Attractions in Providence

Roger Williams Park opened in the 1890s, and it remains a well-visited oasis today. Its 435 acres include the Rose Garden and 100 acres of ponds. At the Dalrymple Boathouse, visitors can rent swan boats, paddleboats, electric boats, kayaks, and canoes for use on the water. Within the park is the Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the U.S., and the Botanical Center with the largest indoor public gardens in New England. Other attractions in the park include a carousel, the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, tennis courts, and baseball fields.

On select Saturday evenings throughout the summer months, downtown Providence is alight with WaterFire. This unique attraction features braziers that are imbedded in the three rivers of Providence and lit at sunset on the scheduled nights. Full WaterFire events include a musical program that features a variety of performers throughout the evening until after midnight.

With its long history dating back to the colonial period, Providence offers a collection of colonial and Victorian homes and buildings along Benefit Street. Located to the east of downtown, this mile-long street runs through the campus of Brown University and features buildings such as the John Brown House. Visitors can explore the area at their own pace or take a 90-minute walking tour offered by the Rhode Island Historical Society.

When children need a place to be kids, the Providence Children's Museum has the answer in its hands-on activities and exhibits created just for children. Water Ways demonstrates fluid dynamics and waterpower through water play, while Underland offers a variety of ways to explore the underground environment. The lives of four immigrants to Rhode Island from different time periods are showcased in the Coming to Rhode Island exhibit. Here youngsters can learn while engaging in playful activities such as tending a cow, cooking in a colonial kitchen, or doing a mill worker's laundry.

Johnson and Wales University is a leader in culinary arts training and their Providence campus includes the Culinary Arts Museum. Exhibits here include a collection of items related to dinners at the White House such as menus, invitations, cookbooks, and china; a celebration of the diner; a history of kitchen stoves from a colonial open hearth to the latest technology; and a re-creation of Stoddard's Stagecoach Tavern, built in 1833 in Stoddard, New Hampshire.