Logo   Providence, Rhode Island Travel Guide
Providence is just great! Downtown (the city center) is compact: you can walk to almost everything there is to see and do. Dining is another strong point. Then there's Waterfire!


Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious dissenter from Massachusetts, Providence welcomed people of all religions and backgrounds. It suffered economic and civic decline from the 1950s through the 1980s, but its recent renaissance has produced a delightful place to visit or live.

Only 51 miles (82 km) southwest of Boston and 181 miles (291 km) northeast of New York City (map), Providence attracts visitors with its manageable size, its architecture, its fine museums, universities, parks (especially its restored Providence River Waterplace Park), and the unusual civic pageant called Waterfire. More...


The center of Providence is Kennedy Plaza, marked by the city hall and The Graduate Hotel (map). Kennedy Plaza is also the site of Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Transportation Center, with city, regional and intercity bus stops, including for Peter Pan Bus Lines and Greyhound Lines. More...

The Rhode Island State House (capitol), a pleasant and harmonious building of white Georgia marble and the predominant landmark in the city center, crowns a hilltop on the edge of Downtown. It's well worth a visit. More...

Rhode Island State House, Providence, Rhode Island
The Rhode Island State House in Providence...

Just down the hill from it toward the Providence River is Providence Station for Amtrak and MBTA Commuter Rail trains. More...

On the opposite (east) bank of the Providence River, which runs through the city center, rises College Hill, where you'll find Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and a collection of exceptionally beautiful and interesting houses from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. More...

There's lots to see and do. One of the best ways to start is with a 2-hour walking tour.

Where to Stay

Besides the several large hotels and varied inns and bed-and-breakfast guesthouses in Providence itself, there are numerous hotels and motels in the neighboring cities of Warwick RI, Pawtucket RI, and Seekonk MA. More...

Where to Dine

Because Providence is the home of Johnson & Wales University, one of America's foremost culinary schools, Providence always has a good supply of eager and talented chefs. The dining scene is great! More...


Amtrak trains link Providence to New York City, the Connecticut Shoreline, and Boston. MBTA Commuter Rail trains take you between Providence and Boston in only one hour. Peter Pan and Greyhound intercity buses make these connections, and go to Cape Cod and other New England destinations as well. More...

T F Green Airport, just south of Providence in Warwick RI, serves not only Rhode Island, but also eastern Massachusetts and southeastern Connecticut. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do

Providence Walking Tour

Providence Hotels

Providence Restaurants

Providence Transportation

Tourist Information

Newport RI

South County RI

About Rhode Island

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Waterfire, Providence RI

The Providence River ablaze for Waterfire.

Fleur-de-Lys House, Providence, Rhode Island

Fleur-de-Lys Studios (1885)
on Artists' Row, College Hill.

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