From oases of green in the City of Providence to beautiful bay vistas on Warwick's beaches, there is ample opportunity to observe the area's natural – and manmade – beauty.
Nationally recognized for its outstanding design, WaterPlace Park is the focal point of Providence's revitalized downtown. This four-acre urban park surrounding a tidal basin features an amphitheater, landscaped terraces, boat landings, a clock tower, and a multi-use building. The river area is edged by pedestrian walkways, complete with park benches, trees and flowering plants. A series of Venice inspired bridges connects downtown Providence to the city's historic East Side. From here you can ride a water taxi down Providence's redesigned rivers, stroll the scenic riverwalk, or just sit in the gazebo and enjoy the view. WaterPlace Park is also the site of special events such as outdoor concerts.
Cited by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America's premier urban parks, Roger Williams Park was designed by Horace Cleveland, one of the same landscape architects that created New York's Central Park. With more than 430 acres, the Park is comprised of waterways, walks, outdoor gardens, a Carousel Village, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, and the park's crown jewel, Roger Williams Park Zoo. The Carousel Village features a vintage carousel, pony rides, a themed miniature golf course and kiddie go-boats. The Tennis Center has Rhode Island's only clay courts available for public use. The boathouse has paddle-boats and mini-speed boats. Just opened to the public in March 2007 is the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, the largest public indoor display gardens in New England. Lush and lovely, the Conservatory and greenhouses encompass approximately 12,000 square feet of gardens.
The Roger Williams Park Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the country (since 1872) and has been cited as "one of the outstanding reasons to visit New England" by the Yankee Magazine Travel Guide to New England. Visitors to the 40-acre zoo see the world's tallest, heaviest, fastest and rarest land animals - the Masaii giraffe, the African elephant, and the cheetah – all roaming through natural settings. The zoo's population numbers nearly 1,000 animals, with some 165 species on display at any given time, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects.
A tiny jewel of a park on Providence's East Side, Prospect Terrace is the burial place of Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams and has arguably the best view of the city.
An 18-acre city park overlooking the head of Narragansett Bay, India Point Park's facilities include a soccer field, playground equipment, and a jogging/bike path connecting Providence to the East Bay Bike Path. Also located at the park is the Community Boating Center, which offers recreational boating and lessons.
Rhode Island's most popular metropolitan park, Goddard Park in Warwick attracts thousands of visitors each year. The 472-acre park offers a beautiful natural environment with spacious lawns, fields, and forested areas with a variety of trees from all over the world, including 62 deciduous and 19 evergreen species. Visitors can make use of a newly renovated saltwater beach and bathhouse, a nine hole golf course, an equestrian show area, 18 miles of bridle trails, 355 picnic tables, 11 game fields, and a new performing arts center for weddings, concerts, picnics and special events.
Located in the Buttonwoods neighborhood, Warwick City Park includes a beach area, three baseball fields, picnic areas and tennis courts. A three-mile path offers cyclists, walkers and runners lovely views of Narragansett Bay.
A waterfront park, Warwick's Oakland Beach Park has a beach tended by a lifeguard during the summer and is surrounded by restaurants and nightclubs.
Nestled in Warwick's historic Pawtuxet Village, Pawtuxet Park is a waterfront park with a charming reproduction of a Victorian gazebo, picnic sites and park benches for resting and gazing at the beautiful view.