Providence is the capital city of Rhode Island. This beautiful and unique city is home to various museums, zoos, parks, and farmer’s markets. You can stop at Roger Williams Park Zoo and view over 100 species of rare and fascinating animals from all over the globe, such as snow leopards, giraffes, and elephants. Additionally, you can pass by The Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park and have a view of various species of plants. While still at the park, you can visit the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium and have more information about Rhode Island’s flora and fauna. A visit to the various markets located in Providence will give you the perfect opportunity to meet the natives, interact with them and purchase the items produced locally.
Further, if you are into arts, you can visit the RISD Museum and have a glimpse of the over 90,000 work on display. You can also visit the old buildings within the city and learn about Providence residents’ lives in the 18th and 19th centuries. It would be best if you never missed visiting Rhode Island State Capitol to have a view of the fourth largest self-supported dome in the world.
Providence covers an estimated area of 53.35 square kilometers. The population is around 179,494 as per the 2019 census. Rhode Island’s capital city has unique places that you can visit while in the region and have an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Here are the ten best things to do in Providence, Rhode Island.
# 10 – Roger Williams Park Zoo
Roger Williams Park Zoo was opened in 1872, and it is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. The zoo spans around 40 acres, and it is one of the top tourist attractions in Rhode Island. This 40-acre zoo is located at 1000 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, Rhode Island. If you are visiting Providence, Rhode Island with kids and wondering which kid-friendly outdoor area to have fun in, then Roger Williams Park Zoo is the place. Inside this zoo located around 5 miles south of downtown Providence; there are over 160 species of animals, some of whom are rare and endangered. Snow leopard, giraffe, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, zebra, alligator, kangaroo, red panda, and moon bears are some animals that call Roger Williams Park Zoo home. A visit to Roger Williams Park Zoo while in Providence, Rhode Island, will learn about the animals there. A range of educational programs and learner-focused workshops are among other activities offered at Roger Williams Park Zoo.
# 9 – RISD Museum of Art
RISD stands for Rhode Island School of Design. RISD Museum of Art is an excellent spot if you are interested in art or if you love fine arts while in Providence, Rhode Island. The museum is located 0.2 miles from the city center. Inside this museum, there are over 91,000 works on display. Some of the exhibits found in this museum include French Impressionists, Japanese prints, and ancient Egyptian arts, among others. Additionally, there are needlework, textiles, and sculpture in this museum. RISD Museum of Art is located at 224 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
# 8 – The Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park
Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Well, 1000 Elmwood Avenue is your destination. The Botanical Center spans around 12,000 square feet, making it the most extensive public indoor display garden in Providence, Rhode Island. Inside this botanical center, there are two main greenhouses, three small greenhouses, and an outdoor garden. Additionally, this botanical center has more than 150 different species and cultivars of plants. Cacti, agave, palms, and aloes are some of the plant species found in this botanical center. At the outdoor gardens, there is a winter garden and a wooded hillside garden with various types of trees and shrubs. Further, if you are visiting with young ones, there is a carousel, train rides, and playgrounds within the park that they can use to get some fun. A range of horticultural and environmental programs and classes for the public are some of the botanical center’s activities.
# 7 – Farmers Markets
A visit to the farmer’s markets offers the best opportunity if you are in Providence, Rhode Island, and you want to meet the natives, interact with them, learn and understand their culture. You can also visit the farmer’s markets to buy the local products and taste the region’s traditional foods. Some of the farmer’s markets in Providence, Rhode Island include Hope Street Farmers Market, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Downtown Providence Farmers Market, and Armory farmers Market. There are several vendors located at these markets selling different products. Some of the products sold at the farmer’s Providence markets include eggs, meat, cheese, vegetables, and baked goods, among other items. The farmer’s markets are opened at different times of the month.
# 6 – Brown University
Have you ever seen a building built in the 1700s? Well, you should never fail to visit the Brown University campus that crowns College Hill. There is a University Hall located at The Brown University campus, which served as barracks and a hospital during the revolution. You can visit the John Hay Library and have a glimpse at the complete collection of US postage stamps. A rare collection of early maps are found at the John Carter Brown Library. There are excellent changing exhibits of contemporary and historical art at the David Winton Bell Gallery located at the Brown University. Brown University is located at Corliss-Brackett House, 45 Prospect Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Last, over 100,000 plant specimens are dating back to the early 19th century at the Brown University Herbarium located at the campus.
# 5 – WaterFire
When visiting Providence between May and November, you should attend WaterFire. WaterFire is a signature attraction. Over 80 bonfires are blazing at this signature attraction during a Full WaterFire. The WaterFire blazes from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park. There are arts and music festivals that will keep you entertained during the WaterFire.
# 4 – Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy
Located at Legion Memorial Dr, in Providence, is Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy. This is a perfect place to visit if you watch to stretch your muscles, have some quiet time and enjoy viewing nature. Inside Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy, there is a beautiful Oak and Hickory, fields of wildflowers, meadows, valleys, geological outcroppings, and natural springs, among other things. Additionally, Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy is home to deer, fox, wild turkey, rabbit, raccoon, skunk, pheasant, opossum, and other small animals. There are several species of birds that nest at Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy. This conservancy also features hiking trails.
# 3 – Museum of Natural History and Planetarium
If you want more details about flora and fauna of Rhode Island, then the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium the place to be while in Providence. Museum of Natural History and Planetarium was founded in 1896, and it is located in Roger Williams Park. Museum of Natural History and Planetarium features more than 250,000 objects relating to the natural world, 175,000 preserved plants and animals, 15,000 earth science specimens, 4,000 ethnographic objects, and over 20,000 archaeological artifacts. Further, there is a world-class collection of plant fossils from Coal Age Rhode Island.
# 2 – Providence Children’s Museum
Providence Children’s Museum was founded in 1976, and it is one of the best places that you can bring the young ones to have fun while in Providence, Rhode Island. Inside this museum, there are interactive, hands-on, and play-based programs and exhibits for kids between one and 11 years. A visit to Providence Children’s Museum offers an excellent surrounding for young ones to engage in a broad range of topics from math, health, science, culture to engineering, technology, and arts. Providence Children’s Museum is located at 100 South Street, Providence, Rhode Island.
# 1 – Rhode Island State Capitol
Located at 82 Smith Street in Providence, Rhode Island is the fourth largest self-supported dome globally. Rhode Island State Capitol is a neoclassical building designed by McKim, Mead & White. This neoclassical building was completed in 1904. Inside this white marble Rhode Island State Capitol, a painting called “The Four Freedoms” by Rhode Island artist James Allen King. Additionally, Rhode Island State Capitol also features a George Washington portrait by Gilbert Stuart, a gun from Gettysburg’s battle, and a replica of the Liberty Bell.