Statehouse in Providence, Rhode Island (Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Skyline of Providence, Rhode Island (Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau)

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What to do in Providence

Take the history of Boston, add some NYC sophistication, pack it into the size of Portland, Maine, and you get Providence. Situated at the head of Narragansett Bay, New England’s second-largest city has a compact footprint that covers seven steep hills, each of which has its own character—like Federal Hill’s Little Italy (47 restaurants in one mile) and College Hill’s Rhode Island School of Design (the epicenter of the experimental arts scene). History buffs should start on College Hill at the John Brown House, a 1786 Georgian mansion, and treasures like the 12th century Japanese Buddha in RISD’s Art Museum. Foodies should head to the Culinary Archives and Museum at Johnson & Wales. Downtown, Waterplace Park hosts art festivals and concerts in summer, ice-skating in winter, and a sculpture called WaterFire that burns spring through fall.

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