Virginia may be for lovers, but Providence is for mothers . . . and fathers . . . and kids, too.

Rhode Island's capital city provides all the ingredients for a fun family getaway: great food, affordable lodging and plenty of child-friendly activities.

And at a mere 180 miles from the Big Apple, it was close enough for my wife and I to make the drive with our 3- and 4-year-old without one bathroom stop this December.