Providence

Rhode Island

Fire fuses with water in a stunning display that sparked a renaissance in Providence more than two decades ago. On a full lighting night, some 80 blazing braziers stretch on the city’s rivers. The wood fires reflect on performers and musicians lining the streets of this unique Rhode Island capital. The dichotomous art display is called WaterFire. It was first lit in 1994 as the city was rejuvenating its downtown.

Today, its signature is on the thriving arts scene that exists here amid top-ranked colleges, much-lauded restaurants and cobblestone walkways. On College Hill, restored colonials line Benefit Street in a “Mile of History” near Brown University. Founder John Brown’s home is a museum where exhibits include the sobering slave-trade artifacts that helped build Brown’s wealth. The Brown University Bookstore on Thayer Street will fan your intellectual flames for hours.

Nearby, The Independent Man, a 500-pound bronze sculpture, crowns the marble dome of the Rhode Island State House. Providence became a refuge for independent thinkers after its founding by Roger Williams, a renegade preacher who fled persecution in Massachusetts. It went on to become an active seaport until it was wracked by hurricanes in the first half of the 20th century. Providence restaurants receive many accolades. World-renowned culinary institute at Johnson & Wales University can take some of the credit. Alums and students alike assimilate into area restaurants. The range of eateries downtown and on College Hill varies from haute cuisine on white tablecloths to burgers among the lively college crowd.

Not to be missed, though, is the epicurean strength that comes from ethnic cuisine. Among the best is found on Federal Hill in Little Italy. Stroll around the old-school neighborhood with its grand architecture, and then enjoy authentic Italian cooking. For Portuguese dishes that hail from the old country, head to the east side of the city. No matter your choice, the fare in Providence is sure to keep your fires burning.Rhode Island International Film Festival

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WaterFire
centers around a series of nearly 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence. The string of fires illuminates nearly two-thirds of a mile of urban public spaces and parks, as residents and visitors gather to stroll along the river, listening to music and watching performances. Boats pass quietly before the flames, as black-clad performers tend the fires from sunset to midnight.
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Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. We interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an​​ accessible and inclusive environment that builds meaningful relationships across all communities.
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Providence Performing Arts Center
PPAC is a 3100-seat, world class venue located in the heart of Providence’s arts and entertainment district; it is the second largest theatre of its kind in the country. PPAC is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it has also been ranked by Pollstar as one of the Top Venues in the world. The theatre became known as the “Jewel of Weybosset Street” after its doors opened as Loew’s State Movie Palace in 1928.
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Roger Williams Park Zoo
Located amid 40 acres of beautiful woodlands, the Roger Williams Park Zoo provides visitors the opportunity to see animals from all over the globe – some more than a million years old. Naturalistic surroundings are home to more than 100 species of animals including a Komodo dragon, as well as zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes, snow leopards, bears, anteaters, flamingoes, sloths, and more!
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Al Forno
577 S. Water St. Providence, RI 02903
(401) 273-9760
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birch
200 Washington St. Providence, RI 02903
(401) 272-3105
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Durk's Bar-B-Q
275 Thayer St. Providence, RI 02906
(401) 351-2807
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Enoteca Umberto
256 Atwells Ave. Providence, RI 02903
(401) 272-8466
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North
122 Fountain St. Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-1100
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Rhode Island International Film Festival
Nearest Airport
Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport
Coordinates
41.8240, 71.4128
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Providence, Rhode Island
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