Providence, Rhode Island. A city founded by religious exiles from the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Plymouth, exiles who believed in ideas such as the separation of church and state, that civil courts should not try matters of religious offenses, and that Native Americans should be treated with dignity and respect. It is home to many institutions of higher education including Brown University and the world’s largest culinary school, Johnson and Wales. One of the largest museums in the United States is located in Providence. The fourth oldest library in the United States, favorite haunt of two of the fathers of American horror literature, is in this city. Providence is home to a vibrant arts and music scene, and is quickly becoming a top destination for foodies. And despite having spent considerable time during my adulthood in and around New England, I had never visited.
With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday, my wife and I decided to wait until the weekend to celebrate the holiday, when we could have more time with each other. My wife asked to plan the day and surprised me with a day trip to Providence. Rather than a lengthy write-up of the trip, however, I thought I would instead offer a suggested guide of cool places in the city to visit, awesome sights to see, and great restaurants to enjoy.
Destination One: The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art.
Destination Two: Brunch at Nick’s on Broadway.
Destination Three: The Providence Athenaeum.
Destination Four: Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.
Destination Five: Dinner at Flatbread Company.
Destination Six: Minor League Hockey at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Providence is a great city to visit, and with a little planning, you can attend a lot of events for very little money. The RISD Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Tickets for adults are $15, seniors are $12, youth 18 and under can enter for free, and college students can enter for $8, but the museum is free every Sunday. The Providence Athenaeum is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Friday-Saturday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. While becoming a member does cost money, the Athenaeum is free to visit, and free staff-led tours are also held at scheduled times throughout the week. The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, and costs $5 for adults, children ages 6-12 $2, children under 6 can enter for free, and seniors and active duty military personnel pay $2. Attending a Providence Bruins game will run you between $20-30, depending on your choice of seats.
Although there is still plenty more to see and do in Providence than what I have chronicled, it is quite possible to explore quite a lot of this cool, under-appreciated city in only one day!
As always, thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead.