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Best Tourist Spots in Providence

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Providence, the Divine City of Rhode Island, offers everything from diverse culture, art and interesting history to outdoors and fun activities. Though the capital city of the petite state, it has its own charms. The city is loaded with historic and natural sites like the State House and Roger Williams Park, museums like the quirky Culinary Arts Museum and Museum of Art RISD, riverfront parks, lush gardens, and much more. No matter what’s your interests and purpose, these tourist spots are undoubtedly worth the time and effort to explore and experience. The city will certainly never fail to impress!

Glimpse of food industry at the Culinary Arts Museum!

Located in the Johnson & Wales University, the Culinary Arts Museum highlights the culinary journey from the Roman Empire times to the twentieth century New England. The museum features more than 300,000 items related to culinary, including kitchen items and molds, a collection of menus of vintage restaurants, over 60,000 cookbooks dating back to the fifteenth century, and an impressive art collection related to culinary.  There are several permanent and temporary exhibitions.  Highlights include bygone era Chinese culinary vessel, marshmallow beaters, 1920s diner, mayonnaise makers, fast-food wagons, New Hampshire stagecoach tavern of 1883, and ancient Rome artifacts. It also offers plenty to sip and sink your teeth into.  The city is deeply in love with its food scene and the museum is the testament to it! Celebrate the joy of eating and cooking at Culinary Arts Museum!

Address: 315 Harborside Blvd, Providence, RI 02905, United States
Phone: 1 401-598-2805
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm

Get History Fix at Rhode Island State House!

Providence History
Image by Loodog at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Take a tour of one of the most attractive buildings in Providence- the Rhode Island State House. The Rhode Island State House has one of the largest self-supporting marble domes in the world. The dome has a glided Independent man bronze statue on the top of it which was named “Hope”.  Highlights of the tour include rendition of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, Philadelphia Liberty Bell replica, a Rhode Islander, Nathaniel Greene military accoutrements, original parchment charter of 1663 granted by King Charles II, and Rhode Island military units battle flags. A perfect place for history buffs!

Address: 82 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-222-2080
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm

Immerse yourself at Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art!

Providence Art Scene
Image By Kenneth C. Zirkel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The RSID Museum of Art features an extensive collection of art that represents different cultures from ancient period to the present day. The museum features an amazing collection of contemporary art, paintings, drawings, decorative art, Asian art, ancient Egyptian, photography, drawings, textiles, sculpture and mosaics. It has works of art from ancient to contemporary and modern artists. Art pieces by Degas, Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Copley, Warhol and many other Impressionists are on display. Other highlights include an Egyptian mummy,  Gothic collections, a Buddha sculpture of 12th century, and a Gorham silver, Also, it houses several changing exhibitions featuring the past and present. 

Address: 20 N Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-454-6500
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm

Roger Williams National Memorial, A Tribute to the Founding Father!

Founder of Rhode Island Memorial
Image By Marcbela (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Roger Williams National Memorial celebrates the life and times of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. It honours the memory of the founding father, who established Providence with religious freedom for everyone. There is a visitor center as well that features a short film and an exhibit. Walk through the park and discover the story of the founder of Rhode Island!

Address: 282 N Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-521-7266
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00am-4:30pm

Cruise the Providence waters at La Gondola Providence!

A trip to Providence is incomplete without cruising through the waters of Providence River. Providence boasts its Italian culture and visitors can enjoy it by taking a gondola ride. The city has Venetian-style gondolas with gondolier serenading the people on board with authentic music. Enjoy the stunning views of the city by taking a ride on gondola.  From fun-filled ride to romantic river cruise, La Gondola Providence offers a beautiful experience and way to discover the beauty of Providence.  As you cruise the waters, enjoy a dinner with family or special someone on the La Gondola Floating Lounge. An experience to be savoured!

Address: 1 Citizens Plz, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-421-8877
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 10:00am-10:15pm; Friday 7 Saturday: 10:00am-11:30pm; Sunday: 10:00am-10:15pm

Browse the extensive collection of books at Providence Athenaeum!

Library in Providence
Image By Kenneth C. Zirkel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Housed in an 1838 Greek Revival Building, the Providence Athenaeum is a unique library with an extensive collection of rare books and local works of art. It is the fourth oldest library in the nation. It also houses an impressive collection of children’s books.  From first editions to classic literature to bestsellers and several contemporary and rare books that cannot be found anywhere else, this library has it all. There are several activities for children, such as Book Worm Club, family movie night, quiz evenings, story hours and much more. A heaven for avid readers!

Address: 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-421-6970
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 10:00am-6:00pm; Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-2:00pm

Glimpse of 18th century at John Brown House!

18th century home
Image by English Wikipedia at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

The John Brown House is the eighteenth century home in Rhode Island that tells about life in the 18th and 19th century America. It features the cultural and social history of the country. The house is named after John Brown, a statesman, patriot and the original owner of the house. It is marked as a National Historic Landmark and has been meticulously restored to its colonial decor. Inside, there is 18th and 19th centuries’ artwork, original furniture of the Brown family, French wallpapers and other memorabilia. This magnificent house is worth a visit!

Address: 52 Power Street, Providence, RI 02906, United States
Phone: 1 401-273-7507
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 1:30pm-4:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Edutainment session for kids at Providence Children's Museum!

If you are traveling with kids, visit the Providence Children’s Museum and they would not want to leave. The museum features hands-on exhibits on history, science, art, math, culture, technology and more. Highlights include outdoor climbs, big blocks, water play, a huge Lite Brite, musical instruments, the Children’s garden, art studios, time-travel adventure through the history of Rhode Island, and more. The museum allows kids to learn and explore through play at their own pace. It is a great place for kids as well as adults to learn and understand the culture, history, science and art!

Address: 100 South Street, Providence, RI 02903, United States
Phone: 1 401-273-5437
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00am-6:00pm

Explore and Experience Natural History and Planetarium at Roger Williams Park Museum!

Nestled in the Roger Williams Park, the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium tells about the natural world through interactive exhibitions and displays. It houses more than 300,000 specimens on natural world from all around the world, including earth science objects, preserved plants and animals, archeological artifacts and ethnographic objects.  Highlights include the cultural objects from the Victorian era, Africa and the South Seas, and Coal Age Rhode Island plant fossils. The planetarium features exhibits on cosmic exploration, galaxies, and travel through time and space. Many cultural and scientific events are also held here for adults, kids and families. 

Address: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02907, United States 
Phone: 1 401-680-7221
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-4:00pm

Meet the animals at Roger Williams Park Zoo!

Oldest Zoo in Rhode Island
Image By Kyle Bedell (originally posted to Flickr as More giraffes) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the historic Roger Williams Park, Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country. It is home to more than 100 species of animals from across the world, including a snow leopard, African elephants, gibbons, giant anteaters, moon bears, giraffes, red pandas, river otters and other animals in their natural habitats. Animal species from Tropical America, North America, Farmyard, Africa, Marco Polo Trail, Australasia, and Wetlands Trail are housed here.  In addition to getting an up-close of these animals, you also get to learn about them and their natural habitats. 

Address: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02907, United States 
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-4:00pm (October to March); Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm (April to September)
Website: www.rwpzoo.org/

A tranquil walk through the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center!

Calling all the nature lovers! The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center is home to the largest public indoor display of gardens in New England. It features indoor as well as outdoor gardens, two greenhouses, the Mediterranean room and the conservatory. It houses more than 150 species and varieties of plants, including palms, aloes, cacti and agave. The outdoor garden includes a wooded hillside garden and winter garden with variety of shrub and trees, a pine Dell, a perennial garden, a Japanese garden and a beautiful rose maze. Wander through the gardens, bask in the fragrance of plants wafting about and enjoy the sunshine. 

Address: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02905, United States
Phone: 1 401-785-9450
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm
Website: www.providenceri.com  

Marvel at the magnificent homes at Benefit Street!

Colonial Structures
Image by Daniel Case at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Benefit Street is steeped in history. It is a mile long stretch that features several restored Colonial structures and buildings. Some of the affluent families of Providence lived here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Appreciate the architectural history of the city, and check out the Rhode Island School of Design and the Brown University campuses as you walk along the street. A historic walk that you just can’t miss!

Step back in Victorian era at Governor Henry Lippitt House!

Victorian era house
Image By Kenneth C. Zirkel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Governor Henry Lippitt House is a National Historic Landmark. As you tour the house, you will feel transported to a different place and time. The house is a Renaissance Revival mansion with 30 rooms, bronze neoclassical chandeliers, elaborate woodwork, immaculate walls and ceilings and original family furnishings. It is a perfect example of the nineteenth century Victorian architecture in the city and with one of the finest interiors in the New England area. As you walk beneath the stunning chandeliers, you’ll be awed by the items on display and the woodwork details. Catch a glimpse of life of Lippitt family and Providence history in an interesting way!

Address: 199 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906, United States
Phone: 1 401-453-0688

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