Heading to Providence? We’ve got the perfect roundup of what to see, do, and eat while you’re there, plus where to stay when it’s time for bed. Read on to see our picks for the best of Providence for 2014!
BEST OF PROVIDENCE, RI | Attractions
BEST GIFTS FOR THE GOURMAND:
STOCK CULINARY GOODS, Providence
Beloved by home cooks and chefs alike, Stock is a treasure trove of kitchen tools, gadgets, and gifts for food lovers. Shopkeep Jan Dane’s passion for all things culinary shows in her careful sourcing: nestled alongside well-known brands, expect small-batch, artisanal wares, many of which are foraged from New England makers. 756 Hope St. 401-521-0101; stockpvd.com
BEST ART-HOUSE CINEMA:
CABLE CAR CINEMA & CAFÉ, Providence
Comfy leather couches and access to adult beverages would be enough to catapult the Cable Car into the winner’s circle. Throw in an unparalleled lineup of indie and foreign films, and you’ve got a real blockbuster. 204 South Main St. 401-272-3970; cablecarcinema.com
BEST VIEW OF THE PROVIDENCE SKYLINE:
PROSPECT TERRACE PARK, Providence
Sit back, relax, think (oh, and maybe snap a quick pic with your iPhone). This is one of the best vantages of the capital city. There’s a statue of Roger Williams to keep you company and a grassy knoll where you can spread out a picnic. 184 Pratt St.
BEST OF PROVIDENCE, RI | Lodging
BEST HOTEL FOR POOL LOVERS:
Providence Marriott Downtown (AQUA), Providence
Swimmers—and those who just like to soak (and imbibe)—will fall for the scene at the Providence Marriott’s AQUA. The city’s only poolside lounge, Aqua boasts cabanas, firepits, cocktail service, and a modern snacks menu. Guests may request poolside accommodations, and the hotel also offers an indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Rates: from $199. 1 Orms St. 401-272-2400; marriottprovidence.com
BEST CLASSIC CITY STAY:
THE PROVIDENCE BILTMORE, Providence
The grande dame of the Providence hotel scene, the Biltmore packs a historic and visual punch. (It was designed by the architects behind Grand Central Terminal, and the views from the upper floors are some of the best in the city.) Not to mention some handy amenities: a spa, Starbucks, and a complimentary in-city car service. Rates: from $149. 11 Dorrance St. 401-421-0700; providencebiltmore.com
BEST OF PROVIDENCE, RI | Dining
COOK & BROWN PUBLIC HOUSE, Providence
If your idea of a gastropub is a place that serves imaginative comfort food that goes really well with craft beer—like grilled-and-roasted pork with pickled peaches and preserved lemon—then seek no farther. Entrées: from $13. 959 Hope St. 401-273-7275; cookandbrown.com
THE DORRANCE, Providence
An elegant Beaux-Arts room with a soaring ceiling brings an air of majesty to the Providence comfort-food scene. Don’t be intimidated by the posh surroundings; you can enjoy perfectly fried Rhode Island calamari or roasted dry-aged duck at down-to-earth prices. Entrées: from $18. 60 Dorrance St. 401-521-6000; thedorrance.com
BEST LOCAL FOOD:
FARMSTEAD, Providence (CLOSED)
Farmstead shares quarters (and owners) with a great cheese shop, so it’s no wonder that the menu features one of Rhode Island’s most decadent versions of mac ’n’ cheese. Local meats, fish, and produce are also transformed into inventive dishes, such as monkfish served with apple butter and Brussels sprouts.
What are your picks for the best of Providence, Rhode Island?