The Smith Hill area, bordering downtown, is home to the august Rhode Island State House, one of the most impressive in the nation, as well as Providence College, a premier institution of higher education. 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.
Bordering both downtown and Smith Hill, visitors can enjoy three levels of shopping and two hours of free garage parking at Providence Place. The mall includes a wide range of shops, including Zara, H&M, Sephora, Footlocker, Old Navy, DSW and countless others. For fun and games, there’s Dave & Buster’s, Build-a-Bear Workshop and the Lego Store. Dining options include a food court with a variety of cuisines, Cheesecake Factory, Uno Chicago Grill, P.F. Chang’s and more. An IMAX Theatre and a Showcase Cinemas make this a perfect destination for locals and travelers alike.
Stop by Pat’s Pub to quench your thirst with a Guinness or an Irish cider. Hear live Irish music on Tuesday nights. There’s also great people-watching as the pub has a crowd of regulars. A casual local place serving up traditional pub fare, which includes corned beef and cabbage and a Reuben sandwich. Never dull, there’s also karaoke nights and a dart league.
Capitol Hill Diner is a great local spot for breakfast. Venture down Smith Street and stop by Newport Creamery for a casual meal and a beloved Rhode Island milkshake called an “Awful Awful” (it’s awful big and awful good).
Visitors should not miss the Rhode Island State House. The impressive marble building dates back to 1904 and boasts the fourth largest unsupported marble dome in the world. The State House is home to the executive and legislative branches of state government. Virtual tours can be found online. Stop by the visitor center/gift shop on the first level of the State House and take home Rhode Island-themed gifts and souvenirs.
The historic Christopher Dodge House Bed & Breakfast is a lovely place to overnight in the city. Set in a three-story brick mansion, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, rooms include marble fireplaces, plaster molding and original tin ceilings. The inn was built in 1858 as the primary residence of the Dodge family, which included a former mayor of Providence.
Walk through the park at the Roger Williams National Memorial at the corner of Smith and North Main streets, and be inspired by this modest tribute to our founder. A Christian preacher adamant about separation between church and state, Roger Williams settled in Rhode Island in 1636. This national park includes a visitors center, monuments, and Native American and Colonial Kitchen gardens.
Providence is rich with history. Take a walk on Providence’s 2.5 mile Independence Trail and hear stories from every period of American history. A free mobile tour covers 1,200 years of Rhode Island history through the culture, architecture and folklore that comprises our great state.
Check out a show at The VETS. This beautiful theater hosts live performances, ranging from children’s entertainment to comedians and musicians.
Rhode Island features seamless transportation connectivity, with both MBTA and Amtrak services available at the Providence Train Station. Providence is conveniently located on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor route, which runs from Boston to Washington, D.C. and back. The MBTA commuter rail service travels between southern Rhode Island, Green International Airport, the Providence Station and points north, with many stops along the route to South Station in Boston.
The area has ample on-street metered parking, frequent intercity bus service, and paid garage parking at both the mall and train station.