Providence is known for being a big city with small-town, New England charm. It is the capital of the smallest state in the union and is also one of the oldest cities in the U.S. (founded in 1636). Known as the “Creative Capital,” Providence offers a wealth of culture and sophistication that only a big city can, but visitors and locals love its unpretentious vibe.
Providence has a population of about 630,000 people with a mix of white-collar and blue-collar residents. As the largest community in Rhode Island, Providence is a major college town, with such well-known universities as Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Providence is filled with artists, musicians and designers, including students and professors who help shape the character of the city. With a large jewelry and silverware industry, Providence is home to the popular maker of charm bracelets, Alex and Ani.
Downtown Providence features a walkable riverfront and the impressive WaterFire, a series of bonfires blazing above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of the city. Illuminating two-thirds of a mile, WaterFire was named one of the “top 20 events in North America” by National Geographic Traveler magazine. The city is also located near Fall River’s Battleship Cove, a maritime museum featuring the largest collection of World War II naval vessels, including the decorated battleship, USS Massachusetts. Providence is located about 30 miles north of Newport, R.I., which is famous for its Newport Mansions.
Absorb Providence’s rich history at the Rhode Island State House or the Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum, an American national historical landmark. The John Brown House Museum Providence offers guided tours of what life was like during the 18th and 19th centuries. Walk some cobblestone streets on the East Side to see beautiful architecture in the Colonial, Greek Revival, Victorian and Federal styles. With a vibrant art, music and cultural scene, Providence also offers the RISD Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo and the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium.