Travel Thursday: Providence, Rhode Island is Your Next Great Getaway
Late in 2017, Instinct Magazine profiled Providence, Rhode Island as a "gay mecca" of sorts, as their LGBT nightlife is one of the best in the country. Now, its time to focus on what else this wonderful city has to offer, which happens to be one of the few major ones where a car really isn't needed (to a certain degree).
As someone who went to school there for five years, its a city that I'm very familiar with and have come to grow and love as time has gone by. The city of Providence itself is always "under construction" as they are consistently building upon itself to make it one of the go to cities that anyone in the world should visit. Sure, New York City and Boston are wonderful, but there's nothing wrong with going in between those two big slices of bread and enjoying the meat and cheese qualities that Provi brings (not sure if that analogy made sense, but just go with it).
For one, the Amtrak train station is located right in the heart of downtown Providence. Immediately when you exit you will see Providence Place Mall (one of the biggest in the Northeast) in front of you, and an assortment of large scale buildings that is reminiscent of big cities like New York City and Chicago. Something that those cities don't have that Providence does is a rustic and more down to earth quality to it due to its rich and vibrant colors and peaceful vibes that make it a lot less hectic to travel through compared to the others.
It's hard to figure out where to begin so let me help you navigate the city. There are three important parts to Providence that are a must when you visit. For one, there is downtown. Downtown is generally a college-focused area, as many schools like Johnson & Wales University and Rhode Island School of Design are located here. That doesn't make it a plethora of annoying college kids per se, but you will definitely find many of them strolling through downtown as you yourself navigate through the variety of wonderful boutique shops, restaurants and fabulous nightlife that includes some wonderful LGBTQ establishments.
One restaurant that are worth the recommendation and then some include Oberlin, which highlights some incredibly delicious and sharable modern American food like their Crispy Sunchokes, Sweet Potato Ravioli and more. If you head more to the west end of Providence, which is about a 5-10 minute walk from downtown, then you can find a great brunch eatery in Nick's on Broadway that will give you all that you need for this type of a meal including their amazing Buttermilk Hotcakes. Yum.
Federal Hill is another fabulous area to head to while in Providence, as it's Italian background is seen throughout the area and especially at the restaurants you will dine at. A great example of this is Massimo, which is literally described as an "Italy to Table" type of experience that includes some mouthwatering dishes like their Bruschetta con Prosciutto and so much more.
Finally, the College Hill area of Providence where Brown University is happens to be such an incredible part of this fascinating city. If there is one street that you must walk down, it is Thayer Street, which houses some of the best freaking restaurants i have ever been to. The area itself is superbly gorgeous, and a great spot to chill in during the summer time as it gets a ton of foot traffic. Located right around this area is PVDonuts, which houses some of the best donuts I have ever had (and most creative), including their scrumptious Birthday Cake Donut.
Going to Providence goes beyond eating (I love food as you can tell) and into many other facets that makes this city great. Want to go shopping? Providence Place Mall, as mentioned earlier, is a huge shopping mall that has all the stores you could possibly imagine under one roof. The Dunkin Donuts Center hosts a variety of concerts and events, including my husband Thomas Rhett in September.
If you go to Providence towards the fall, then WaterFire will definitely be something you will want to stop by and see, as the city literally becomes lit up with beautiful orange and yellow colors that make the area look stunning at night. If you are a history or a zoo kind of guy or gal, then the RISD Museum or the Roger Williams Park Zoo is your place to go. Essentially, this city has it all, its up to you though to get there and see for yourself just how wonderful it is.
For more information on Providence, please check out their official site.