In 1636, Roger Williams, a dissident preacher, and his followers settled at the head of Narragansett Bay to enjoy the religious and political freedom denied them in Massachusetts. Today the Greater Providence area is the economic focal point of Rhode Island.
Providence is the place for you whether your interests lie in architecture, art, gourmet food, history, music, nature, or shopping. Benefit Street boasts the most impressive concentration of original colonial homes in America, Federal Hill is Providence's own 'Little Italy' with gourmet Italian restaurants, sidewalk cafes, specialty shops, and boutiques.
Thayer Street, on College Hill, is the social focal point for Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. The street features more than 100 boutiques and international restaurants.
Waterplace Park and Riverwalk is the focal point of Providence's revitalized downtown. Wickenden Street, located on Providence's East Side, features an eclectic collection of shops, galleries, restaurants, and coffeehouses.
With more than 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Island provides ample opportunities for fun in the sun. The 'Ocean State' features 100 public and private beaches, more than 85 marinas, 28 yacht clubs, and 100 public launching sites.