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Nearby Attractions in Providence

Influenced by the five top-tier universities and vocational schools that surround the town, Providence has an intriguing list of museums and attractions to keep you busy year ‘round. Whether you choose to brave the haunted tour at Brown University, explore ancient Egyptian galleries at RISD Museum, or skate at the roller disco, you’re sure to have a great time.

Here’s the five best museums and attractions to visit when in Providence.  


RISD Museum

One of the three largest university art museums in the U.S. and southeastern New England’s only comprehensive art museum, RISD Museum is a total gem. The collection currently includes over 100,000 works of art and design, all the way from ancient times to modern day.

At RISD you’ll see everything from paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, costume and textiles, and furniture from all around the globe. Carve out a couple hours (no pun intended) and give RISD Museum a visit.  

Insider Tip

Make sure to check out the Ancient Egyptian Galleries – they’re always on view. 

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RISD Museum

Bank Newport City Center

Lace up some skates and get ready boogie the day away at BankNewport City Center. Right in the heart of downtown, this event center and outdoor skating rink has tons of programming year-round. Whether you’re ice skating, roller discoing or trying your hand at ice bumper cars, the rink is the place to be.

The summer event season extends from April through October with programming like public roller skating, monthly movie nights and concerts, with winter ice skating and bumper car season runs from November to March. Whenever you’re around, The Providence Rink is the perfect destination for a little family fun.  

Insider Tip

Peek at their website to learn about college night, lunch time and after work special offers.

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Bank Newport City Cente

Roger Williams Park Zoo

Located across 40 acres of stunning woodlands, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is a place for visitors to see animals from around the world – some species more than a million years old. As the United States’ third oldest zoo, the amazing animals, award-winning educational programs and beautiful surroundings are truly impressive to even the most well-traveled animal lovers.

Home to over 100 species of animals including a Komodo dragon, zebras, red pandas, snow leopards and more, there are incredible exhibits for every interest. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, don’t miss their new zip ride and train excursions through the woodlands. 

Insider Tip

Stop by in the Fall for the nationally acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, a Rhode Island Halloween tradition.

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Roger Williams Park Zoo

Providence Public Library

Come for the gorgeous renaissance-style architecture, stay for the unique collections at the Providence Public Library. First opened in 1900 with about 93,000 volumes, the Library’s inventory has now grown to over 1.4 million items.

The Providence Public Library is home to many specialty collections including World War I and II propaganda, Irish culture and literature, art, architecture and more. The library also actively collects local historical items, like maps, newspapers, and family/neighborhood histories directly relating to the city and Rhode Island as a whole.  

Insider Tip

In case you really fall in love while you’re there, the library is one of Rhode Island’s top wedding spaces.

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Providence Public Library

Providence Ghost Tour

Discover Providence’s East Side by lantern light. The Provide Ghost Tour will take you through the city’s unique stories on a 90-minute tour. Learn about significant moments and enduring residents in Providence’s history. 

Meander through parts of the Brown University and RISD campuses as you listen to creepy tales from the ghost tour guides. Don’t be surprised if you feel your spine tingling—it’s probably just the ghosts.

Insider Tip

Walking shoes are highly recommended for this tour, but it’s well worth it!

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