Providence is Travel and Leisure’s top 3 favorite U.S. city and scored 4th for quirkiest city in America. It was also rated the best city for foodies. There are countless awards for Providence. The friendliness of a small town and the elegance of a large city are both present. The city has seen significant changes in the last 50 years and now offers a bustling arts scene, diverse and exciting neighborhoods, first-rate hotels, a renowned food scene, and a variety of activities. Big influence from such a small city!
The city of Providence embodies everything that makes up a New England city. Providence, which is home to eight schools and universities, combines the accessibility of small town with the atmosphere of a much larger city. This welcoming yet stylish city, which Even the New York Times named one of the "52 Places in the World to Go, boasts an amazing culinary scene, the largest culinary school in the world, as well as unique boutiques, museums, theaters, and historic neighborhoods.
Discover Federal Hill, one of the top five Little Italys in the country. More than 100 restaurants, shops, galleries, and food markets preserve the Italian culture throughout the city. To experience the Colonial past, visit the East Side, where you'll see homes from the 18th and 19th centuries, cobblestone streets, and flickering gas lamps. Visit the campus of Brown University or the RISD Museum, which houses more than 91,000 works of art, at the Rhode Island School of Design. For boutique clothing and antiques, visit Thayer, Wickenden, and Hope streets, or head downtown to The Arcade, the country's first indoor mall.
Newport After Dark
When the setting sun dips below the horizon, your exciting evening begins with a Providence by Junket nighttime premium experience. This collection of one-of-a- kind tours invites you on an unforgettable journey of thrills and chills as we explore Providence’s local legends and haunted locations, unique culture, and the history and mysteries of the Renaissance City. Join expert local guides as they introduce you to the spooky side of town on the celebrated Providence Ghosts tour. Explore a chilling collection of the most haunted locations in the city on this action-packed tour, where you will:
The city of Foods, arts, and History
Roger Williams, a renegade preacher who had to flee Massachusetts due to religious persecution, founded Providence in 1636. Roger Williams bought land from the Narragansett Indians and established a new community with a commitment to freedom of religion and politics. In a gesture of gratitude to God for his protection during his exile from Massachusetts, he gave his new house the name "Providence."
“Haven for the Cause of Conscience”
Providence, which was easily accessed by ship, developed into a Major seaport. Providence's artisans and business owners provided supplies to the Continental and French troops during the Revolutionary War. By 1781, Providence merchants, ever the businessmen, were funding excursions to the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Far East. As trade increased, the city expanded and prospered. Traditional timber houses started to give way to grandiose brick mansions, and people built ornate memorials to commerce, government, and education. Many of these, like the Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island State House, can be visited today.
“The greatest crime is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world. – Roger Williams
With a storm surge that resembled a tidal wave and wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour, the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 carved a path of death and destruction through the city. The storm's impact on Rhode Island was so significant that seismographs 3,000 miles away captured it on record. Hurricane Carol surprised Rhode Island in 1954, causing more than $41 million in concentrated damage in Providence alone. While parts of the downtown area were eight feet under water, wind gusts of 72 to 100 miles per hour blew through Providence.
The city started modernizing the downtown, business districts, and neighborhood infrastructure in the late 1970s. The Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers, two small but vital streams that wind through Providence and eventually join to form the Providence River, the head of Narragansett Bay, had been hidden for decades by the world's biggest bridge. The two rivers that flow through downtown were exposed and relocated in the 1990s.
Small town charm in a big city
Today, the East Side and downtown are connected by a series of elegant Venetian bridges that are bordered by trees, benches, parks, and floral plants. Visitors can ride in one of the city's golden gondolas and float leisurely around the waterways in keeping with this old-world flare. The focal point of this restoration is Waterpark Place, which features a stone-stepped amphitheater for summer concerts and is where Providence's renowned WaterFire, a multimodal artwork of close to 100 dancing bonfires that wind along the Providence River, begins.
“Providence is one awesome city. I know it’s in Rhode Island, but the vibe of the city is very European” – Rose Conchar
Providence also has a thriving cultural and academic scene. In addition to historical landmarks, the Tony Award-winning Trinity Rep and the Providence Performing Arts Center provide Broadway musicals, kid's shows, popular holiday ballets, opera, plays, and musical concerts. The city's academic culture is vibrant thanks to the students and alumni of Brown University, Providence College, and Rhode Island College. The city has a hipster vibe because to the renowned Rhode Island School of Design, where many young artists come to study and stay to launch their careers. Johnson & Wales University, the largest culinary school in the world, has made a significant contribution to Providence's acclaimed restaurant industry.
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