Christopher Dodge House

Red brick wall with a black metal bike.

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Things to Do While in Providence, Rhode Island

History, Exploring, Eating & Drinking … and … Fun!

With so much to do and see in the Providence area, it’s impossible to list everything but here is a sample of the most popular activities and attractions that should be on your “To Do” list. We can refer you to the local visitors center for more information, or you can visit their website for a calendar of events. Also, be sure to check out our Packages for ideas on how you can combine some of your favorite area activities and restaurants with lodging at Christopher Dodge House bed & breakfast.

8oz Black Angus Filet Mignon with Sauce Calabrese and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Providence Area Restaurants

Here’s our list of favorite restaurants. We listen closely to our guests as well as go by our own experience, therefore our list is constantly changing. In all cases, when you visit, tell them the Christopher Dodge House bed & breakfast sent you.


Reservations are recommended


  • Al Forno– for over 30 years, great local Italian cuisine on the Providence riverfront downtown.
  • Andino’s– for over 40 years, an Italian tradition continues on Federal Hill.
  • Anthonys Authentic Italian Cuisine– Traditional heartwarming Italian entrees & pasta dishes served up in a cozy subterranean restaurant trattoria-style setting. Specialty homemade pasta dishes, Italian Stuffed Artichokes, Homemade Cannoli & more!
  • Bacaro– founded in 2007, offering Italian Tapas along the Providence riverfront downtown.
  • Bayberry Garden– Our menus are full of passion, whim, creativity, and ever-evolving. We take pride in working with local farmers, thoughtful winemakers, and honest brewers. Join us for dinner, brunch, lunch, or cocktails & oysters at the bar.
  • Cafe Nuovo– global dishes artfully presented in an elegant waterfront setting in the heart of downtown.
  • Camille’s– a landmark Italian restaurant since 1914 located in Federal Hill.
  • Cassarino’s– a family-friendly Italian restaurant in the heart of Federal Hill since 1988.
  • Dolores– offers upscale Mexican cuisine using authentic Mexican ingredients. Former owners of El Rancho Grande.
  • Chomp Kitchen & Drinks– Nationally recognized and award-winning burgers, sandwiches, and beer in the Fox Point neighborhood of Providence. With both indoor and outdoor dining options. They also have a location in Warren.
  • Ellie’s– A Parisian-inspired restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in downtown Providence.
  • Garden Grille Cafe– creating delicious vegetarian cuisine, using the freshest natural ingredients, local and organic whenever possible. Located just outside of the area in Pawtucket.
  • Gracie’s– seasonally inspired cuisine with the freshest ingredients set in an upscale cozy environment.
  • Harry’s Bar & Burger– modern choice for fresh burgers and craft brews. They offer two Providence locations.
  • Hemenway’s– a Rhode Island icon for fresh, top-of-catch seafood in the capital city. Enjoy views of the Providence skyline and riverfront. We also recommend their sister restaurant, Waterman Grille.
  • Julian’s– serving Providence for more than two decades, they offer a hip environment and numerous vegetarian options.
  • Los Andes– high-energy eatery offering Peruvian & Bolivian.
  • Mare Rooftop– a one-of-a-kind upscale dining experience. Their glass-enclosed rooftop venue allows for beautiful 360-degree views of Providence and Seekonk River. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and focused on healthy recipes and local sustainable ingredients.
  • Marcelino’s Boutique Bar– “is the embodiment of Eastern Mediterranean culture—a place for you to connect with others, step out of the fog of daily life, and experience the rich flavors, sounds, and smells of the Eastern Mediterranean.”
  • Massimo– located on Federal Hill, offers locally sourced Italian dishes. We also recommend their sister restaurant, Pane E Vino.
  • Mill’s Tavern– a friendly, upscale environment serving seasonal steak and seafood dishes with local ingredients. 
  • Nero’s Foundry Cafe– You’ll experience the most authentic and delicious Italian food around. We are one of the go-to restaurants for breakfast and lunch since 2010. Located just 2 blocks down from our Inn!
  • Nick’s on Broadway– a contemporary American restaurant located in the West End of Providence. They utilize fresh local and seasonally inspired ingredients.
  • Oberlin– New American spot with an open kitchen & cozy seating serving seasonal small plates like pasta & fish.
  • Palo– Laid-back, rustic Spanish eatery offering tapas, seafood, charcuterie & meat plates, plus cocktails.
  • Pane E Vino– high-end authentic Italian cuisine located in the heart of Federal Hill. We also recommend their sister restaurant, Massimo Ristorante.
  • Parkside Rotisserie & Bar– a Manhattan-style bistro in the heart of Providence. The casually elegant ambiance is stylish but never pretentious
  • Plant City– is the world’s first plant-based food hall and marketplace. Order online for local delivery or curbside pickup, or visit their patio takeout window.
  • Providence G Pub– a modern gastropub offering seasonal and comfort cuisine, craft brews, and cocktails.
  • Providence G Pub– a modern gastropub offering seasonal and comfort cuisine, craft brews, and cocktails.
  • Providence Oyster Bar– Rhode Island’s premier seafood house. They offer fresh local ingredients served in an upscale yet casual setting.
  • Public Kitchen & Bar– The closest restaurant to our inn featuring inventive American cuisine and drinks. You’ll enjoy their warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Red Stripe– a stylish brasserie featuring upscale American fare with a French accent. Sister restaurant to Mill’s Tavern.
  • Rosalina– Italian cuisine created from local vendors. They feature their own house extra-virgin olive oil imported from family-owned groves in Kalamata, Greece.
  • The East End– a relaxed bar and restaurant offering seasonal American cuisine inspired by what’s being poured at the bar. Enjoy their extensive whiskey collection, craft beers, and inventive cocktails.
  • Waterman Grille– located on Providence’s East Side overlooking the Seekonk River, offering refined American small plates & mains. We also recommend their sister restaurant, Hemenway’s.


A tall colorful bottle of gin pictured infront of an old gin barrel.

Breweries & Distilleries

Rhode Island was once the rum capital of the world. Today’s distillers and brewers are young, energetic, and putting technology to use in their brewing techniques. This has won companies such as Newport Storm and Sons of Liberty national acclaim.


The RI Brewery Passport App allows you to ‘check in’ at RI’s craft breweries and earn rewards from the Rhode Island Brewers Guild! The Passport App is available at the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Install today and start earning prizes for visiting local breweries!

Bottles of white and red wines are lined up next to each other.

Wineries & Vineyards

Rhode Island’s award-winning vineyards offer gorgeous views and delicious varieties of wine, from reds to roses, whites to ice wines. Be sure to take a bottle home with you.


Want to have some fun while visiting the wineries? Be sure to pick up your Coastal Wine Trail Passport to win prizes.

A statue a a colonial man looks over a town covered in fall foliage on a misty morning.

History, Sights, and More

Since Providence is “In the Middle of it All” check out these activities and sights in the area.

  • Benefit Street -Known as the “mile of history,” Benefit Street is located on the East Side of Providence and features many stunning homes and businesses from the Colonial and Victorian eras.
  • Federal Hill– Federal Hill located on Atwells Avenue in Providence is known as Rhode Island’s own “Little Italy”. It is home to many restaurants and shops. It is also the destination for several yearly festivals such as the Columbus Day Festival, The Feast of St. Joseph, and the Summer Festival.
  • Food Truck Friday– Come enjoy an array of foods and delicious sweets from a variety of vendors at this tasty event. This admission-free event takes place at the Roger Williams Park Carousel Village from April through September starting at 5:00 pm.
  • La Gondola– La Gondola provides Gondola rides along the Woonasquatucket and Providence Rivers in Water Place Park. Operates April – November and offers many trip options. *We offer this as a seasonal add-on to our packages.
  • Prospect Terrace Park– A park located on Congdon Street in the College Hill neighborhood. Here you will find a statue of our state’s founder, Roger Williams. This spot offers breathtaking views of our city, especially at sunset.
  • Providence Performing Arts Center– The PPAC is host to many Broadway theatricals and contemporary engagements. It offers 3,100 seats and is the second-largest theater of its kind in the country. Known as the “Jewel of Weybosset Street,” it originally opened its doors in 1928 as Loew’s State Movie Palace.
  • Providence Children’s Museum– Founded in 1976 as the first and only children’s museum in the state of RI. This hands-on museum features 8,000 square feet of interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. The newly expanded museum is now located in the Jewelry District of Providence.
  • Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum– The RISD Museum traces the history of art from antiquity to the present through its collection of more than 100,000 works of art in all media from all cultures that span 5 buildings. The Museum is widely acknowledged as one of the country’s best museums of its size and brings its collection alive through special exhibitions, lectures, family-oriented activities, educational programs, and other initiatives.
  • Rhode Island State House Tours– The State House is open to the public Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except for holidays. Free guided tours are offered hourly between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The last tour departs at 3:00 p.m. Tours last about 50 minutes. Visitors may do a self-guided tour. Self-guided brochures are available in the State House Visitor Center and Gift Shop and in the State Library. The State House is a short walk from the Inn.
  • Roger Williams Park and Zoo– Opening in 1872, Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of the nation’s oldest zoos. It has received accolades from all over the country for its conservation and education efforts as well as its entertainment value. The zoo is home to more than 100 species of rare and fascinating animals from all over the world. Be sure to check out the Carousel Village which offers carousel rides, train rides, pony rides, and a zip-line.
  • Thayer Street– Thayer Street is located on College Hill near Brown University featuring many shops, cafes, restaurants, and a theater. Altogether it features 71 unique shops.
  • The Arcade– Built back in 1828, the Arcade is the oldest indoor shopping mall. Located on Westminster Street in the heart of Downtown Providence. The Arcade underwent extensive renovations and reopened in 2013 as a mixed-use commercial and residential “micro-loft” space. You can also enjoy dining, coffee, and cocktails.
  • The Vets Memorial Auditorium– The VETS is a performance venue for legendary artists, local performers, and community traditions. The VETS is also home to the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, Festival Ballet Providence, the Providence Singers, and the RI International Film Festival. The VETS has just over 1,900 seats for an intimate setting. The VETS is within walking distance of Christopher Dodge House bed & breakfast.
  • Trinity Repertory Company– Trinity Rep is an unparalleled professional theater that was founded in 1963. They offer several shows throughout the year, including their annual production of A Christmas Carol which has brought families together for nearly 40 years.
A gondola sails down the river next to a cityscape at dusk.

Outdoor Adventures

Great adventures await you, right outside our bed & breakfast…

  • Biking– Our little state offers 8 bike paths totaling more than 60 miles of off-road cycling. There are many bike shops that offer rentals if you arrive here without a bike. If you are headed down the East Bay Bike Path, be sure to stop at the Borealis Coffee Company where we purchase our locally roasted coffee that is served at breakfast. For lunch, stop next door at Union Bar + Burrito. Their loaded nachos are amazing! They have also recently expanded their patio.
  • Experience Rhode Island Tours– This is a family-owned business started by brothers who grew up in Rhode Island. They love people and Rhode Island. They know the cuisine, culture, people, sights, and stories that make this such a special place, and they’ve brought together the very best of Rhode Island on each of their tours to give you a local experience you will love. So join them, and let them “show you what’s great about the Ocean State”!
  • Providence Ghost Tour– A walking ghost and haunted history tour of the East Side. You’ll be led through the darkened streets of the historic East Side via lantern as you are told bone-chilling stories. All tours depart from Prospect Terrace Park and run from May until December.
  • Providence Kayak– Rent a kayak and discover urban Providence at your own pace as you paddle through the riverbanks of the Providence and Woonasquatucket Rivers, Riverwalk, and Waterplace Park. Take in the beauty of the bridges and cobblestone walkways. If you’re seeking a bit more serenity in a rural setting, visit our new second location at Olney Pond inside Lincoln Woods State Park! Enjoy freshwater paddling surrounded by one of Blackstone Valley’s greatest treasures! Their competent and experienced staff will provide the equipment & guidance you’ll need to explore with confidence!
  • The Providence Rink– The Bank Newport City Center- Providence Rink located Downtown offers many fun events year-round. Whether it’s ice skating and ice bumper cars in the winter, roller skating, bumper car racing, and bubble soccer ball in the summer, there are always fun times to be had. They are always coming up with fun and exciting new events.
  • Providence River Boat Company– Board one of their open-air 18-passenger vessels and enjoy the city views and expert narration of your tour guide! Explore the Providence River, Riverwalk, Waterplace Park, and the Providence Harbor, as they highlight historical, nautical, and architectural points of interest.
  • Rhode Island Red Food Tours– Their 3-3.5 hour walking tours provide a unique opportunity to explore the evolving culinary landscape of Rhode Island while gaining insight into the history, architecture, and culture of the state. Their tours support the locally-operated eateries, farms, and makers in the community, offering tastings of fresh, creative local foods of the state. Tours are available in both Providence and Newport.
  • WaterFire– WaterFire is an art feature that takes place on the 3 rivers of Providence with 100 braziers floating on the river’s surface. This amazing work of art attracts millions of visitors from the months of May through November and is a free event.
Large round brass marker: Independence Trail - Providence.

Self-Guided Historic Walking Tours

Immerse yourself in Providence’s captivating history, local folklore, and strange tales by taking a self-guided walking tour. Delve into the historic east side, the rich culture of the west side, waterfront views of the jewelry district, or the revival of downtown.

  • Downtown Historic Walking Tour– Providence’s downtown neighborhood is bordered by the Providence River and Interstate 95. There are 20 points of interest along this walking tour.
  • East Side Historic Walking Tour– The east side is comprised of the Blackstone, Hope, Mount Hope, College Hill, Wayland, and Fox Point neighborhoods. There are 16 points of interest along this walking tour.
  • Jewelry District Historic Walking Tour– is a neighborhood located just south of Downtown between Interstate 195 and Henderson Street. Interstate 95 lies at the western edge of the neighborhood, which includes Davol Square and the waterfront along the west bank of the Providence River.  There are 18 points of interest along this walking tour.
  • West Side Historic Walking Tour– The west side is a neighborhood in the southwestern part of Providence. Its perimeter is defined by Westminster Street to the north, Huntington Avenue to the south, Elmwood Avenue to the east, and the railroad tracks with Route 10 to the west. There are 21 points of interest along this walking tour.
  • Early Black History Walking Tour– “Taking this tour is an act of remembrance, which honors the lives of those whose stories are only partially known, but who contributed significantly to the city you see today”. This self-guided tour starts on Branch Ave and extends to India St. with 14 sites and 5 points of interest along the way.

Maps are available for pick up at the visitors center locations or a printable PDF map is available by clicking on the tour name above.

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GoProvidence visitors logo written in black and baby blue in large letters.