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Providence, Rhode Island

Local Details

Learn more about Providence, Rhode Island using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Providence, Rhode Island so great!

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City Guide

Providence is the biggest city in Rhode Island. Formerly an industrial bastion of organized crime, Providence's Renaissance has created new parks and attractions and brought emphasis back to its historic roots. Downcity events, historic vistas, and a great nightlife make Providence a worthwhile tourist destination.

Get in

By plane

  • "Providence's" T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in nearby Warwick offers many low cost and regular flights to cities in the United States.
  • Boston's Logan Airport (BOS) is much larger and is generally used for most international flights.

Get in from TF Green

  • Car: take I-95 North. Approx. 20 minutes.
  • Bus:
    • The #20 bus goes to Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence by way of Elmwood and Roger Williams Park and Zoo, and takes approximately 40 minutes.
    • The #14 bus goes directly to and from Kennedy Plaza and takes approximately 15-25 minutes, also connects to Newport, Narragansett, and East Greenwich.
    • The #66 bus also makes a direct route to Kennedy Plaza, also connects to.
Bus route information from RIPTA's website.

A commuter rail will be an option available in 2008.

Get in from Logan

  • Car: take I-95 South. Approx. 40 minutes (potentially much longer in traffic).
  • Public transit: take the MBTA Silver Line bus (it's a BRT line) to South Station and take an MBTA commuter train to Providence. Approx. 1hr 30 mins in travel time. Add waiting time of 1-2 hours if you haven't planned which commuter train to catch. The commuter rail leaves you in downtown Providence.

By train

  • MBTA, 100 Gaspee St., +1 617-222-5000. MBTA runs a commuter rail between Boston and Providence on the Providence/Stoughton line (formerly the Attleboro/Stoughton line). It is $7.75 for a one way trip taking about an hour. Weekend service (9 roundtrips on Saturday, 7 on Sunday) was added in July 2006.
  • Amtrak's Acela and Regional , 100 Gaspee St., 1-800-USA-RAIL, routes continue to the south and west to Washington and Virginia, but from the north Boston it is most economical to take the MBTA. Service is rather frequent. The Acela train takes just under 3 hours to arrive at New York's Penn Station on the way to points further south.

By car

For those driving, I-95 will serve you well from Boston or New York areas, Rt. 146 is better when coming from Worcester or western Massachusetts area. I-195 connects to Cape Cod and eastern Massachusetts. Driving from TF Green Airport (PVD), head north on I-95. Driving to the airport exit 13 on I-95.

By bus

  • RIPTA, +1 401-781-9400. Services across all of Rhode Island and throughout Providence, with a central hub in Kennedy Plaza.
  • Bonanza Bus Lines
  • Greyhound Bus

Get around

Downtown Providence is very compact and can easily be covered walking. There is some parking available throughout the city, but R.I.P.T.A's public transport network is extensive and an alternative to driving. Although public transit in Providence is almost entirely comprised of buses, the buses are on-time, reliable, and much of RIPTA's bus fleet is new. The coverage is still lacking and most of the time the best alternative is walking. Kennedy Plaza, RIPTA's downtown bus station, has recently undergone a major overhaul and is well laid out with digital displays at each terminal that tell when the next bus will be coming.

Two of the downtown lines are run completely on natural gas trackless trolleys (called the Providence LINK Trolley), and cover most of historic Providence. Base fare is $1.50, though students from some local colleges can get a discounted monthly bus pass or RipTiks.


  • Brown University, 45 Prospect Street, +1 401-863-2378.
  • Rhode Island School of Design, Two College Street, +1 401-454-6100.
  • Providence College, 549 River Av., +1 401-865-1000.
  • Johnson and Wales, 8 Abbott Park Place, +1 401-598-2348.
  • Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, +1 401-456-8000.
  • University of Rhode Island (Feinstein Providence Campus), 80 Washington Street, +1 401-277-5000.


Providence is a city rich in unique architecture, beautiful streetscapes and stimulating intellectual pursuits. One of America's older cities, Providence features many historic buildings like the Rhode Island State House and the Trinity Repertory Theater. These locations, among others, exemplify some of the country's best 19th and 20th century architecture. The RISD museum and Roger Williams Park Zoo offer days of fun sightseeing for adults and children alike.


  • Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design, 224 Benefit Street, +1 401-454-6500 (fax: +1 401-454-6556), Tu-Su 10-5PM. The museum building is a gem.
  • Russian Sub Museum, Collier Point Park, Eddy St near Allens Ave, +1 401-521-3600. Closed as of July 3rd, 2007 due to storm damage. Check website for reopening date. Juliett 484 K-77 is a Cold War Soviet submarine launched in 1965. After the Soviet Union fell, the sub was bought and used as a tourist attraction. The sub was used for the filming of the movie K-19: The Widowmaker.
  • Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main Street, +1 401-521-7266, Daily 9AM-4:30PM. The Memorial is located on a common lot of the original settlement of Providence, and celebrates our Freedom of Religion as first proclaimed by Roger Williams (1603-1683) and now set forth in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The memorial is set upon 4.5 acres of landscaped park and includes several interpretive exhibits about Roger Williams and his time, including a short film. Free.
  • Culinary Archives & Museum at Johnson and Wales University, 315 Harborside Blvd. Tu-Su, 10AM-5pm.


  • Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, +1 401 222-2357, M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM. Built from 1894 to 1901. The current state house is a wonder that has the world's fourth-largest self-supported marble dome. This monumental amazement is 300 feet long, 180 wide, and 233 feet high. Features inside this gigantic building are: the Bell Room, American Revolution regiment flags, a Rotunda, Gun Room, the State Library, House and Senate Chambers and Lounges, Charter room, and many other fascinating tantalizing rooms including one that houses the original 1663 portrait of George Washington by RI native Gilbert Stuart; whose painting is the same face that went on the U.S. one dollar bill. Designed by the notable McKim, Mead and White architectural firm.
  • Brown University, 45 Prospect Street, +1 401-863-2378. The school's Ivy League campus, dating back to the 1700's, features buildings from nearly every American architectural movement. Best to visit in May-September when school is largely out of session and weather is amenable to walking.
  • Besides the State House and Benefit Street Providence has some significant works of architecture, of the more noteworthy:
  • Old Stone Bank - S. Main St. & Crawford St. Greek Revival building from 1854.
  • The Arcade - Westminster St. The oldest enclosed shopping mall in America from 1828. Also in Greek Revival style, replete with Ionic columns.
  • City Hall - Dorrance St. & Washington St. Finished in 1878, the Second Empire Baroque City Hall only survives today because of former Mayor Buddy Cianci's careful restoration in 1975.
  • Industrial Trust Tower (Bank of America Tower) - Kennedy Plaza. The tallest building in Providence is an intent Art Deco impression from 1928.
  • Trinity Repertory Theater - Washington St. & Empire St. This 1912 building, clad in terra-cotta houses the area's finest reportory company.
  • Providence County Courthouse - S. Main St. & College St. Built in 1930, the Courthouse is one of the earliest examples of architectural contextualism anywhere. The building's large mass is tastefully fragmented and detailed.
  • First Baptist Church - Main St. & Waterman St. Built on the site of the original 1638 First Baptist Church, this 1775 edifice is beautifully restored.
  • Cranston Street Armory - Cranston St.
  • Biltmore Hotel - Dorrance St. & Washington St.
  • Federal Courthouse - Exchange St. & Washington St.
  • Athenaeum - Benefit St. & College St.
  • Unitarian Church - Benefit St. & Benevolent St.
  • Market Square - College St. & S. Main St.


  • Waterfire centers on a series of 100 fires that burn on the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence. The string of fires illuminates nearly two-thirds of a mile and residents and visitors gather to stroll along the river. The fires are burned from sunset to past midnight and they are cared for by black-clad performers in boats. If you want to experience something that is very relaxing while still taking in the urban life of downtown Providence, go and see Waterfire. There are no admission charges. Be wary, however, WaterFire is quite popular with locals and visitors alike, and tends to draw large crowds. If you do plan to attend WaterFire, walking or taking public transportation into Kennedy Plaza is strongly recommended as most surrounding streets become very congested.
  • Benefit Street and College Hill - The tree-lined Benefit Street contains an outstanding collection of 18th and 19th century houses and mansions. Additionally a popular overlook of the Downtown Providence skyline and Rhode Island State House is available at Prospect Park on Prospect Street. Popular with visitors to the city, Benefit Street is also host to the seasonal Providence Ghost Walk, where one may see the ghost of poet Edgar Allen Poe strolling down Benefit, who was said to spend extended amounts of time in the city.
  • Federal Hill: This famous Providence area is located just west of downtown, and is quickly and easily accessible from downtown by walking, biking, or trolley ride. This area is known for its Italian heritage, and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Some have even compared it to Little Italy in NYC. In 1994, the movie “Federal Hill” was filmed here. At present, Showtime is filming its second season of their critically-acclaimed series "Brotherhood" in and around the Federal Hill area; a neighborhood referred to in the series as "The Hill", a ficticious Providence neighborhood representative of Federal Hill. There is plenty to do in Federal Hill, including shopping, dining, and nightlife. There are many nationally renowned Italian restaurants here, including Andino's, Old Canteen, and Cassarino's. There are also a number of retailers whose specialty is “Authentic Italian Food,” such as Venda Ravioli, Via Roma, and Tony's Colonial. Gasbarro's Wines is also located on Atwells, and carries an extensive variety of wines, both local and international. Impressive bakeries and pastry/confection shops also in the Federal Hill area are Scialo Bakery, Pastiche, and Ocean State Chocolates. Running roughly parallel to Atwells Avenue is Broadway. Broadway has been referred to as the "Bellevue Avenue" of Providence due to the number of large Victorian mansions lining both sides of the street, in reference to the famous mansion-lined Bellevue Avenue of nearby Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Thomas Street - Between Benefit (to the east) and North Main (to the west).
  • Westminster Street - Between Memorial Boulevard (to the east) and Empire Street (to the west).
  • North & South Main Street - Between Planet Street (to the south) and Meeting Street (to the north)
  • Weybosset Street - Between Westminster (to the east) and Dorrance Street (to the west).


  • Roger Williams Park Zoo - 1000 Elmwood Ave., +1 401-785-3510. Mid Apr-mid Oct. Daily 9AM-5PM; Mid Oct-mid Apr. Daily 9AM-4PM. This is the third oldest zoo in the United States and features more than just animals. The zoo features a park, a dinosaur exhibit, and blends history and culture with the animals each area houses. Adults $12, Seniors $8, Ages 3-12 $6.
Special Events at the Roger Williams Park Zoo:
  • Thanksgiving for the Animals - Celebrate Thanksgiving in a wild way by helping to make enriching treats for zoo residents. From paper mache prey filled with edible treats to stimulating scents hidden in an exhibit area, enriching activities help the mentally and physically challenged our animals.
  • Waterplace Park and Riverwalk, Francis St. at Memorial Blvd. Finished in 1994, Waterplace Park is probably the most accepted recent addition to the city owing to its historic and unassuming look. Featuring cobblestone paths and unobtrusively shaped concrete form, the park follows Providence's downtown rivers quietly below the level of automobile traffic. You'll usually find a few people enjoying the park quietly. Come here during Waterfire (below under "do") to see the park at its best.



  • The feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on Federal Hill in May. It is sponsored by the Holy Ghost Parish. For further information, the following number is listed on the Order of the Sons of Italy Organization Phone: 770-421-9137.
  • Bright Night Providence - Dec. 31. Citywide, +1 401-621-6123. Artist-run arts oriented New Year’s Eve celebration. Featuring hundreds of the best local sings, actors, dancers, acrobats, musicians, magicians and clowns to celebrate Rhode Island’s most important cultural asset — its artists.
  • Columbus Day is celebrated on Columbus Day Weekend on Federal Hill. It consists of a parade on Sunday, outdoor vendors, and a who’s who of Italian “hierarchy”.
  • “The Stroll” is a twice a year event, June and October, where you can walk Federal Hill and sample 22 restaurants and 11 boutiques and shops. For hours and exact dates call the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau at +1 401-274-1636 extension 230 or 231, or register online. Included in the $20 price for sampling, are coupons for two free beverages.

Arts and theater

  • AS220, 115 Empire St., +1 401-831-9327. A non-profit community arts center. The building features four art galleries, performance space, 19 artist studios and a bar/café. Events are booked every night at AS220; these include art exhibits, live music and panel discussions. AS220 features many Rhode Island artists, but national acts are booked here often. Notable recurring events include:
    • Fools Ball. AS220's signature gala event. This yearly party spans five days and countless exhibits. Every year brings a new theme (the Harlem Renaissance in 2004, for example). Major events usually include live music, art exhibits, dinners and film screenings.
    • Providence Poetry Slam. Held on the first and fourth Thursday of every month. This eclectic event, one of the venue's most popular, features both local and national poets and musicians. All artists (novice and professional) and spectators are welcome; the Providence Slam team has had great success in the national Poetry Slam over the past decade.
    • Geek Dinners. Held on the last Wednesday of every month. These dinners allow those involved in Rhode Island's technology industry to communicate and collaborate. Geek Dinners always have a featured presentation or discussion. Topics vary greatly, from Startups to Web Services to hardware.
  • Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, +1 401-421-2997. Located in the center of Providence, and hosts a plethera of shows, from stand-up comic Larry the Cable Guy, to the kid's show Dora the Explorer, to the Rhode Island Philharmonic. The center also features local and national music, and local musicians have the unique chance to perform before a large audience here. The audiences sometimes include students from grades 6-9, and at the end the students will be asked to submit a card grading the performance.
  • Trinity Repertory Company - 201 Washington St., Box Office Phone: +1 401-351-4242. A nationally-renowned theater downtown. Trinity Rep seats 820 and has an estimated annual audience of 160,000. Trinity Rep has produced over 50 world premiere plays and a balance of both contemporary and classic works. The venue features six subscription productions each year and an annual production of A Christmas Carol. Shows scheduled for 2007 include: Our Town, A Delicate Balance, The Fantasticks and The Clean House.

Entertainment arenas

  • Dunkin' Donuts Center, One LaSalle Square, Box Office: +1 401-331-6700. A 14,500 seat indoor sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Providence which brings in over a million people annually. It holds various musical events, Providence Bruins ice hockey, basketball, and almost every type of show for kids. Has events such as Champions on Ice, featuring olympic medalist Michele Kwan and others, Coheed And Cambria/Avenged Sevefold Co-Headline Tour, and every PC Friars and Providence Bruins home game. Ticket prices will usually vary depending on the event, and can range from $30.00 for a concert to $150.00 for a special event (such as ice skating). Wheelchair accessible.
  • Rhode Island Convention Center Providence. A multipurpose facility available for almost any event, from dog shows to dinner banquets. Special Events at the Rhode Island Convention Center:
  • Northeast International Auto Show - Automobile extravaganza featuring hundreds of new model cars, trucks, minivans and sport-utility vehicles from more than twenty import and domestic manufactures.
  • Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show - More than twenty-eight gardens, lectures and demonstration, children’s activities, bookstore and more than 200 garden-related vendor booths.
  • The Home Show - Largest and most informative consumer home show in southern New England. Features hundreds of exhibitors and displays of the latest products and services for building, remodeling and decorating homes. Variety of seminars and demonstrations.

Live music

  • Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street, +1 401-331-5876. (Also known as Lupos at the Strand), a midsize musical venue in downtown Providence a few blocks from the Providence Place Mall. It's housed in a historic five story theater and hosts punk bands, alternative, hip-hop, blues, reggae, and many other types of music which are set for a larger venue, but can't quite fill the Roseland Ballroom or similar larger gigs. However, it also brings the groups who would normally be set for a much larger stage, such as De La Soul, Coheed And Cambria, or George Clinton and the P-Funk. With slightly less expensive tickets than a bigger venue, and a much more personal experience, Lupos is a great show worth going to any day.
  • The Living Room, 23 Rathbone St., +1 401-521-5200. A smaller venue with about 500 seats that attracts mostly local bands. The Living Room hosts all kinds of music from bluegrass jam bands to local death metal groups (one of which once actually threw scraps of meat into the crowd, it's rumored). All in all, this place can be a good time for a low price, and a good way to see and support local bands. However, it isn't always the cleanest place, and not in the best part of town.
  • The Century Lounge, 5 Elbow Street, +1 401-751-2255. This establishment attracts a large amount of different styles, but its focused mostly on rock, alternative, and blues. Although it isn't very big, the inside is composed of exposed brick and wood, and gives the place a warmer, cozier feel than your typical venue. It also has a bar, and a very good sound system for a building that size. The bands that come to the lounge are usually progressing bands which have gotten some publicity, and regional bands of the area. Ticket prices are relatively low, ranging from $5-20.00. The Century Lounge is a good bet for a cheap show with a personal feel, or to see and support local bands.


Thayer street

Thayer Street is the place to go if looking for a pleasurable and ecclectic shopping experience. It is good for those who enjoy walking outside from store to store. It is also a good place to buy gifts because many of the stores sell quirky trinkets. Located near two Colleges, it attracts many young adults. It could be called an “artsy” street with stores that sell, beads, imported clothing, handmade crafts, clothes, art, house wares, and books.

  • Specialty Stores: A Specialty Store is frequently described as providing unique and or specific items that cater to individual crafts and needs. Specialty Stores are commonplace on Thayer Street which obtains many various establishments providing unique/rare gift ideas and one of a kind items.
    • Bead Works, 290 Thayer St, +1 401-861-4540. M-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 12PM-5PM. The store sells beads of all kinds. Some are imported from Africa; others are made with swarvoski crystal. There are glass, wood, stone, gem stone and metal beads. Price ranges are generally 15c-5$ per bead. The store also offers it's patron’s lessons in how to build a necklace, as well as workshop tables for customers to make their own unique beaded creations. The store is also a place that can be rented out to customers wishing to throw necklace-making parties for any occasion.
    • Spectrum, 253 Thayer St, +1 401-421-1010. Features clothes, jewelry, books, incense, and gifts meant to “enhance well-being.” Many of the products are imported from Asia. Those looking for exotic, handmade clothes, tapestries, and jewelry would enjoy this store.
    • La Femme Boutique, 279 Thayer St, +1 401-270-7016. This store sells women’s clothing both machine and hand made.
    • Shades Plus 281 Thayer St, +1 401-861-9309. This unique shop specializes in classic party favors and novelty items. Some items include: Magic 8 Balls, yo-yo's, snow domes, wind-up chattering teeth and gummi rats, whoopee cushions and joy buzzers. Also offers moderately to higher priced TV collectibles such as stickers and lunch boxes. Stocks hundreds of different Pez dispensers, Hello Kitty and friends collectibles, Sailor Moon and novelty candy. Also carries high-end hair care products and sunglasses averaging from $50-$200.
    • City Sports 271 Thayer St, +1 401-521-6555. Carries various types of sports apparel and equipment accommodating almost every lifestyle and sport.
  • Consignment/Thrift: A "Consignment" shop provides the service of selling your used or unwanted clothing to consumers through a given establishment. Many consignment shops sell high quality used designer clothing at largely discounted prices. You can usually find the unique and rare vintage clothing and accesories at such shops as Thayer Street is known for providing a unique and ecclectic shopping experience. Some of the many consignment and thrift stores on Thayer Street include:
    • Foreign Affairs Warehouse, 219 Thayer St, +1 401-274-1484. M-Tu 11AM-6:30PM, W-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 12-6PM. Offers a variety of vintage clothing and shoes, ranging in price from bargain finds at $5 to high priced designer items at around $100.
    • Second-Time-Around clothing, 294 Thayer St. Offers quality second hand selections that retail for usually half the original retail price with most items sold at %30-%40 off.
    • Army/Navy Surplus, 279 Thayer St, +1 401-272-8217. Offers a large selection of Military Clothing and camoflouge attire. Carries authentic, new and used army supplies such as pocket knives.Also carries police uniforms as well as outerware such as hats and footware for almost every type of outdoor activity or occupation. Prices range from moderate to high according to whether items are new or used.
  • Accessories and Jewelry: If you are looking for great places to find unique and quality jewelry, hair accesories and purses among other things, the following stores are just a few among the numerous shops to find such items on Thayer Steet:
    • Details Clothing 277 Thayer St, +1 401-751-1870. Offers a wide variety of inexpensive jewelry ranging in price from $5-$40.Also specializes in leg ware such as stockings and leg warmers with all items under $40.
    • Pie in the Sky 225 Thayer St, +1 401-861-3954, M-Tu 11AM-6PM, F 11AM-8PM. Specializes in sterling silver jewelry and semi-precious stones. This store also offers a mix of decorative items such as candles, incents and jewelry boxes. Prices for itmes are generally moderately priced ranging from $5-$400.
  • Shoes: While Thayer Street provides many great shops to find your footwear needs, the following store is likely to obtain the most uniquely crafted and expansive selections:
    • Berk’s Shoes and Clothing 278 Thayer Street, Phone: +1 401-831-0174. Reasonably priced clothing averaging around $30 for tops. Shoes tend to be more pricey with various not so well known designer shoes averaging around $150 a pair. Some sandals on sale for $20-$40.
  • Books:
    • Brown University Book Store, 244 Thayer Street, +1 401-863-3168. The last independent trade (Ivy League) college bookstore in the country, it offers only new books as well as Brown University merchandise.

Providence Place mall

Providence Place Mall, 1 Providence Place, +1 401-270-1000. M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM (except Dave & Buster's which is open until 1AM) Sunday 11AM-7PM: Come witness RI's most anticipated establishment since the building of the historic downtown Arcade ( the oldest mall in the United States). The enormous and well accomadating mall houses 3+ main floors of various shops, one IMAX and Showcase Cinemas theatre each on the fourth floor, a handful of lower level restaurants to dine in as well as a food court on the third floor, and Dave & Busters Restaurant on the fourth floor.

  • Specialty Stores: Can't find the unique gift you are looking for on Thayer Street? Then the Providence Place Mall is the most likely destination to provide a wide variety of creative items catering to many various needs and lifestyles. Among the many you will find the following to be most convenient and specific to your unique shopping needs:
    • Everything but Water 1 Providence Place, +1 401-270-2707. Specializes in designer swimwear, with a diverse selection of merchandise includes sizes ranging from two through twenty-four; Cup sizes A through EE; Maternity, Mastectomy and Long Torso specialty suits; Cover-ups; Resort-wear; Accessories (including shoes, hats, bags, jewelry); and an extensive selection of tops and bottoms available as separates. Generally expensive, averaging around $100, with least expensive around $50
    • Oop!, +1 401 -270-4366. Offers an eclectic blend of novelty items. Sells a variety of unique merchandise such as hand painted blown glass and other quality decorative items. While there are many small gift ideas such as uniquely shaped lolly pops at 50 cents each, most items are highly priced with the most quality finds around or above $80.
    • Papyrus, 78 Providence Place, +1 401-270-4785. Specializes in high quality stationary, personalized greeting cards and frames. Also offers services such as personalized printing for invitations. Itemes tend to be higher priced in terms of average pricing for stationary and other paper goods.
  • Accessories and Jewelry: Some examples of new additions and familiar names carrying an expansive selection of affordable and high quality accesories and jewelry include:
    • Jasmine Sola, +1 401-270-5248. A specialty store full of hidden bargains, with many designer jeans under $70. Tees and tops can be pricey ( from $10-$100). Carries many funky accessories; shoes, bags and jewelry at resaodnble prices.
    • Claire’s, +1 401- 270-4048. Genrally inexpensive costume jewelry and headware such as (head bands, scarfs and berrets). Can usually get great deals on jewelry such as 4 for $20, sometimes less. Also offers small purses and some prom itmes such as gloves and tierras.
  • Shoes: You will find the most variety in selection of footwear at the Providence Place Mall. Some of the most popular and frequented shoe stores include:
    • One Thousand Steps, +1 401-228-7360. Offers moderate-to-high-price shoes from such trendy names as Diesel, Puma and Steve Madden. features an assortment of casual, fashion-forward, branded footwear and related accessories, shoes and hand bags.
    • Baker’s Shoes, +1 401-383-8207. Moderatley priced, trendy footwear with some sale items under $20. Most expensive shoes ( such as Steve Madden )ranging in price from $40- around $150.
    • Parade of Shoes, +1 401-270-0582. The largest shoe store in the Providence Place Mall, it offers a large variety of casual, summer and dress shoes for women. Shoes are generally moderatley priced averaging around $35, with the most expensive pairs around $60.
    • Aldo, +1 401-383-4100. One of the more high-end shoe stores in the mall, this store offers high quality dress shoes and boots made of 100% leather. Shoes are generally expensive ranging in price from $65-$500.
  • Books: If the Brown Book Store doesn't have the book that you are searching for then the following is sure to provide with an enormous selection in literature housed in a comfy and relaxed environment:
    • Border’s Bookstore Music and Café, 1 Providence Place, Providence Place Mall, Phone: +1 401-270-4801.Located on the 1st floor: A great place to relax, have a coffee and read a book. Offers the largest selection of books in RI, also sells DVD’s and CD’s
  • Great Gifts: In addition to its large variety in merchandise and retailers the mall provides a number of great new and innovative shops that sell a variety of innexpensive, thoughtful and creative gifts:
    • Build a Bear, +1 401- 369-7919. Choose from a variety of creatures such as dogs, cats and bears. Workshop allows you to creatively choose everything from their clothing to their “adopted” name before stuffing them yourself. Average price of $32 per animal.
    • Forever 21, +1 401-270-0212. A great place to shop for younger women (teenage to 20’s), offers a huge selection of trendy clothing at bargain prices with most tops under $20 and pants and skirts under $30. Also offers inexpensive footwear and fashion accessories such as purses, sunglasses, cosmetics and headwear.
    • The Sharper Image, +1 401-243-0610. Offers many small interesting gadgets ranging in price from $40-$200, with larger items such as massaging chairs at over $300. Offers unique ideas for those who are interested in new innovations in technology.
    • Sephora, +1 401-270-8989. Sells high quality and designer cosmetics and skin care products. Prices range from $15 for lip gloss up to $100 for some designer skincare products and foundations.

Shop the city

Rhode Islanders can be quite secretive about the city's hidden treasures. Outside of the State's most frequented shop spots lies many other great opportunities to find that special item or to simply discover something new and exciting.

  • Specialty Stores:
    • Comina Inc 201 Wayland Ave, +1 401-273-7665, M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 12PM-4PM. Sells a variety of items including jewelry and furniture. Items have a wide range in pricing from $10 to $1000 for larger pieces of furniture.
    • Frog and Toad 795 Hope St, +1 401-831-3434, M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-3PM. An ecclectic gift shop that offers inexpensive to moderately priced jewelry. More expensive items include hand made fabric pillows, pottery, purses and cosmetics ranging in price from $20 to $100.
    • Nanita Variety Store, 1364 Broad St, +1 401-467-2560. Sells a variety of adult items at average to moderate prices, including lingerie and other typical products found in adult stores.
    • Franklin Rogers Limited, 142 Westminister, +1 401-454-8170. Offers average priced mens ware peicalizing in fine suits and business attire, in addition to casual menswear such as sweaters and golf attire.
    • M&M Step & Style, 1282 N. Main St, +1 401-621-4710. Sepcializes in casual hip-hop clothing for males and females at reasonable prices ranging from $20-$50.
  • Consignment/Thrift:
    • Into The Wardrobe, 117 Brook St, +1 401-831-7660. Tu-F 11AM-6PM, Sat 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Sells a variety of consignment itmes, ranging from inexpensive tops around $5 to some more moderatley priced items such as gowns ranging in price from 30-up to $100.
    • Clothing Collaborative, 220 Elmwood Ave, +1 401-421-5753. M-F 9AM-4PM. Sells typical items found at a consignment shop, offers a variety of business dress and casual attire. Most items are moderatley priced ranging from $5-$40.
    • Head/Smoke Shops: Some surrounding area smoke shops that are most widely known for their variety in selection that carry items that can be difficult to find include:
      • Ethnic Concepts, 335 Wickiden St, +1 401-454-7473, M-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 12PM-6PM. Offers high end glass art and tobacco products ranging in price from $20-$500. Also offers vaporizers, generally inexpensive hemp jewelry, classic rock and roll memoribila such as t-shirts and posters as well as tapestry and posters.
      • The Kind Connection, 180 Anel St, Ste 2, +1 401-273-7665. M-Th 11AM-7PM, F 11AM-8PM, Su 12PM-6PM. Sells typical merchandise such as water pipes, tapestries, incence and tie-dye shirts. Average prices for pipes between $40 and $50 with some more expensive custom made pipes in the upwards of $1,000. Average prices for water pipes between $150-$200, with the lowest priced averaging around $75.


    • 3 Steeple Street serving dishes like smoked trout and Maryland crab cakes within stone slate walls and wooden plank floors in the second-oldest industrial building in the United States. $16-$33.
    • Fire + Ice, 48 Providence Place, +1 401-270-4040, M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. Improvisational grill, allows customers to have their meal (fresh meats, seafood, pastas, internationally influenced sauces, and both exotic and traditional vegetables) cooked specifically to their liking right in front of them. Interaction with the cooks, customers, and the crazy décor make for an exciting, delicious, and completely unique dining experience. $7.95 Lunch-$14.95 Dinner. ('All grilled food is included in the price, desserts and alcoholic beverages are an additional fee.)
    • Pizzeria Regina, 81 Providence Place (Take exit 22C off I-95 and follow the signs for Providence Place Mall), +1 401-270-4245, M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Su 11AM-7PM. A throwback to the Original Regina Pizza located in Boston’s North End, Pizzeria Regina provides a wide selection of toppings layered on a special dough to create one of the best tasting slices of pizza in the area. Some may be inconvenienced by the location (the Providence Place Mall’s food court) but the food is well worth the hassle. $10.00 for a small pizza - $17.00 for a large, $2.00 per slice.
    • The Capital Grille, 1 Union Station, +1 401-521-5600, The Capital Grille has exquisite dry aged steaks and a friendly, but comfortable atmosphere. They also have an award winning wine list. Eating here is always excellent. This is the original restauarant in the Capital Grille chain.
    • Capriccio, 2 Pine St., +1 401-421-1320, M-Th 11:30PM-10:30PM; F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM and Su 11:30AM-9PM. This restaurant is definitely the best of Providence. Extended wine list (more than 550), fabulous wait staff, exquisite food are some of the things that make this restaurant as good as it is. The food is expensive, but worth it. Many of the items on the menu are made by your table. You can not go wrong with the Steak Diane, cooked tableside, or any other dish on the menu for that matter!
    • East Side Pockets, 278 Thayer St., +1 401-453-1100, M-Sa 10AM-12PM. East Side Pockets has excellent falafel, served in pockets, in salads, or alone, along with a range of other Middle Eastern fare. Vegetarian and vegan options. Pockets are less than $5.00. Take out or counter seating.
    • The Cheesecake Factory, 94 Providence Place, +1 401-270-4010, M-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-12:30PM, Su 10AM-11PM. Upscale dining, The Cheesecake Factory offers more than 200 menu selections including 50 cheesecakes and desserts. $10 - $20 entrées. The Cheesecake Factory is a nationwide chain.
    • Moda, 525 South Water St., +1 401-331-2288, Contemporary international cuisine with Latin and Asian overtones set in a modern New York City style lounge/dining room. Meals $15-$30.

    Federal Hill restaurants

    • Blue Grotto (Grotto Azzura), 210 Atwells Av., +1 401-272-9030 (fax +1 401-272-4814), M-Th, 5PM-10PM, F,Sat 5PM-10:30PM, Su 12PM-9PM. Also an upscale restaurant where reservations are required.The atmosphere is romantic, with live music, fireplace, and ok for families/children. The attire is casual though there is a small dancing area. They serve Italian and seafood. Pricing is moderate to expensive.
    • Joe Marzilli's Old Canteen Restaurant, 120 Atwells Av., +1 401-751-5544. W-M 12PM-10PM. "Elegant Dining" with a taste of Italy. All meals cooked to order. Reservations and valet parking are available. Voted Best Restaurant RI Monthly and by Food & Beverage Magazine.
    • Mediterraneo Restaurant, 134 Atwells Av., +1 401-331-7760. Lunch M-F 11:30AM-3PM, dinner M-F 3PM-10:30PM and Sa-Su 4PM-10:30PM. Creative, traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine with a distinct Mediterranean flair. Award winning design with a lively European ambiance, alfresco sidewalk dining (weather permitting) and an authentic Italian antipasto bar. Slightly expensive pricing.
    • Caserta Pizzeria, 121 Spruce St., +1 401-621-3618 or +1 401-621-9190. Tu-Su 9:30AM-10:30PM. Good family restaurant. Originator of the Wimpy Skippy. Enjoy traditional style pizza in a casual atmosphere. Voted best pizza and spinach pie by R.I. Monthly Magazine.


    Although the city of Providence may be small compared to other states' capitals, it boasts quite a bustling nightlife. There are a variety of bars and clubs to suit any taste and price range - from hip eclectic bars in the artsy college area, to upscale martini bars downtown, techno and hip-hop clubs for the younger crowd, and casual pubs and brewhouses scattered throughout the city, there is certainly something for everybody.

    • 3 Steeple Street Bistro & Bar, 125 Canal St, +1 401-272-3620, M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa until 11PM. Located in the second oldest industrial building in the U.S., overlooks the Waterfire canal.
    • Bar One, 1 Throop Aly, +1 401-621-7112. This bar has a small dance floor, cheap drinks, and attracts a younger college crowd.
    • Fish Co Bar & Grill, 515 South Water St., +1 401-421-5796. Daily 3:30PM-1AM. Hip Hop, Reggaeton, and R&B. Thursdays ladies get in free. $1 Corona until 11PM. $3 margaritas. Pool tables, lounge areas and booth tables. The bar acts like an island, where the dance floor is located to the left of the small stage. There is another bar located in the back of the place. Outside enclosed area for smokers.
    • Club Hell, 73 Richmond St, +1 401-351-1977. Contrary to the name, Club Hell is a pleasant club with a lot to offer. This club is usually filled with a lot of college-aged kids, features a large dance floor and a lot of flat screen TVs. Drinks aren’t terribly priced and there is always a lot of entertainment going on.
    • The Hi-Hat, 3 Davol Sq, +1 401-453-6500, M-Th 4PM-1AM, F-Sa 4PM-2AM, Su 6PM-12AM. Features live jazz, latin, soul, R&B, soft rock, and even swing music in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. Has small dance floor, and a cozy room with fireplaces in the back. Extensive wine and champagne list. Cover charge on weekends, usually ~$8.
    • Monet Lounge, 115 Harris Ave, +1 401-580-4847, This lounge/nightclub is a nice setting for a night of dancing or just lounging, they provide plush couches and bar stools. In addition there is a large VIP section if you're interested in your own private party. Cover charge; dress to impress; 18 to party, 21 to drink.
    • Olives, 108 North Main St, +1 401-751-1200, Dining: Tu-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Sa 5PM-2AM, Su 5PM-9PM, Bar: 12PM-1AM. Restaurant, martini bar, and nightclub. Ages 21-plus after dinner. Drink menu includes 65 different martinis, ranging from $7 to $9.
    • PROV, 99 Chestnut St., +1 401-621-8888. This is more of a bar than a club but still has a nice dance floor, an elegant environment for an evening of drinks. There is usually a DJ playing new hits and shot girls walking around for your convenience. Dress to impress; 18 to party, 21 to drink.
    • Ri Ra Irish Pub & Restaurant, 50 Exchange Ter., +1 401-272-1953, Su-Th 11:30AM-1AM, F-Sa 11:30AM-2AM. Great place to throw back a pint o' Guinness in a fun, festive atmosphere. Attracts crowds of all ages. Features live music, karaoke, and many other events.
    • Tantric 1070 North Main St, +1 401-273-1070, This club is located downtown providence. Features include Red Carpet Thursdays, $2 Corona and shots. Dance floor, Hip Hop and R&B music. Admission to Tantric is usually $10.
    • Tazza Caffe & Bar, 250 Westminster St., +1 401-421-3300, M-W 7AM-12AM, Th 7AM-1AM, F 7AM-2AM, Sa 8AM-2AM, Su 9AM-5PM. Features live music ranging from jazz and blues, to funk and world music, in a funky, artsy atmosphere. No cover. Drink price: $3-9. *Trinity Brewhouse, 186 Fountain St., +1 401-453-2337, . M-Th 11:30AM-1AM, F-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 12:00PM-1AM (food served until Midnight everyday). In addition to a great selection of beer on tap, features six beers (two light, two dark, two amber) that are brewed daily on-site. The same beer is never brewed two days in a row.
    • Ultra the Nightclub, 172 Pine St., +1 401-454-5483. This nightclub has a large Hip-Hop room and a Techno/House music room with plenty of dance floor to fulfill your dancing desires. Small cover charge and reasonably priced drinks allow for an exciting night for under 50 dollars. Dress to impress; 18 to party, 21 to drink.
    • Viva, 230 Thayer St., +1 401-272-7600. Popular with RISD and Brown students. Tables are cleared at 11pm to create a dance floor, DJ spins hip-hop and dance music. Features extensive wine list, bottled and draft beer list, variety of champagne and martinis. Can get quite crowded on weekends, plan on arriving before 1AM to guarantee a spot inside.



    • Westin Providence, One West Exchange Street, +1 401-598-8000 (fax: +1 401-598-8200). Pricey hotel built 1993, featuring unparalleled views of the city, skywalk connection to Providence Place Mall.
    • Courtyard Providence Downtown, 32 Exchange Terrace at Memorial Blvd, +1 401-272-1191 (fax: +1 401-272-1416). Also runs on pricey side. Abuts Waterplace Park.
    • The Holiday Inn Providence-Downtown, 21 Atwells Av., +1 401-831-3900. Adjacent to RI Convention Center.
    • Mowry-Nicholson House, 57 Brownell St., +1 401-351-6111 (fax: +1 401-351-4261). Bed and Breakfast with panoramic views of historic Providence. Comfortable rooms & suites, all with private baths.
    • Providence Biltmore, 11 Dorrance St., +1 401-421-0700 (toll free: 1-800-294-7709). Historic 1922 building (on National Register of Historic Places). A plaque high up on the lobby columns commemorates the high water mark of the 1954 hurricane that struck Providence. Adjacent to Kennedy Plaza.
    • Providence Marriot Downtown, 1 Orms St., +1 401-272-2400 (toll free: 1-866-807-2171).

    Bed & breakfasts

    • Cady House, 127 Power Street, Phone: +1 401-273-5398. Classic 1838 house. $100-$110.
    • Christopher Dodge House, 11 West Park St, Phone: +1 401-351-6111, Fax: +1 401-351-4261. 15 rooms. Walking distance from Providence Place Mall, downtown and Brown University. Each spacious guest room offers early American reproduction furniture, Stearns and Foster mattresses a private bath and much more. $130-$200.
    • Old Court Bed & Breakfast, 144 Benefit St, Phone: +1 401-751-2002. 10 rooms. $115-$199


    • Rhode Island put into place a smoking ban that included bars, restaurants and businesses on March 1, 2005.

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