The state capital of Providence has some of the most well-preserved
and spectacular architecture from every era of our history.
It's a city which has grown, not replaced itself. With careful
planning, preservation and restoration, a trip through Providence
is a trip through American history itself.
was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams when he crossed
the Seekonk River to what is now the East Side of Providence
in order to escape religious and political persecution
in Massachusetts. His philosophies have stood the test
of time as Providence is lively mix of all religions,
boasting some of the first churches for various demoninations
in the country including First Baptist Church in America
and First Unitarian Church in America. There is an extremely
lively political scene, boasting many independent and
fringe parties. And Providence is known as a gay mecca,
the San Francisco of the east.
The East Side of the city is the home of two ancient and
magnificent colleges, the Ivy League institution Brown University
and the world reknowned Rhode Island School of Design. The
attendant shops, cafes, restaurants and bars rival Greenwich
Village as a Bohemian center.
The State Capitol building is the second largest marble-domed
structure in the country - only the U.S. Capitol in Washington,
D.C. is larger. Rhode Island's capitol is often used by film
companies to stand in for the U.S. Capitol! The building is
rich in history and open to the public for tours.
Shopping is an adventure in Providence. Within a one-mile
radius, one can visit The Arcade, built in 1928 and the oldest
indoor shopping mall in America in the heart of the business
district in Downtown or as the natives call it "Downcity".
From there, it's a hop, skip and jump to Thayer Street in
the heart of the East Side which serves the Brown and RISD
college communities as well as the artist and intellectual
set at large. And then it's over to the Capital Center which
boasts one of the newest, largest and most diverse malls in
the country - the spectacular Providence Place. From the incomparable
shopping with New York anchors and niche stores galore, to
a multiplex first run complex and an IMAX theatre, to a fabulous
array of dining for all tastes and budgets, a visit to Providence
Place is an event in itself.
For the more adventurous eater, there's Federal Hill right
up the street, the city's "Little Italy". "The
Hill", while still hosting venerable and world-class
Italian restaurants, has become diversified in the last couple
of decades and offers and veritable world tour of fine dining
to fit every budget including Asian, Mexican, Japanese and