Did you know, Providence was founded in 1636 by renegade preacher Roger Williams, who was forced to flee Massachusetts because of religious persecution? He named his new home “Providence,” in thanks to God for protecting him during his exile from Massachusetts. I have to chuckle at the irony now, as I’m about to share why I think it’s a great “escape” for folks who live in the Boston metro area (or anywhere in New England really). Keep reading as I share my ideal day from breakfast to a nightcap below.
Breakfast at Ellie’s
225 Weybosset St, Providence, RI 02903
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner downtown, it’s really hard to have a bad meal here. This is a clear way to start your day off on the right foot – whether you’re just looking for a coffee and pastry, or something a little more substantial, like their seasonal french toast. Currently, they have tables outdoors on the patio, and I was treated to an accordion player while I started my day.
Explore the Providence Athenæum
251 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903
Just a 10 minute walk from breakfast, you cross the College Street bridge over the Providence River and find yourself in one of the most revered spots in New England for literary lovers. This nearly 200 year old library is home to rare books, beautiful art, and historical documents. Currently, the halls once walked by Edgar Allen Poe are only allowing members inside for safety reasons, but when conditions permit, you have to visit and soak in everything this gem has to offer.
Snap a Shot of “KJP Hill”
7 Thomas St, Providence, RI 02903
You certainly don’t have to bike up this hill, like I’m doing above, in fact, I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s a bit of a busy street. However, this hill makes for a good spot to snap a few photos and get your steps in. It’s known as a spot for lots of creators to take New England-y shots, including one of the OG’s.
Enjoy a Tea at Ceremony PVD
231 Thayer Street, Providence RI 02906
Sticking in the College Hill neighborhood, an afternoon jolt is in order. Sourcing leaves from China, Taiwan, and Japan, the team at Ceremony offers tea ceremonies (with 4 people max) by appointment only. As a non-coffee drinker (crazy, I know!), and someone who likes the pomp and circumstance of tea time in other parts of the world, I think this is a super special experience.
Take a Ride on East Bay Bike Path
66 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, East Providence, RI 02914
A hop, skip, and a jump from downtown, you can find the start of the East Bay Bike Path (right near the address listed above). It is a 14.5 mile paved path that rides along the Providence River, goes by Squantum Point, past Colt State Park, and ends at Independence Park right by Beehive Cafe. Round trip it makes for a lovely afternoon ride along the water, but even just cycling a short segment is a great way to see this part of the Ocean State.
Grab a Drink and Snacks at The Eddy
95 Eddy St, Providence, RI 02903
On my latest trip to the Eddy, they were sporting heating lamps on their outdoor patio and some live music, and it was as if things were always intended to be that way. Their cocktails and snacks are some of my favorite in the city and this is the perfect place to either begin, or end, your evening.
Finish with Dinner at Birch
200 Washington St, Providence, RI 02903
Frankly, the food scene in Providence just doesn’t get the hype it deserves. Birch is among a group of New England restaurants that should be even busier than it already is. Counter dining happens to be my favorite, and this U-shapaed bar had me from the first course of the tasting menu. They are currently offering contactless takeout and outdoor patio dining.
This post was created in collaboration with the amazing team at RI United in an effort to support small local businesses during these difficult times.