Providence, Rhode Island

Alex and I visited Providence, Rhode Island last year to attend a college friend’s wedding. Neither of us have spent much time in the northeast outside of Boston and New York City, so we were excited to explore a new state! We did not know what to expect, but found Providence to be a small city full of character. Unfortunately we were only able to spend two nights and a day there, and it rained for the entire day, but we still enjoyed the city and were able to see some of what it has to offer!

The beautiful Capitol building in Providence
The beautiful Capitol building in Providence

Lodging: We stayed at the Edgewood Manor Bed and Breakfast in the Charles Newhall House. We learned the Manor was first built as a private home, was later used as a convent and hospital rooming house, and is currently a B&B.

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In front of Edgewood Manor

The B&B was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed just walking around looking at the different rooms. Although we stayed in the Charles Newhall House because the rooms available were more budget-friendly, we ended up being very happy to be in the side house because it was quieter and more secluded. The kitchen, dining room, and common area were in the main house, so it tended to have a little more hustle and bustle. For Alex and I, who highly value our sleep, it was definitely the better choice!

We also enjoyed being very close to the Roger Williams Park which was where the wedding was located. It was also where we spent a lot of our day in Providence. I had planned to go running from the B&B to the park, but unfortunately it was very rainy and chilly and I decided to forego my planned run as I hadn’t packed the proper attire!

One of our favorite perks of staying at the B&B was the delicious breakfast that we were served. It was home cooked and absolutely delicious both mornings. One morning we ate at the big table in the dining room. If you want to chat with other guests, that room is the place to be! The other morning, we were feeling a bit more anti-social and ordered breakfast in the larger dining room. If the weather was nicer, there was a beautiful outdoor patio and gardens to enjoy.

Group Dining Room at Edgewood Manor
Group Dining Room at Edgewood Manor

Restaurants:

We only ate out once since we had dinner in Boston before arriving in Providence the first night, had dinner at the wedding the second night, and had breakfasts at the B&B. Our one meal was eaten at Fellini’s Pizza. Alex and I are self-proclaimed pizza connoisseurs and Fellini’s definitely hit the spot. You can order a whole pie, but we decided to each order two slices and share so we could try several pizzas. My favorite was the Go Ask Alice with fresh buffalo mozzarella, plum tomatoes and basil. The menu also includes sandwiches and salads, which looked good, but when there is pizza, I can never pass it up!

In addition to the food, we also enjoyed the quirky, hipster vibe. It was a casual atmosphere, but perfect for a quick lunch with friends!

Daytime Activities:

Due to the rain, we were somewhat limited in our activity possibilities, but we made the best of the weather and drove around the city to see sights, walking when we could. Our first stop was to Roger Williams Park Casino, which is where the wedding we attended was. The Casino itself is a beautiful, stately brick building with columns. It is perfect for a wedding! We also saw the Bandstand, which is a pavilion behind the Casino where the ceremony was planned if it did not rain. the wedding was absolutely beautiful inside the Casino, so if you are planning a wedding there, you cannot go wrong with either choice!

Roger Williams Casino
Roger Williams Casino
Roger Williams Casino bandstand
Roger Williams Casino bandstand
Later that evening inside the Casino for the wedding
Later that evening inside the Casino for the wedding

After walking around the wedding venue, we drove around the rest of the Park. We passed the Boathouse, which would have been beautiful on a clear day. Visitors can rent boats for a fee or take a Duck Boat Tour. Next we visited the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, which was quite interesting. We enjoyed seeing the preserved animals, playing with the science exhibits, and viewing the fascinating South Pacific exhibit.

Lion at the Museum of Natural History
Lion at the Museum of Natural History
Part of the South Pacific Exhibit
Part of the South Pacific Exhibit

We tried to visit the Roger Williams Zoo, but as it was pouring rain, we decided the $15 entrance fee would not be worth it. I hear it is a great zoo, so if you are in Providence, I would definitely make time to visit it! It is one of the nation’s oldest zoos, houses many species, and has won awards for its conservation efforts.

We also visited The Roger Williams Carousel Village, which I highly recommend if you enjoy carousels and especially if you have children. The carousel is open April through September and only costs $2 to ride. It is beautiful and reminiscent of Victorian times. Alex and I had fun riding the carousel and just people-watching!

Roger Williams Carousel
Roger Williams Carousel
Alex and I taking a spin!
Alex and I taking a spin!

After leaving Roger Williams Park, we drove around downtown Providence, the Brown campus, and near our B&B in Cranston before having a late lunch, stopping at Z Bar in the funky Wickenden Street area, and going back to Edgewood Manor to get ready for the wedding!

The Capitol Building in the day
The Capitol Building in the day
Downtown Providence
Providence Performing Art Center
Brown campus
Brown University
St. Paul church in Cranston
St. Paul church in Cranston

Nightlife:

The bride and groom had a cocktail hour our first night in Providence at The Dorrance, which I learned was formerly the Fed. The website appears to be under construction, so here is the Yelp page. I absolutely loved this bar. It was beautiful inside with ornate detail on the walls. Construction these days seems to usually be more functional rather than built for pure aesthetic value, so I appreciate a bar that is located in an older venue with lavish decor. The bar has the usual drinks plus classic cocktails, so we drank one of our favorite drinks, the Moscow Mule. It was even served properly in a copper mug!

Inside the beautiful Dorrance
Inside the beautiful Dorrance
With the bride and one of my best friends from college at the pre-wedding cocktail hour
With the bride and one of my best friends from college at the pre-wedding cocktail hour

The second night, we went to the wedding and ventured to some downtown bars afterwards. We really enjoyed Union Station Brewery, which was a great place to go with a big group. We thoroughly enjoyed the craft beer on tap.  A list of their brews is here. I really enjoyed the strawberry wheat. Although I typically avoid fruity drinks because I find them too sweet, this one had just the right hint of strawberry. There are a few other breweries in Providence, but this one has a great selection of beers on tap and a fun atmosphere. It definitely should be on your list!

Below are a few pictures from the wedding:

Alex and I at the wedding
Alex and I at the wedding
College friends!
College friends!

Back to Boston in our next post!

RECAP: 

Food/Drinks:
Fellini’s Pizzeria: 166 Wickenden St‎, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Z Bar and Grille: 244 Wickenden St, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
The Dorrance: 60 Dorrance Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Union Station Brewery: 36 Exchange Terrace, Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Visit:
Roger Williams Park: 1000 Elmwood Ave  Providence, Rhode Island 02905

Stay:
Edgewood Manor/Charles Newhall House: 232 Norwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island 02905

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