


Or, you can explore Federal Hill, known for its plethora of fantastic Italian restaurants. With over 100 dining options in this area, Siena Restaurant and Joe Marzilli’s Old Canteen come highly recommended. Federal Hill is a vibrant neighborhood with rich history and energy, earning it a spot on Chef Mario Batali’s list of the top five Little Italy’s in the United States.

Sunday Morning: Exploring Nearby Towns

The Duck and Bunny on Wickenden Street in Providence is the perfect place for brunch any day of the week. This snuggery offers trendy and hip vibes, with an impressive menu featuring specials like the Mazzy Star crepe, with portobello, fontina, rosemary, and truffle oil. Indulge in their delicious coffee and flavored teas (I recommend the Strawberry Sassafras white tea), or try their creative cocktails.


Fellini Pizzeria, located nearby, is known for its creative and fresh pizza options, all on whole-wheat New York-style crusts. (I swear I did things other than eat!)


If you’re up for a change of scenery, take a quick jaunt to East Greenwich, a charming town just minutes away. Explore Main Street’s shops and enjoy a different atmosphere. Pet lovers will appreciate the gourmet treats at Bone Appetit. And grab a decadent coffee at Nook Coffee House, where you can warm up with their signature Purple Rain. The friendly staff and adorable atmosphere make it an ideal destination.


A Fabulous Weekend of Food, Facts, and Friends

I successfully explored Providence, Rhode Island for a weekend and found it to be an amazing destination. Consider driving South to witness the breathtaking mansions in Newport. They resemble what you’d see in the movies!

Providence is an ideal starting point for your Rhode Island adventures, with ample activities to enjoy. Happy travels!


Check out our other travel posts: 

8 Fun West Virginia Day Trips

50 Cool Things to Do in Upstate New York

Bar Harbor, ME, Cruise Port Itinerary

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Lara Dunning

Saturday 7th of April 2018

Rhode Island is high on my list and I so appreciate all the ideas in this post with alternatives. Looks like when I go I will be eating and drinking very well. :)


Tuesday 10th of April 2018

Haha. It was a fun trip for sure. ;)


Friday 6th of April 2018

My boyfriend & I are planning to visit Rhode Island in the summer. Didn't realise it was such a foodie destination! Looking forward to visiting the Rhode Island School of Design & State Capitol. Have bookmarked this for later, thanks!


Tuesday 10th of April 2018

Awesome! Please check back in a couple of weeks to read about my visit to see the mansions. ;) Hope you have a fantastic time and much better weather than I did in January. ;)

Kaila (The Wanderlust Celiac)

Thursday 5th of April 2018

Very cool challenge! It'll be great to have a memory in every state. I love the sprinkles cake. I've never heard of those before.


Thursday 5th of April 2018

Isn't it fun to explore without pre-scheduled itineraries? I just love wandering and trying whatever gets my interest! Looks like you had a wonderful time, too. I've been to Rhode Island once before. My husband and I explored the millionaire mansions along the ocean's cliff walk. And it was pouring rain!


Tuesday 10th of April 2018

Oh no, though rain sounds better than my 26-degree temps and no thorough winter ware on my part. LOL I did the mansions, too. That post comes out soon. ;)


Thursday 29th of March 2018

I love your articles! You inspire me on travellings, thank you for this! :)


Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

I'm so glad! That means alot. ;) Safe travels.

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