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The city of Providence is the glorious capital of one of the most thriving states in America – Rhode Island. The city was founded in 1636 making it one of the oldest cities in the US.

What to do in Providence, USA: Downtown Providence from Point Street bridge
Downtown Providence from Point Street Bridge. Photo by Timothy Burling via Flickr CC.

Although Providence has aged over the years, it still manages to provide a youthful atmosphere that has people coming from all over. Providence’s quaint and tranquil environment makes it a favorite to visit. This city will capture your interest if you are a fan of excellent food, great vibes, mature nightlife, and educational experiences.

Best Time to Visit Providence

The best time to visit Providence is during the summer and a little bit of the fall. Specifically, from June to August, and September to November. However, during the summer, the demand to visit is greater so expect higher hotel rates in exchange for comfortable weather and great people.

What to do in Providence, USA: Downtown Providence
Downtown Providence. Photo by Reading Tom via Flickr CC.

Fall is also a fantastic time to visit due to the reds, browns, and yellows that embody the trees and the buildings. It is an absolutely gorgeous sight to see. Just be sure to bring a coat if you choose to go during the fall season. The weather can be a bit nippy and can snow during the fall season.

Top Things to Do in Providence

Providence offers an abundance of incredible things to do. From relaxing local events to exciting nightlife, you will always find yourself entertained. Here are a few things to do in the city that made it to the top of the list which show that Providence strikes a balance between providing a youthful atmosphere while maintaining its historic image.

Explore your interpretations of art at the incredible Rhode Island School of Design Museum. The art at the museum ranges in the categories of ancient, Asian, contemporary, decorative, painting, sculpture, and prints. There is certainly no shortage of unique pieces to strike the imagination and inspire creativity. Make sure you check out the artifacts from the Ancient Greek and Roman eras. 

What To Do In Providence, USA: Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design. Photo by Mark Bonica via Flickr CC

Unlike the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery solely specializes in contemporary works of art.

The Gallery also contains a permanent collection which contains artists, such as Henri Matisse and Diego Rivera. Some of the upcoming exhibitions are the works of Camille Seaman and Jacob Kirkegaard which showcase how we interpret the world around us. David Winton Bell Gallery is a short trip away from the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.

Governor Henry Lippitt House is a great exhibit for those wanting a historical experience. This is a historic house museum that premiers as a Victorian house – a must-see if you are into interior design from the past.

What to do in Providence, USA: fountain in Providence, RI
Providence, RI. Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr CC.

A great time to visit this site is during the holidays for the Christmas Scotch Party. Not only will you get to meet different kinds of people from Providence, but you will be able to bring in the holidays in a relaxing and tranquil environment.

Hanley Ale House is a fresh and modern American Ale House that is a great destination for a night of dancing and mingling. Hanley’s offers an upscale interior with 6,300 square feet that’s perfect for dining, dancing, and sports events. The two wooden bars that wrap around the dining space prove that there is plenty of space to socialize and dance. If you dine here, you must try the “Baked Mac N’Cheese”. You will never look at store-bought mac n’cheese the same way ever again.

Where to Stay in Providence         

The Omni Hotel is one of the highest-rated hotels in Providence, RI. It also won the Green Hospitality Award for being an eco-friendly place to stay. This high-end hotel practices sustainability by allowing guests to let housekeeping know whether to wash something in their room by placing a card on the item. Whether it is your bed sheets or towels, the staff intends to save water and materials any way possible. The location is perfect as well. People who stay here will find themselves within walking distance of the city’s main college campus, historic attractions, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and more!

Check availability of The Omni Hotel and book your stay HERE.

What to do in Providence, USA: Hotel Providence
Hotel Providence by Jef Nickerson via Flickr CC

Originally built in 1882, the Hotel Providence is the only AAA four-diamond boutique hotel in Providence. This hotel practices sustainability by donating to biochemists, using LED light bulbs, and providing their guests with biodegradable cups. This is great because the guests are making an impact on the community and the environment just by staying at the Hotel Providence. Lodgers also tend to love the European flair that is complimented with the historic character within. The Hotel Providence is located in the heart of Providence’s art and theatre district which is the perfect place if you want to be surrounded by quality entertainment and culture.

Check availability of Hotel Providence and book your stay HERE.

Where to Eat & Drink in Providence

Julian’s is a hip brewpub and popular for its numerous vegetarian options. They utilize high-quality and locally sourced ingredients. This helps bring a wholesome menu to patrons and peace of mind knowing they are eating a healthy meal.

Julian’s is also famous for its Omnibus – a British double-decker bus that is fully equipped with a kitchen. You will find the perfect dining spot upstairs. Talk about creativity! A favorite on the menu is the Bacon N’ Grits; but to understand what makes this dish amazing, you must try it for yourself!


What to do in Providence, USA: downtown Providence
Downtown Providence and College Hill from Prospect Terrace. Photo by Will Hart via Flickr CC


The Grange is your all-in-one stop for vegetarian grub. They offer seasonal dishes, a cocktail and juice bar, and a vegan bakery. Guests know they are in for a real treat of variety when they visit The Grange.

If you’re in the mood for a nice event, try calling ahead of time to see if they have a pop-up comedy show or live musical performances. The quinoa is a fan favorite, which contains avocados and sunflower seeds. You also cannot go wrong with their amazing desserts and libations. Make sure to order the cinnamon cheesecake or try a Sazerac which contains cognac and rye.

What to do in Providence, USA: Providence building
Providence, RI. Photo by Doug Kerr via Flickr CC

How Much Time Do You Need to Explore Providence

Providence is a culture-rich and historic place filled with many treasures to see. Give yourself around three to four days to explore the city. This will allow you to really lose yourself in the community and everything the city has to offer. Imagine witnessing the sunset drape the skyline and feeling complete relaxation while your troubles sink and disappear. Just be sure to toast the day once you meet that moment.

Author’s Bio: Dylan Moskowitz enjoys running and spending time learning French. He typically writes about traveling the northeast and hopes that with his writing he can help others learn something new.

Have you ever been to Providence? What are some of your favorite spots, restaurants, and things to do in the city? 

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