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If riverside promenades, Italianate architecture + a thriving arts community appeal to you, planning a spring visit to Providence, RI might be just the ticket.
- GQ named Providence the coolest city you haven’t been to in 2015 — calling on its celebrated food scene + high-style Dean Hotel as contributing factors. Plus, aside from the plentiful street art you’ll find around downtown, RISD Museum has six levels of art pieces to peruse.
- On certain nights from May to November, WaterFire Providence sets the River Walk aglow amidst mystical music + performances, and the Providence Preservation Society has a whole festival dedicated to its 18th-century houses in June.
- A few local guides to reference while you’re there include the Guide to Providence Architecture, an Eater essential restaurants roundup + Travel and Leisure’s weekend getaway guide.
Act like a local:
- Food: What’s even better than the repurposed atmosphere of Maria’s Cucina’s old Italo-American home? The Gnocchi Toscana ($28).
- Outdoors: Hit the water on a swan boat, kayak, electric boat, or pirate tour at Roger Williams Park.
- Learn: Catch the latest literary exhibition + look up at busts of Frederick Douglass and Louisa May Alcott at the Providence Athenaeum.
- Listen: Enjoy live music at Providence’s oldest theatre, The Strand.
- Explore: Get the best view of the city by climbing up to Prospect Terrace with a picnic.
Where to stay:
- Vrbo: The sunny Walter S. Budlong Apartment sleeps four with two bedrooms and one full bathroom. (~$170/night)*
- Save hotel: The Wedding Cake House was built in 1867 + recently restored by art collective The Dirt Palace. (~$70/night)
- Splurge hotel: The Dean Hotel is a swankier option, complete with a karaoke lounge + bar. (~$110/night)