About Providence

Aerial view of downtown providence

Life in Providence

With the affordability of a smaller city and the resources of nearby Boston and New York City, Providence offers a combination of classic New England beauty, immersive arts culture, and the excitement of a city packed with colleges and Universities. A strong arts culture thrives amid Providence’s historic cobblestone streets and colonial architecture.

Exterior of AS220 artist studio in downtown ProvidenceBreathtaking spaces like the Athenaeum and RISD’s Fleet Library provide the perfect atmosphere for creative and academic work. AS220 offers classes in everything from ballet to screenprinting, and hosts arts events, shows, and festivals, while the Steel Yard teaches metalworking and ceramics. Musicians ranging from pop artists to indie groups play shows at The Strand Ballroom, and the nationally renowned Trinity Repertory Company delivers dramatic productions of all kinds.

View of circle of torches in the basin of Waterplace Park in Providence, RIIn addition to the RISD Museum’s stunning collection, RISD student shows abound throughout the year. On summer WaterFire nights, you can find mimes, musicians, and artists crowding along the river while boats glide through the shadows to light dozens of bonfires on platforms spaced throughout the water.

Close up of baskets of red apples at a farmer's market in Providence, RIProvidence also takes pride in its culinary scene. Students will find an abundance of affordable dining options, ranging from Korean and Thai to acclaimed restaurants in the Italian Federal Hill neighborhood and artisan donut shops that draw lines down the block. Stop by Kitchen for their beloved French Toast made from Portuguese sweetbread, or make a reservation at Enoteca Umberta for spontaneous and authentic specials made by a pair of married Providence natives with Italian lineage.  Dining in? Home chefs will find a abundance of fresh produce at the farmer's markets staged all over the city.

A crowded beach in Rhode IslandIf kayaking along the Providence River and the panoramic bay views from India Point Park don’t satisfy your taste for nature, you’ll find beautiful mountain hikes and ocean scenery just a short drive or bus ride away from the city. The Ocean State may be the nation’s smallest, but it boasts 400 miles of coastline on the Atlantic, replete with seaside towns, harbors, and beaches. Visit the historic mansions lining Newport’s cliffs or venture inland to pick your own fruits and vegetables on local farms.

A passage along the Woonasquatucket River in Rhode IslandProvidence’s central New England location gives easy access to bigger cities, with Boston less than an hour’s train ride away and New York close enough to make day trips. At the same time, the advantages of a smaller city make Providence a comfortable place to live, with more affordable costs of living. With the constant influx of businesses, projects, and ideas that stems from its student population, Providence provides entertainment of all kinds.