Providence – the capital of Rhode Island has plenty to offer for an afternoon trip. It is only a short drive away from Boston, taking the I-93 then the I-95. If you are looking for things to do in Providence Rhode Island then read this article for my advice.
The drive is not very eventful, although you can stop for walks in nearby forests for a break. Once you arrive in Providence just park up in the shopping mall off the interstate, it is right next to the capitol building.
Things to do in Providence Rhode Island – Video
Parking on the street is also possible provided you have plenty of coins for the machines. The capitol building looks truly awesome with a white marble exterior and a huge grass lawn surrounding it. It looks almost identical to the US capitol building in Washington D.C. and entry is free most days.
Visiting the State Capitol
The Rhode Island State Capitol is on Smith Street. The imposing building is on top of a small mound, surrounded by a beautiful park. It is well worth a visit, especially during a sunny day when you can lie down on the grass and enjoy the views over downtown.
Providence Place Shopping Mall
This huge shopping mall is right next to the State Capitol, just off I-95. If you are hungry you should pop in here as there are a huge number of fast food restaurants here. Like most US cities, Providence is not a food haven. Chain restaurants line the streets and the mall has the same sort of things on offer. Unless you are rich you will probably not be able to afford anything exciting to be honest. I had a couple of chocolate bars and some nuts which was enough for me anyway.
Benefit Street in the Old Town
After the capitol building I walked back downtown using this PDF tour guide. The walk from the capitol to the old town takes you along the river. This is a nice walk and you will have plenty of opportunities to take some nice shots.
The old town is typical New England style with a white church at the centre surrounded by 18th-19th century buildings. It is easy to spend 1-2 hours walking around but I only put enough money in the parking meter for one hour. I wasn’t going to risk another parking fine, so I had to leave unfortunately!
Off to Mystic Seaport
The drive to Mystic Seaport is very pretty and if you have time you should take Highway 1. It is the scenic but slower route, going through many historic places. I drove the I-95 then the 27 to Mystic, which was also very nice – and faster. Mystic Seaport is a perfect getaway if you are interested in history and seafaring. This is where the founding fathers of the nation built their ships and came to repair them, but more about it in my next post.