I honestly cannot remember if I have ever been to Rhode Island before. I think perhaps I’ve driven through it while trying to get somewhere else. When Labor Day was coming up, we pitched the idea of visiting a close friend for the weekend, since Providence was just a 4 hour drive from New Jersey.
Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, is home to Brown University, the Roger Williams Park, and Riverwalk, with the famed WaterFire art installation. It’s an extremely beautiful city, with tons of history, green spaces, and amazing food.
We started off our weekend in Providence by exploring Brown University, which is just a few short minutes away from the downtown area. The hills are steep though, so make sure you come prepared for a hike!
We then meandered over to Prospect Terrace, a small, hill-top park with a statue of Roger Williams, Rhode Island’s founder. Prospect Terrace offers amazing views of downtown Providence.
We were extremely lucky that our arrival day coincided with a full lighting of WaterFire. WaterFire is a sculpture by Barnaby Evans that is presented on the rivers of downtown Providence. On specific evenings, the eighty-six braziers that are scattered throughout Waterplace Park (the Woonasquatucket river) and the Moshassuck and Providence rivers, are lit on fire at sunset. Some evenings offer a full lighting, while others are partial lighting. Visitors are invited to view the lighting and enjoy the warm, flickering fires throughout the night. WaterFire runs through December, so be sure to check out the dates on their website!
After a beautiful night spent strolling along the rivers of Providence and enjoying the atmosphere of WaterFire, we spent the next morning visiting the Roger Williams Park Zoo, one of the most popular attractions in Providence. It contains more than 150 animals from around the world in natural settings. Founded in 1872, it is the third oldest zoo in the nation. We saw cheetahs, giraffes, and the most adorable sloth family.