This week we look at Providence, Rhode Island in our Outside my Front Door series of posts by fellow travel bloggers.series of posts by fellow travel bloggers.
- 0.1 Outside my Front Door is a series of posts by fellow travel bloggers who share what is … outside of their own front door
- 1 Providence – “Outside My Front Door” by We3Travel
Providence – “Outside My Front Door” by We3Travel
Tamara Gruber lives just outside Providence, RI with her husband and 10-year-old daughter. While they live a typical suburban lifestyle, Tamara’s mantra is to never stop exploring – whether it is across the globe or across the street. She started her family travel blog, We3Travel, to share her passion for travel and provide families with inspiration and tips to encourage them to get out there and start exploring.
Travel + Leisure just named Providence America’s Favorite City for 2014 and for very good reason.
Home city to Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson & Wales, Providence offers a unique mix of history, academia, arts, and culinary excellence. We love to walk out our front door and explore this vibrant city – its great restaurants, fun festivals, outdoor concerts, and historic buildings.
One of the best events around Providence is Waterfire, an outdoor art installation conceived by Barnaby Evans, consisting of 80 bonfires along the three rivers that run through downtown Providence. While Waterfire draws in visitors from around the globe, we also like to enjoy the festivities at least once or twice a season.
More than just fires, Waterfire is a bounty for the senses. First you’ll see the haze in the air from the smoke, then you’ll smell the aroma of wood smoke, hear the crackling of the fire consuming the dry wood, and be drawn in by the haunting music that fills the air.
As you walk along the river you will also be entertained by street performers, stroll under arched bridges illuminated by candlelit chandeliers, and peruse the displays from local artisans. Maybe you’ll take a side street and join the crowd in front of a jazz stage, or take advantage of an outdoor ballroom draped in velvet curtains for ballroom or salsa dancing. If you want to get on the river, you can take a riverboat tour, enjoy a gondola ride, or even join some friends on a floating dinner barge featuring food from one of Providence’s leading restaurants.
But Waterfire isn’t the only outdoor festival we enjoy in Providence. There is also PRONKFEST, a parade of activist marching bands; FirstWorks Arts Festival with performers like the Bandaloops, which “dance” down the side of 10 story generic cialis liquid buildings; the summer pops series from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra; and numerous other arts and street festivals.
Even when it gets cold and we have to move indoors, we can still enjoy a vibrant art scene from the RISD Art Museum, to traveling Broadway shows at the Providence Performing Arts Center, to shows at the Trinity Rep Theater.
One thing that I love about Providence is its historic charm.
It is much smaller than Boston and with its own colonial style. In Providence you will find the oldest Baptist Church in the country, America’s first indoor shopping mall, one of the country’s most beautiful Athenaeums, the gorgeous Brown campus, and many 18th century homes.
But one of the best things about Providence is the food. Al Forno put Providence on the map for its grilled pizza and Federal Hill, Providence’s Little Italy, has national acclaim. But that isn’t all there is to Providence’s food scene. To start, we have a virtual caravan of food trucks from the classic “first diner” of Haven Bros. to many upscale, gourmet and ethnic foods.
There are many must try foods in Rhode Island but a few of our favorite eats are hamburgers at Harry’s Burger Bar, tapas at Flan y Ajo, grilled margherita pizza from Bacaro, brunch at Julian’s, chef’s tasting menu at Nick’s on Broadway, dessert at Pastiche, old-style Italian at Capriccio, fancy cocktails at the Dorrance, lobster at Hemenways, Peruvian food at Los Andes and Venezuelan food at La Arepa.
When we moved to Rhode Island from Manhattan, we were surprised and pleased to find a small city with so much cultural and culinary diversity. But as much as the city has to offer – farmer’s markets, Providence Flea Market, Providence Bruins ice hockey, Pawtucket Red Sox baseball, Art Night, RI Philharmonic Rush Hour Concerts, roller derby, Roger Williams Park Zoo, and the Providence Children’s Museum to name a few – it only takes a few minutes more to get down to the water and see why Rhode Island is called the Ocean State.
From the tourist center of Newport, to the quiet farm and wine community in Little Compton, to our favorite beaches of Narragansett, coastal Rhode Island also has so much to offer. I hope you come visit and if you do, be sure to check out my blog for suggestions for a weekend in Providence and must try foods when you are here.