Exploring Rhode Island

While Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States, it is the second most densely populated in the country. In 2014, the state had a total population of about ~ 1 million individuals. Providence, the state’s capital, is by far the largest city in the state with a population of 170,000. There are a total of 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island each with its own distinct character.

 

As one of the first original Thirteen Colonies, the state is full of history. The colonial architecture is evident throughout all of Providence but is most noticeable around the Brown University and RISD campuses. Referred to as “The Ocean State,” Rhode Island is surrounded by beaches and ocean. The proximity to the water allows for all sorts of water activities and fresh seafood. Even if you do not enjoy the water, there are activities throughout the year from strawberry picking to hiking to biking around the state’s bike path.

 

Many of our residents and fellows have found Rhode Island to be welcoming of young families. In addition to the outdoor activities, Rhode Island has been known as a culinary capital offering a range of foods from around the world due to its diverse population. During the summer, the state plays host to a variety of outdoor festivals for every interest. We hope that you will take the opportunity to explore all that the state has to offer.

Neighborhoods

Activities

  • Downcity

    Downtown (“Downcity”) sits at the confluence of Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers. This area of the city is home to the financial district with mid-rise buildings creating an inner-city vibe. There is also a strong retail influence, most notably along historic Westminster Street which is where you’ll find the newly renovated Arcade, the country’s oldest indoor mall.

  • College Hill

    College Hill is located on Providence’s East Side and is the first permanent colonial settlement in Rhode Island. This steep hill on the east bank of the Providence River plays host to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. It is a neighborhood where historical architecture and modern buildings seamlessly coexist, while Thayer Street provides a young, energetic vibe to make this a truly dynamic part of the city

  • West End

    West End is an area filled with historic homes that is currently being flooded with young cooks, urban gardeners, and talented artists. Broadway Street is becoming restored as the revival of this once thriving neighborhood. It is yet another example of the exciting growth taking place within the city.

  • The Hill

    Federal Hill (“The Hill”) is Rhode Island’s very own Little Italy. While it was initially home of the working class and first wave of immigration in Providence (the Irish), it eventually became the center of one of the most densely populated and largest Italian settlements in the nation. Additionally, the Annual Columbus Day Parade is a fun event for all to enjoy in this community each year. The neighborhood is full of Italian restaurants that would rival some of the best in Italy!

  • Fox Point

    Fox Point is a neighborhood nestled within the east side of Providence. It sits adjacent to both College Hill and the Wayland neighborhoods. It is home to cute little shops, highly rated restaurants and salons. It connects to India Point Park by a bridge crosses the 195 interstate. This part of town is especially lively on weekends and holidays.

  • Wayland

    The Wayland Historic District is also located on the east side of Providence that was originally part of the Moses Brown farm. It is bound by residential areas, small cafes and coffee shops as well as farm to table restaurants and local clothing stores. Many residents reside in this area with its quick access to the highway and the Blackstone park.

  • Things To Do

  • Events in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island is a lively state. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, people from all around southeast New England come to Rhode Island for the outdoor festivals and activities that the state hosts. Consistent with its nickname as the “Ocean State,” some of Rhode Island’s more famous outdoor festivities include the Seafood Festival in Providence and the Newport Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island. The state is also a cultural mecca with individuals from all around the world hosting various cultural festivals with dancing, food and music. Each month and season has something different and you will surely find something that will catch your eye!

  • Restaurants

    Rhode Island is home to one of the most diverse restaurant scenes in the northeast in large part due to the cultural diversity of the population and the local culinary schools. Johnson and Wales University, one such culinary school, is the alma mater of James Beard award winner Emeril Lagasse. Many budding culinary artists establish their first restaurants in Providence and surrounding cities and offer an array of tastes not found elsewhere. Additionally, Rhode Island is home to a large international population including refugees who have sought to resettle in our state. As a result, the food here has been influenced by cultures from around the world but now is accessible right here in town.