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- Why Providence?
Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his extreme views on freedom of religion and speech. He traveled southwest to what is now Rhode Island and purchased land from the Narragansett tribe. He founded Providence on the principles of tolerance and peace. We all think this sounds like a good idea.
Brown University, then known as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” was founded in 1764 and was the first university to accept students regardless of the religious affiliation. It is one of 9 universities founded prior to the American Revolution.
RI was the first American British colony to secede from Great Britain in May 4, 1776, two months prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in the Original RI State House
The French, under General Rochambeau, landed in Newport in 1780, and Newport became the base of the French forces during the American Revolutionary War.
Rhode Island is considered the birth place of religious freedom.
RI is considered the birthplace of Industrial Revolution. In 1790, the English immigrant Samuel Slater founded the first textile mill in Pawtucket, which revolutionized the textile industry in New England. He is now known as the father of the American industrial revolution.
The Rhode Island State House was built in 1895-1904 and became the model for other state houses around the nation.
At the beginning of the mid-19th centuries, wealthy southern planters began to build their “summer cottages” on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI. By the turn of the 20th century, many of the nations wealthiest families, including the Vanderbilts, Astors and Wideners were summering in Newport and had constructed large “cottages,” such as the Breakers and Miramar.
Providence underwent cultural revival in 1980-1990’s with growth of visual and performing arts (fueled by Rhode Island School of Design), and restaurants (fueled by Johnson & Wales Culinary Art School).
- Want a water view? Grab a burrito from Tallulah's Taqueria on the East Side and head down to India Point Park to lounge while overlooking the water. Occasionally concerts and festivals at the park with lots of activity on nicer days.
- Raining? Head to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, a renowned museum with an incredible collection of art.
- Only an evening? Catch a sunset at Prospect Park overlooking the city. Then walk down the hill, cross the river and head downtown for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants below.
- Need a walk? Head to Blackstone Boulevard for a 1.7 mile walk down the beautiful gravel pathway. You can either start or end the walk with a trip to Three Sisters Ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Hungry? Thirsty? We hope the restaurants, coffee spots, and bars listed below lead you to the perfect spot to satisfy your cravings!
Location, Location, Location and more! In College Hill you truly are in the center of Providence and it is very convenient to getting where you need to go. Equidistant to Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam, you are also walking distance to downtown for a night of Waterfire or going out to restaurants/bars. You are also very close to your friends that may live Wayland square or Hope Village/Miriam area. But there is so much more than just location, College Hill is the most historic part of PVD with Benefit Street having the one the largest collection of Victorian and colonial homes. There's so many beautiful houses and streets, it's great place to go for a walk with your dog or for a bike ride. There's also several parks including Prospect Park with the best view in Providence and the large Brown St park for all your sporting needs. It's also close to Thayer street so that you can enjoy the restaurants and bars of Brown University. With several more restaurants (Den Den's, Mill's Tavern) and bars (Tortilla Flats, Harry's Bar and Burger) spread throughout the neighborhood, there's plenty to do. But when you are so close to everything, Providence is your oyster.
West Side of Providence - Chiazotam Ekekezie PGY-3
Living in the historic West Side of Providence has many perks. For example, I enjoy a convenient 4 minute commute to RIH (7 min to TMH and 5 min to the VAMC) in addition to a lively neighborhood in the midst of an impressive revival. There are numerous restaurants--both affordable and extravagant--to choose from on any given night. Historic Atwells boasts some of the best authentic Italian cuisine, mouthwatering sushi and Asian fusion, nourishing vegan/vegetarian meals, and margaritas the size of an adult's face! There are craft breweries (Long Live Beerworks), cocktail lounges (The Avery), and cozy bars (E&O Taphouse) all within walking distance. For those looking to relax and unwind, there are excellent therapeutic massage parlors (West Side Wellness), reflexology lounges (Le Foot Reflexology), and acupuncturists nearby. There are also multiple gyms and wellness centers including Planet Fitness, CrossFit, Devine City Cycle, and Boiler Room Aerial and Bikram Yoga studio. For the religious, there are stunning churches as well as vibrant nondenominational spiritual centers. For families with children (and those who remain children at heart), Dexter Park offers a beautiful space to roam, play, and participate in community cultural life. Enjoy live music at the charming Columbus Theater. Skip the traffic and parking fees and enjoy being able to walk to Waterfire and various attractions in the heart of downtown. Get your bike customized at Dash. Enjoy delicious pastries and artisanal breads at Seven Stars Bakery or North. Recharge with a strong cup of coffee from White Electric or Vanuatu Roasters. Support local farmers and naturalists year-round at the Fertile Underground--where you can always find local honey and excellent matcha. Pick up unique trinkets for loved ones and vintage goods as well as locally made artworks for your home-space while participating in Native American drumming circles at the Share Space. Trade in old clothes for new items at Leviathan Exchange. Get your hair loc'ed, twisted, or cornrowed at BET African hair salon--where you can also get a stunning Dominican-style blow-out. Be first in line for brunch at Kitchen or skip the line and go to Nick's. Try the oxtail at Sue's or fried plantains at Flames--or better yet, buy fresh plantains from Rudy's corner produce truck/stand to take home and fry for yourself! Obviously, there's no shortage of fun things to do or eat on the West Side--it's the best side for anyone who wants affordable rent, short commutes, accessible avenues for self-care and opportunities to participate in the diversity and richness of authentic PVD cultural life.
DownCity Providence - Dionne Rebello PGY-3
I have lived at the Regency Apartments in downtown since moving to Providence and I absolutely love it. The downtown scene is vibrant and filled with awesome bars and restaurants. In the summertime, I am steps away from Watefire and the summer concert series - there is always something fun going on! I am also walking distance from Atwells avenue and Broadway which have amazing Italian restaurants and brunch places. My apartment is about a 5 minute drive from Rhode Island Hospital and about 10 minutes from the VA and Miriam hospitals which has been awesomely convenient with a busy resident schedule!
East Side of Providence - Chris Thomas PGY-3
I live on the East Side and I love it! Quiet, easy parking, walking distance to lots of restaurants, bars and parks. More or less equidistant from RIH, TMH and the VA. My favorites include Tallulah's Taqueria and East Side Pockets for quick and delicious bites, Ivy Tavern for dinner/drinks and Three Sisters for ice cream.
DownCity Providence - Lolita Nidadavolu PGY-3
Downtown is no more than a 10 minute drive maximum to all the hospitals. Great area for biking around and it's very easy to get to the East Bay Bike path (or the East Side or Federal Hill). Movie theater and Providence Place Mall are nearby (easily walking distance). Favorite places for after work food and drinks are Trinity Brewhouse, Malted Barley. For a good vegetarian place, check out Veggie Fun. One of the great things about living downtown is that it's just a short walk to the river for nights when Waterfire is going on over the summer.
East Side of Providence - Matt Austin PGY-4
The East Side of Providence, best described as “urban residential,” is comprised of beautiful, historic neighborhoods. It offers all the benefits of an urban environment: ample walking, plenty of window shopping, delicious restaurants, great bars and yet, maintains an open-air residential vibe. It has plenty of old New England homes, open-spaced parks, and also home to the Brown undergraduate campus. Individual neighborhoods include Blackstone, College Hill, Wayland Square, and Fox Point. Personal favorites include the summer farmer’s market at Lippett park, jogging Blackstone Boulevard (a 2 mile tree-lined path), dinner at Red Stripe, and nitro coffee from Stock PVD. The commute to the hospitals are short and on any given day, I can get to all three of our hospitals in under 10 minutes.
Best Ice Cream
Great Italian Food
Best Food Trucks
Best Study Spot Where You'll Actually Spend More Time People Watching
Rhode Island boasts a growing number of great microbreweries that are worth a visit
Best Dive Bars
Best Hipster Bars
Best Classy Bars
Best Bar on the Water
Best Rooftop Bar
Best Bars with a Cool Set-up/Ambience
Best Karaoke Bars
Best German Bar
Best Irish Pub
Best Punk/Metal Bar
Best Wine Bars
Best Bars for Live Music
Sailing - Whether you are a seasoned sailor or looking to learn the ropes, Rhode Island has it all when it comes to sailing.
Kayaking - Rhode Island offers numerous places to rent or put-in your own boat.
Hiking and State Parks - Though Rhode Island may not have much elevation to offer, there is no shortage of places to get your nature-fix.
Block Island- Rhode Island's beautiful and iconic coastal retreat, Block Island, is an hour's ferry-ride from Southern Rhode Island. Bring your bike and sunscreen! Whatever you are searching for, Block Island has it: art galleries, beaches, sailing, hiking, fishing, bars, food and shopping are all available within arm’s reach, and you’ll be no farther than a 20-minute bike ride from the southern and northernmost points of the Island.
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