Just a two-hour flight from Charlotte, Providence, RI is an ideal destination for a weekend away with your significant other. Named by Travel & Leisure as one of America’s Favorite Cities, Providence woos travelers from near and far. By staying in a downtown hotel, travelers are able to walk to numerous attractions, shopping, and restaurants.
Over a recent summer weekend, my husband and I fell in love with this beautiful, walkable city. We felt it was just the right size town to experience over a weekend. A return trip is definitely on our travel list. Here are a few highlights you won’t want to miss.
The Providence Biltmore
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Built in 1922 and designed by the same architects who designed Grand Central Station in New York City, this landmark hotel with a swanky past still reigns supreme. Designated a Historic Hotel of America, it has been renovated a handful of times over the years, but still maintains all of it’s original charm. The luxurious rooms with incredibly comfortable beds make it easy to sleep in just a few winks.
On the 17th floor is the Grand Ballroom where you will find an example of the beauty and splendor that defines the Providence Biltmore. My husband and I were lucky enough to visit when there was no event taking place. This gave us a chance to play a tune on our phone, kick off our shoes, and hit the dance floor. You’ll also find the views of Providence from the Grand Ballroom stunning and the perfect spot to capture some breathtaking photos.
Dinner at Siena Restaurant
Named the best restaurant in Rhode Island Monthly’s Readers Poll many times over, Siena is widely know for authentic Tuscan cuisine, impressive service, and a dynamic atmosphere - we couldn’t agree more! It’s simply phenomenal! At our cozy table by the front window, we enjoyed entrees that have been on the menu for 11 years. Fruitti di Mare – an assortment of seafood sautéed in red clam sauce with linguine and Gamberi Con Timo – sautéed shrimp over creamy risotto was the best Italian food we have ever had the pleasure of eating - kudos to the chef!
This gem of a restaurant is located in Historic Federal Hill, so after dinner enjoy walking this lively street and perhaps catch live music at DePasquale Plaza on Atwells Avenue.
Brunch at Bravo Brasserie
As you step into this brasserie, you would think you landed in Paris. Think dark rich wood, big windows, and hex tile flooring. Bravo is a French-inspired restaurant serving up French and American bistro fare. It’s a perfectly charming spot for brunch. Eggs Benedict on crab cakes and French toast with rum caramelized bananas were delish!
Rhode Island School of Design Museum
Take in beautiful works of art from around the globe and every time period. At this museum, take in beautiful works of art from around the globe and virtually every time period in a collection curated well beyond modern and contemporary. The museum’s vast collection includes Ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, European, Asian, and 18th and 19th Century American works plus Student Galleries where RISD students showcase their work. Fortunately for us, our visit coincided with an exhibition showcasing Todd Oldham Fashion that is open through mid-September.
Across multiple floors in four buildings, the museum can be difficult to navigate, even with a map. However, the very helpful staff is available and eager to make sure you don’t miss any of the beautiful exhibits.
Dinner at Café Nuovo
Located where the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers join to form the Providence River, Café Nuovo is a spectacular place to dine while in Providence. Using locally sourced ingredients, the chef has created a Mediterranean-inspired menu sure to please every palate. The recipe for the incredibly tasty lamb shank is from non other than the owner’s mom! This sumptuous dish takes awhile to prepare, but is so worth it. The seafood entrees are picture-worthy along with being worth every calorie. Unparalleled service, phenomenal entrees, and an ideal river location make Nuovo a top-notch dining experience.
Take a Romantic Ride on La Gondola
For a truly amazing experience, take an evening ride on La Gondola! Bring along a bottle of wine and your gondolier will uncork, provide glasses, and pour your wine for you. Once you are underway, your friendly gondolier will point out different historical sights, but the best part he will sing Italian love songs under the bridges for a truly romantic time! It’s a beautiful way to see Providence and made for a magical moment for me and my husband.
Rooftop at the Providence G
A fun place for a cocktail is the Rooftop at the Providence G. It’s a well-designed rooftop terrace where hip locals like to hang out. You can order from a menu with a handful of appetizers, entrees, and pizzas. For us, the weather was perfect and we enjoyed the trendy atmosphere along with the great views.
Dine at Circe Restaurant
Located in an old bank building, this restaurant has been transformed into a modern sophisticated dining establishment. The owner has created a wonderful place with incredible food served up in generous portions with attentive staff in a bustling atmosphere. The menu has a Mediterranean-twist and the specials are Asian-fusion entrees. A meal here will be one you will long remember for all the right reasons.
For more, goprovidence.com.