For my birthday week, I previously made vacation plans but they fell through. So, in its place I decided to travel to Providence instead! Providence was on my radar because I’ve been looking to explore the East Coast more, and I’m glad I did. Providence is a very walkable city so you can see a lot without going too far. It was a great place to spend a weekend!
I got into Providence pretty late the previous night, so I let myself sleep in. To start off the day, I went to Apsara Asian Restaurant and got their special fried rice. They seemed to be only doing takeout because of COVID. So I went to a laundromat nearby while I waited for the order, picked it up, and ate it. And holy crap, I got so much fried rice for $10. It was an ungodly amount of food and I was pretty full for the rest of the day. I would absolutely come here again since it was so good.
After eating the rice, I went to walk around Roger Williams Park since it was pretty close to where I currently was. If you have the time, I would definitely recommend taking a stroll here! In the park, here are the places I hit (I went from the west side of the park to the east side):
If you’re pressed for time, I would recommend to only visit the Victorian Rose Garden and the Temple of Music if you’re just trying to walk through the park. The Rose Garden is small but cute, and the Temple of Music overlooks a small lake. When I walked past it, there was a wedding ceremony about to happen!
After walking around the park, I decided to see Providence City Hall before making my way towards India Point Park. The park is alongside a river, making it a great place to just take a walk. Overall, I would say the park was one of my favorite places of Providence since it was peaceful to just sit and take it all in!
After walking through the park, I took a SPIN scooter and went up Blackstone Blvd, which I had heard is really pretty. The street is split in the middle by a grassy/rocky walking path, and it was beautiful with the fall foliage. Unfortunately, the scooter didn’t do too well on the rocky surface so I just rode it on the street’s bike lane.
Then, I made my way towards the Rhode Island State House and WaterPlace Park before making my way to Plant City for dinner. I got a tomato basil sandwich and a golden milk chai. I would had liked the sandwich to be bigger for what I paid, but the chai was A+. I would recommend! I also liked how the place just serves vegan fare. However, I was a little confused at first since I thought it was going to be more of a food hall, but it was a cross between that and a restaurant.
After eating, I started to walk towards where the WaterFire show was going on. I would say this was another big highlight , but you definitely want to do your research before going. You’ll want to look up 1) if it’s even happening since usually it’s on a weekend and more infrequent now because of COVID and 2) what time is sunset, since you’ll want to get there a little early to get a good spot.
It’s not exactly a show, but seeing the fire on the river is just a very unique sight. I would say you can technically come at any time, but you’ll just have to battle against the crowds. Sitting alongside the river was a great way to end the evening and after that, I decided to make my way home.
To start off my 2nd day, I decided to get brunch at The Classic Cafe. This place had old-school diner vibes and I got a chicken fajita omelet which was really good! The wait time seemed to be somewhat long, but I was lucky and got seated right away since I was dining solo.
After eating, I made my way towards the RISD Museum. To get in, all I did was to reserve a ticket online. Also, it was free since I went on Sunday! If you have the flexibility I would definitely go on a free day (since why would you want to spend more money?). Overall, the museum is quite small but big at the same time. There’s a lot to see, but it will probably only take you half the day at most.
I really liked how the artwork was half modern and half “traditional” old work. There were some very interesting pieces of art and overall it was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Afterwards, I walked alongside Benefit Street which really showcases Providence’s beautiful architecture. At the end of the walk, I got another chai latte at The Shop before making my way to Andino’s to meet some family members for dinner.
I suggested that we meet in Federal Hill for dinner since I heard that it had great Italian food and that it was a cute area. There were a lot of restaurants and I would had loved to have more time just to stroll. Andino’s was also really good. We got a few appetizers to share, like the calamari salad. I got the florentine ravioli as my entrée. Overall, the meal was spectacular but the only thing was that it was more expensive than I would personally go for when I'm on vacation. But, I didn’t mind since it was a special occasion! After dinner, I went back to my Airbnb after a long day of exploring.
For my last day in Providence, I started it off by getting breakfast at West Side Diner. I decided to get a side of the corned beef hash, tea, and The Hungry Man which was all super tasty! The Hungry Man also included a side of pancakes on top of eggs, sausage, etc. and the pancakes were much bigger than I expected. In fact, I had to take half the pancakes to go - I couldn’t finish everything! It was definitely a homey place to eat.
After eating, I made my way to Prospect Terrace which has a nice view of Providence - I would definitely recommend at least making a short stop here. Then, I spend most of the day walking around Brown University. The college feels ingrained into Providence itself, but you still get that distinct campus feel. I loved the architecture, just sitting around and people watching. I would highly recommend taking a look if you have the time!
During midday, I got a little hungry and got fried chicken from Den Den Korean Fried Chicken, which is near the university. The chicken was tasty but I’ve had better. Then, I finished out the day by getting takeout at Noodles 102 where I got a custom noodle bowl (ramen, tofu as the protein with vegetable broth). Overall, I liked the noodles but I felt like it would had been much better if I ate at the restaurant. That pretty much rounded out my time in Providence and I had an amazing time!