Providence, the capital of tiny Rhode Island, was named by founder Roger Williams in honor of "God's merciful providence." An early city to industrialize, Providence was known for producing jewelry and silverware, as well as, sadly, the triangle trade, which saw New England rum traded for African slaves, who were then traded for West Indian ... Read more
molasses. Today Providence hosts many universities, including art star RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and ivy leaguer Brown. The Federal Hill neighborhood is a more than respectable Little Italy, while the whole of Providence boasts exciting nightlife and its own selection of interesting restaurants.

Providence places to stay and top hotels

Providence things to do and experiences




Rhode Island enjoys fairly moderate weather year-round and offers plenty to do no matter what time of the year you visit. Most people head to Rhode Island in the summer to enjoy perfect beach weather and the ... Read more
state’s many arts and music festivals. However, visiting during the less busy times of the year -- namely late spring and early fall -- means scoring more affordable accommodation while still enjoying much of what the state has to offer. Late October can get busy with New Englanders coming down to see the changing foliage and college students returning to school in Providence, while winters are chilly with average highs in the upper 30s and low 40s (2-5).

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Top Providence restaurants

  • East Side Pockets
    9.410 reviews
    Fast Food, Greek, Mediterranean
    Popular withStudentsFoodies
  • Olga's Cup & Saucer
    9.47 reviews
    American, Breakfast & Brunch, Bakery, Coffee and Tea
    Popular withFoodiesGreen
  • Seven Stars Bakery
    9.513 reviews
    Bakery, Coffee and Tea
    Popular withFoodiesStudents
  • Al Forno
    9.19 reviews
    Continental, Italian, Pizza
    Popular withFoodiesLuxury

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Providence reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
  • 7.4
    Family Travelers
  • 7.1
    History Buffs
  • 6.7
    Art & Design Lovers
  • 6.2
    Outdoor Enthusiasts

Member Reviews(46)

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Tustin, California, USA

Interesting small town in Rhode Island that is the home of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Lots history and has the feeling of a college town and a small New England town in one. Not a place to vacation but fairly interesting if you have business here.

New York City, New York State, USA

The Rhode Island capital may have sidled into the top 10 thanks to its Ivy League affiliation with Brown, or due to the humbling tech savvy and avant-garde vibes of locals. But Providence denizens might also admit to a certain well-deserved provinciality. After all, why bother driving to a whole other state (even if it’s a pretty short trip) when you can find everything you need at home? The city ranked near the top for its notable restaurants such as Federal Hill’s Gracie’s and downtown’s farm-to-table Birch, from James Beard nominee Ben Sukle. The city also scored well for its gourmet food shops.

Providence also keeps late hours for students pulling all kinds of all-nighters. You won’t find just the dives open, either. Trinity Brewhouse—an excellent spot for a local microbrew alongside Providence-style grilled pizza—stays open until 2 a.m.

Recommended for:FoodiesNightlife LoversStudentsLuxury Travelers
San Francisco, California, USA

George Washington Bridge leaving Providence. What a lovely sunset! This place reminds me of Portland.

Recommended for:Outdoor Enthusiasts
Dublin, California, USA

I've lived in Boston for almost 10 years and yesterday was the first time I've been to Providence, for a brief period of

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversFamily TravelersFoodies
Daly City, California, USA

I grew up not far from Providence. While at one time I was dying to get out...every time we come back and visit we find Providence to be a real treat. Good food, scenic views, and great culture adds to the New England history. Try the Italian food on Federal Hill and make sure you have a couple of wieners "all the way" from New York Systems.

Fort Worth, Texas

Has the most things to see (in my opinion) in Rhode Island. Lots of restaurants and outdoor activities.

New York City, New York State, USA

Providence is a nice little city, and it's getting better. In the past 15 years or so, the downtown has been re-invigorated and the recent re-routing of 195 has made traffic better (but still clogged at times). Downtown is just beautiful, especially at night.

Local from Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Start a summer Sunday on the sun porch with a cup of coffee, then anything is possible!

Brooklyn, État de New York, États Unis
First to Review

This has to be one of the most underrated cities in the US.

Providence is gorgeous. The city has lovely architecture, plentiful green spaces, and a wonderful river walk. This is a great place to re-visit America's colonial past without leaving its modern urban comforts.

Though Providence has clearly had a troubled past and still seems to have some crime issues, the city is experiencing a renaissance. There are plenty of good restaurants and the downtown area has a number of nice boutiques, cafes, and galleries.

Well worth a visit and certainly more than just a stopping point between farther north and New York.


I had a great time at Water Fire Providence!

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsArt & Design Lovers