Providence, capital of America’s smallest state Rhode Island, can be reached in 9.5 hours from Shannon. A great little historic city in its own right but also ideally located just 90 minutes from Boston and other iconic New England locations such as Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, not forgetting Quahog - the fictional city in Newport County where the animated television comedy Family Guy is set.
The T.F. Green Memorial State Airport (PVD) is roughly 10 miles south of Providence with the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) Commuter Rail offering the fastest and most cost-effective direct service to downtown Providence, South Station in Boston and several other locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Alternative transport options include RIPTA buses to/from many locations and a wide variety of shuttles and taxi companies.
Founded in 1636, Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States and now has a city population of 179,154. Rhode Island was the first of the original thirteen colonies of the United States to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown in 1776. By the early 1900s, Providence was one of the wealthiest cities in the United States and was a major manufacturer of industrial products from steam engines to precision tools to silverware, screws, and textiles. Providence today, with its rich cultural and architectural heritage, offers visitors the opportunity of seeing the highest concentrations of Colonial buildings in the country on Benefit Street, the mile-long cobblestone street on the East Side.
Rhode Island is known for its fresh seafood. For a true Rhode Island food experience, head to one of the state's many clam shacks and start with an order of clam cakes, which are small bits of chopped clams surrounded by fried dough - Iggy’s and Aunt Carrie’s in Narragansett serve up the best in town.
Fun for kids
There’s plenty to entertain the kids, including the city’s very own Providence Children's Museum - designed for children ages 1 to 11 that explores the arts, culture, history and science through hands-on exhibit areas and lively programs. Or perhaps the third oldest zoo in the country, the Roger Williams Park Zoo opened in 1872, which boasts a population of nearly 1,000 animals, will go down a treat. A day out at the Alex and Ani City Center - 14,000 square feet of ice in the heart of the city – along with skating lessons will be a day out few children will forget easily. If the ice really takes their imagination, round off the trip to the Dunkin' Donuts Center, home to the American Hockey League team Providence Bruins.
Shopping and Nightlife
Home to one of the best design schools in the country and an Ivy League university, Providence’s shopping scene is heavily influenced by its creative student population from high-end boutiques and vintage to antiques, design and funky book stores. Rhode Island offers a wide array of nightlife activities. Newport offers jazz, nightclubs and classical music while Providence is home to many nightspots, including cocktail bars, live music venues, and large-scale clubs.