Providence Neighborhoods

Some of Providence’s greatest assets are its vibrant, thriving neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality, unique history and welcoming community. Together, they have made Providence “America’s Coolest City” (GQ) and “America’s Favorite City” (Travel + Leisure).

We invite you to get out and explore these 15 neighborhoods. There are things to see, do, eat and buy in every one. Check out our favorites and then tell us what we’ve missed by using the hashtag #PVDpicks on Instagram. We will put some of our favorite suggestions on every page.

Downtown Providence

The busy city streets of Washington, Westminster and Weybosset are central to downtown Providence and at the hub of commercial and retail growth. Notable companies call the city home as do many restaurants, theatres and institutes for higher education such as Johnson & Wales University and part of the University of Rhode Island. The Amica Mutual Pavilion, Rhode Island Convention Center and numerous hotels are located along this stretch of roads, as well as residential living juxtaposed against this bustling scene. Stroll the city streets and enjoy a city alive with creativity.

Federal Hill Providence

Providence’s historic Federal Hill neighborhood spans iconic Atwells Avenue and the surrounding streets. Largely settled by Italian-American immigrants in the early 1900s, Federal Hill effuses a sense of warmth and community that embraces visitors and locals alike. While the neighborhood has evolved, the influence of the Italian people and culture is ever present. When shopping or dining, take the time to talk to a shop owner or interact with a food purveyor, as they will likely share a story about the history of the store or neighborhood. 

College Hill & Benefit Street

The College Hill neighborhood is home to many historic and cultural sites and residences, as well as world-class educational institutions, such as the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Brown University. Filled with art and history, this iconic area has many treasures to visit. 

West End Providence

Providence’s West End includes the areas around Broadway, West Fountain Street and Luongo Square. This also includes part of Westminster Street, where the street moves away from the downtown business center and the landscape is intermingled with residences and urban businesses. This historic urban neighborhood is bustling with revitalization. Throughout the last several years, homes have been renovated, sidewalks repaired, trees planted and community living fostered with the help of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA).

Thayer Street Providence

Thayer Street, in the heart of the Brown University neighborhood, is a vibrant and constantly evolving area. With 71 unique businesses, the neighborhood caters to the college crowd but is also beloved by academics and locals. Thayer consistently refreshes its offerings to stay current and engaging to the community.

Wayland Providence

The Wayland Square neighborhood runs along the edge of the Seekonk River. It boasts the charms of a classic New England neighborhood, with the conveniences of city living within close proximity. The area is rich in diversity, spanning all ages as college students, senior citizens, young couples and families all reside in this walkable area. 

Hope / Summit Neighborhood

Community resonates in this neighborhood tucked on the East Side of Providence on a stretch of road aptly named Hope Street. Discover vibrant streets lined with historic houses and get a feel for why The Huffington Post named Providence one of the “Top 10 Most Walkable Cities.” 

Fox Point / Wickenden

Fox Point is a relaxed and walkable neighborhood with a diverse mix of college students, urban professionals and academics. The area has an eclectic, cool vibe. Old and new are juxtaposed, as vintage and modern meet, and shops and restaurants converge. This area played an important role in the development of Providence and many homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A waterfront community where the Providence and Seekonk rivers join with Narragansett Bay, Fox Point is a natural transportation hub. A linear park links the East Bay Bike Path to Providence and enhances the ease of travel.

Broad Street

Broad Street is most notable for its international character, especially its distinctive concentration of international markets, world food (restaurants, food trucks and bodegas) and festivals. Experience the diverse ethnic character of Broad Street, drawing inspiration from the vibrant commercial center with active street life and sidewalks, filled with entertainment, food, social life and small businesses operated by local, mostly Latino and Asian, entrepreneurs.

RiverWalk Providence

Stroll along the area around the Providence River and discover a number of quaint shops and tantalizing restaurants, as well as historic monuments and landmarks of note. South Main Street offers a number of great options for browsing. The dining choices are plentiful and just one meal may help you understand why Providence was named one of the “Hottest Food Cities” by  Zagat .

Jewelry / Innovation District Providence

The iconic towers of the Narragansett Electric Company rise high above the Providence skyline illuminating the night sky with the glow of their red lights. They point towards a neighborhood that was once a thriving hub of jewelry manufacturing and is now poised to be a center of innovation. The “Jewelry District” has begun an evolution into the “Knowledge District,” spearheaded by Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, a portion of the Johnson & Wales University campus and several major hospitals.

Elmhurst & Mt. Pleasant

Visit Elmhurst and Mt. Pleasant and discover vibrant restaurants, delicious bakeries and many locally owned small businesses. These neighborhoods include many single- and multi-family homes, as well as the campuses of Providence College and Rhode Island College — two premier institutions of higher education.  

Silver Lake & Olneyville Providence

Around the turn of the 20th century, communities of Italian immigrants settled these streets. Now home to a worldlier population, the Silver Lake, Olneyville and Valley Street neighborhoods merge, as flavors and cultures meld in this city area. Being spread out, this community is better traveled by car or explored by bike.

Elmwood Neighborhood

Located directly off Interstate 95, the Elmwood neighborhood is an epicenter of multicultural activity in the city. On this stretch of road, there are more than a dozen different countries represented by neighborhood businesses and community organizations. Locals refer to the Elmwood neighborhood as the “Gateway to Opportunity” and it’s easy to understand why.

Smith Hill Providence

The Smith Hill area, bordering downtown, is home to state government and abuts businesses such as Blue Cross and IGT. Shopping is plentiful, and residential areas range from modern apartment living in refurbished mill buildings to private residences and tenement houses. The area is easily walkable and is an iconic part of Providence.