A Weekend in Downtown Providence
Welcome to Providence, Rhode Island! Being the largest city in Rhode Island, there is always something to do here! Whether you're looking to just take a stroll on a nice summer day or you want to hit the bar scene on a Saturday night, this is the itinerary for you. This itinerary is made for those of a younger crowd, looking for the perfect places to go on your weekend summer stay in Little Rhody!
To prepare yourself for a fabulous weekend summer stay in downtown Providence, you will need to bring a few things with you. During the day flip flops are a must. If you plan on doing a ton of walking then sneakers are probable your best bet. It's a super casual atmosphere whether you're going shopping or to lunch. Sun dresses, t-shirts, and shorts are the general attire. At night, it's usually a bit more dressy, but it really depends on where you go. Federal Hill and Thayer Street are both more upscale at night. Waterfire is also a summer event and it happens to be very casual.
From Boston or New York: Take I-95 North
From Cape Cod or Newport: Take Route 114 North to Route 24 North to I-195 North
From Western Massachusetts: Take Route 146
From T.F. Green Airport: North on I-95 to exit 13 on I-95
RIPTA, Kennedy Plaza, +1 401-784-9500
Greyhound, +1 401-454-0790
Downtown Providence is a relatively compact area. You are able to walk but stick to areas near Providence Place and the Financial District if you choose to go by foot. There are also a lot of hills so take precautions if you choose to walk.
Driving is the most realistic way to get around Downtown Providence. Once you are in the downtown area, everything is about a 5 minute drive from one location to the next. Parking on Federal Hill is available but fills up fast. There is also valet at almost every restaurant there. Parking on Thayer Street is available but you may be going up and down the streets around it a few times before you actually find a spot.
RIPTA, Kennedy Plaza, +1 401-784-9500. Cash only. $2.00 for a one-way ride or $6.00 for a day pass
Capital Cab, +1 401-944-2000
Corporate Taxi, +1 401-231-2228
D.R. Taxi Cab Service, +1 401-640-9689
East Side Taxi, +1 401-521-4200
Express Taxi, +1 401-286-5515. All major credit cards accepted.
Walsh Cab, +1 401-943-3636
Courtyard Marriott Providence Downtown, 32 Exchange St. at memorial Blvd. +1 401-272-1191. Located near WaterPlace Park, the State House, Providence College, and Brown University
Hilton Providence, 21 Atwells Ave. +1 401-831-3900. A luxury hotel located next to the Dunkin Donuts Center. On-site dining includes Shula's 347 Grill.
Hotel Dolce Villa, 63 DePasquale Square +1 401-383-7031. Located on historic Federal Hill this Mediterranean-style hotel is the place stay if you want to be at the center of the city's nightlife.
The Hotel Providence, 139 Mathewson St. +1 401-861-8000. This boutique, luxury hotel is filled with European elegance.
Providence Biltmore Hotel, 11 Dorrance St. +1 401 421-0700. Located in the heart of Downtown Providence it is in walking distance of almost any attraction. Includes The Spa which is perfect way to whine down after your day of roaming the city.
Providence Marriott Downtown, 1 Orms St. +1 401-272-2400. Located in the Capitol District. Nearby shopping, restaurants and features a brand new salon on-site. Restaurants include Temple Restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine.
Radisson Hotel, 220 India St. +1 401-272-5577
Renaissance Providence Hotel, 5 Avenue of the Arts +1 401-919-5000. Originally built in 1929 as a Masonic temple.
The Westin Providence, 1 West Exchange St. +1 401-598-8000. Connected to the Convention Center and the Providence Place mall. In walking distance to many gourmet restaurants and historic attractions. Includes on-site dining includes Centro and Fleming's Steakhouse and Wine Bar.
Amy’s Place, 214 Wickenden St., +1 401-274-9966. Open Daily 8 am-9pm. Breakfast is served until 4 pm and they have an outdoor patio. The cozy atmosphere also has an art gallery with local work on display.
Brickway on Wickenden, 234 Wickenden St., +1 401-751-2477. Open Mon-Fri 7 am-3 pm, Sat & Sun 8 am-3 pm. Located on the East Side of Providence it’s a very family oriented restaurant. Reasonable prices and has brunch on Sundays.
Coffee Exchange, 207 Wickendwn St., +1 401-273-1198. Open Daily 6:30 am-11 pm. Voted the number 1 coffee shop on the East Coast, it’s one of the most popular spots for coffee. It’s a neighborhood favorite with their organic coffee and delicious bagels.
Dunkin Donuts, 78 Dorrance St., +1 401-831-3234; 50 Admiral St., +1 401-621-9624; 1009 Smith St., +1 401-490-9760; 5515 Providence Place Mall, +1 401-270-1255
Julian’s, 318 Broadway, +1 401-861-1770. Brunch Mon-Fri 9 am-5pm, Say & Sun 9 am-2:30 pm. They have a large menu but their menu of the day is smaller and easier to make selections from.
Nick's on Broadway, 500 Broadway, +1 401-421-0286. Wed-Sat 7 am-3 pm and Sun 8 am-3 pm for brunch. Reasonable prices. Originally established in 1969 as a neighborhood diner. They also get all their ingredients from local farmers, growers, and producers.
Olga's Cup & Saucer, 103 Point St., +1 401-831-6666. Mon-Fri & am-4 pm, Sat & Sun 9 am-2 pm for brunch. Located in the Jewelry District they not only serve breakfast but are also a full functioning bakery. Ingredients are also fresh from local farmers markets.
Starbucks, 218 Thayer St., +1 401-421-1677; 21 Atwells Ave., +1 401-831-3900; 1 Financial Plaza, +1 401-351-4614
Antonio’s Pizza, 258 Thayer Street, +1 401-455-3600. Open Sun-Tues 11 am-12 am & Wed-Fri 11 am-2 am. Located next to RISD and Brown, expect to see college kids here 24/7. This “pizza by the slice” restaurant is great if you want a quick fix and a big slice of New York style pizza. The prices are also extremely reasonable.
Caserta Pizzeria, 121 Spruce St., +1 401-621-3618. Open Sun-Thurs 9:30 am-10:30 pm & Fri & Sat 9:30 am-11:30 pm. Located near historic Federal Hill, this pizzeria is an Italian classic. Home of the famous Wimpy Skippy, it’s a spot that you need to try.
Costantino’s Venda Ravioli, 265 Atwells Ave., +1 401-421-9105. Open Mon-Sat 8:30-6 pm & Sun 8:30-4 pm. An Italian deli/restaurant is great if you want Italian food. It’s outdoor seating let’s you enjoy the beautiful summer views, while eating some of Rhode Island’s best Italian food.
East Side Pockets, 278 Thayer St., +1 401-453-1100. Open Mon-Thurs 10 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 10 am-2 am & Sun 10 am-10 pm. This restaurant ranges from falafel to gyros to wraps. Take-out or sit-down, whichever you prefer!
Kabob and Curry, 261 Thayer St., +1 401-273-8844. Open Mon-Thurs 11 am-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am-11 pm & Sun 11:30 am-10 pm. If the delicious smell of Indian food doesn’t draw you in, the brightly colored dining room most certainly will. The Providence Journal says it’s “arguably the best Indian food in Rhode Island.”
Andreas Restaurant, 268 Thayer St., +1 401-331-7879. Open. The finest Greek-American cuisine around. The hustle and bustle of Thayer Street makes this restaurant even more exciting and welcoming! Outside seating is available and makes you feel a part of the eclectic mix on this street.
Angelo's, 141 Atwells Ave., +1 401-621-8171. Open Sun 12 pm-9 pm, Mon-Thurs 11:30 am-9 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am-10 pm. The laid back, casual atmosphere here is great. If you're looking for homemade classic Italian cooking, this is the place to be, which suits its Federal Hill location.
Café Paragon, 234 Thayer St., +1 401-331-6200. Open Mon-Thurs 11 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am & Sun Brunch 10 am-2 pm. Voted Best Burgers, Best Salad, and Best Octopus by RI Monthy and have been written about in a variety of publications.
Caffé Dolce Vita, 59 DePasquale Plaza, +1 401-331-8240. Open Sun-Thurs 8 am-11 pm, Fri & Sat 8 am-1 am & Sun Brunch 8 am-3 pm. With a small, intimate atmosphere, the prices here are beyond reasonable.
Costantino’s Ristorante Caffe, 265 Atwells Ave, +1 401-528-1100. Open Sun-Thurs 5 pm-10 pm & Fri & Sat 5 pm-11 pm. Located next door to their sister restaurant, Venda, this is for more upscale Italian dining. Take advantage of the outdoor seating in the plaza for beautiful sites to go along with their beautiful Italian selections. Valet available.
Geppetto’s Pizzeria, 53 DePasquale Plaza, + 1 401-270-3003. Open Daily at 11 am. In the heart of the plaza on Federal Hill, it’s in a prime location. Enjoy its relaxed atmosphere while eating delicious grilled, gourmet pizzas.
Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, 121 South Main St., +1 401-351-8570. Open Mon-Thurs 11 am-10 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am- 11 pm & Sun 12 pm-9 pm. This upscale restaurant is the definition of fine dining. If you’re looking for an excuse to get dressed up while dining on the finest seafood, this the place to be.
Luxe Burger Bar, 5 Memorial Blvd., +1 401-621-5893. Open Sun-Wed 12 pm-11 pm, Thurs-Sat 12 pm- 12 am. You have never had a burger until you’ve tried a Luxe burger. While their burgers are decently priced, you can create your own with virtually anything on it. This is your time to get creative!
Mediterraneo, 134 Atwells Ave., +1 401-331-7760. Open Mon-Fri 11:30 am-9 pm, Sat 1 pm-10 pm, Sun 5 pm-9 pm. Loacted on Federal Hill, they offer Mediterranean style cuisine. Its massive French doors open up to the street offering inside guests the pleasures of eating outdoors. Valet available.
Pane e Vino, 365 Atwells Ave., +1 401-223-2230. Open Mon-thurs 5 pm-10 pm, Fri & Sat 5 pm-11 pm, Sun 4 pm-9 pm. Receiving the award of excellence from 2004-2008 and was once considered the “new jewel” on Federal Hill. After dining here you can see why it has gotten so much recognition.
Parkside Rotisserie & Bar, 76 South Main St., +1 401-331-0003. Open Mon-Thurs 11:30 am-10 pm, Fri 11:30 am-11 pm, Sat 5 pm-11 pm, Closed Sun in the summer. Modeled after a typical Manhattan eatery., its environment is said to be “sensual, elegant, and reliable,” by The Providence Journal.
Siena Restaurant, 238 Atwells Ave, +1 401-521-3311. Open Mon-Thurs 5 pm-11 pm, Fri 5 pm-11 pm, Sat 4:30 pm-11 pm, Sun 3 pm-9 pm. Described as Tuscan soul food served in a “warm and lively atmosphere. Valet available.
Artini’s Café & Lounge, 292 Atwells Ave., +1 401-274-8464. Open Mon & Tues 8 pm-1 am, Wed & Thurs 7:30 pm-1 am, Fri & Sat 7:30 pm-2 am. This warm atmosphere makes you really feel welcome. It’s a small building which makes for a very intimate, personal setting.
Colosseum, 180 Pine St., +1 401 497 4200. Open Thurs 10 pm-1 am, Fri & Sat 10 pm-2 am. 18+on Thursdays and 21+ Friday and Saturday. One of the hottest nightclubs in the city. Make sure to get there early because it usually reaches capacity by 11 pm on Thursdays.
Nara, 248 Atwells Ave., +1 401-273-6272. Open Mon-Thurs 5 pm-1 am, Fri 5 pm-2 am, Sat 3 pm-2 am, Sun 3 pm-1 am. An upscale Hookah Lounge which has a great atmosphere. Its low cushioned seats add to the ambiance and it has private rooms closed off by a curtain available. Valet available.
Karta Bar, 284 Thayer St., +1 401-331-8111. Open Sun-Thurs 11 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am. Located right in a college district, this bar is filled any day of the week. It’s dim lighting and black leather seats give it an elegant feel.
Tazza, 250 Westminster St., +1 401-3300. Open Mon-Wed 7 am-12 am, Thurs 7 am-1 am, Fri 7 am-2 am, Sat 8 am-2 am, Sun 8 am-5 pm. Coffee by day, cocktail by night. This unique location has an open mic night that is extremely popular.
WaterFire, 101 Regent Ave., +1 401-273-1155. Find the 2011 schedule here http://www.waterfire.org/season-schedule. With its 16th season approaching, WaterFire is one of the “must-see” things when you come to Providence. As each fire is lit along the river in the heart of downtown Providence, it’s the most serene you will see the city. In the Financial Plaza, just a short walk away, you can enjoy different music, dancing and drinks! It’s definitely a time you’ll remember.
Two9Five, 295 Atwells Ave., +1 401-437-8340. Open Mon-Thurs 7 pm-1 am, Fri & Sat 7 pm-2 am & Sun 12 pm-1 am. Great place to unwind after a whirlwind of a weekend. The atmosphere is always friendly and you can relax either inside or on their private outdoor patio. Free limo service and valet available.
View Lounge, 1 Financial Way, +1 401-272-1040. Open Fri & Sat 10 pm-2 am. This outdoor and indoor bar is always busy during the summer. With views right on the water, it always has the hottest DJ’s around. Valet available.
Viva, 234 Thayer St., +1 401-331-6200. Open Mon-Thurs 11 am-1 am, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am & Sun Brunch 10 am-2 pm. After eating a delicious meal at Paragon, head to the bar for the hottest music in town. Located near both Brown and RISD, it’s sure to always have a crowd.
Providence Place Mall, 1 Providence Place, +1 401-270-1000. Open Mon-Sat 10 am-9 pm, Sun 12 pm-6 pm. With over 150 stores, 8 restaurants, a cinema and IMAX theater, you never have to leave all weekend. You’ll always find something to do here!
Thayer Street. Store hours vary daily. Located in the College Hill area, you will almost always see an eclectic mix everywhere on this street. With stores like Urban Outfitters and Berks, this unique street will make you never want to leave. Not only is their amazing shopping, but also coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. It truly has something for everyone!
On almost every corner you will find a boutique or specialty shop to fit your personal needs!