Often overshadowed by nearby Boston, Rhode Island’s capital city of Providence has plenty to offer visitors – and is not afraid to let you know. From unique arts programming to outstanding food, here are five reasons to check out this scenic and friendly city.

Fiery Rivers

The three rivers that flow through downtown Providence were once dirty, sticky national embarrassments. However, thanks to a massive revitalization of the city begun in the 1990s, they are now a scenic source of pride. Part of what makes the rivers such attractions is a unique public art installation called WaterFire. It was created by the artist, Barnaby Evans, in 1994, and has grown under his continued leadership to include a series of nearly 100 bonfires that appear to float just above the surface of the rivers. When lit at various times throughout the year, the string of fires illuminate nearly two-thirds of a mile of urban public spaces and parks, for residents and visitors to enjoy as they stroll along the riverfront, listening to music and watching performances that are part of each lighting. There are three lightings still on the schedule for this summer, July 28, September 8, and September 22.