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Our most recommended things to do in Providence

Providence, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

1. Providence, RI: Small-Group Tour with Local Guide

Join in on this delightful guided bus tour around Providence, Rhode Island. Begin your day meeting up with your expert guide and hop aboard a climate-controlled tour bus as you head into the city. Explore some of the most exciting neighborhoods in the state's capital city. Your expert guide will tell you the stories of Providence, the celebrated citizens from here, and its contribution to American history. From Brown University to Federal Hill, you will admire the most beautiful settings in the city and discover places you will want to go back to and explore at your own pace. Along the way, there will be opportunities for you to get out, take pictures, and see things up close. After making your way around town, your tour will conclude where you first met.

Providence: Self-Driving Audio Tour

2. Providence: Self-Driving Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 11+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Providence in 1-2 hours. Explore Rhode Island's capital city on a self-driving audio tour and discover the city's history, culture, and architecture. Start your self-driving adventure from the Convention Center downtown and head into the historic Federal Hill area, home to both history and the city's best restaurants. Enter the Welcome Gateway, featuring the iconic pineapple, and learn about how this neighborhood grew and changed over the years — including the infamous Macaroni Riots and the secret of the Coin-O-Matic. Continue past the 9-acre park which was a gift from one of the greatest philanthropists in Providence's history. Explore the Wedding Cake House, a 3-story historic house located in the Broadway-Armory Historic District, and other architectural marvels, such as the State House and Barnaby Castle. Finish your tour at the Lippitt House Museum, a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the finest Italianate mansion houses in the state and considered one of the best-preserved examples of Victorian-era houses in the US.

Providence: Ghosts, Phantoms and Poltergeists Walking Tour

3. Providence: Ghosts, Phantoms and Poltergeists Walking Tour

Walk in the footsteps of writers, like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, on this haunted Providence tour by US Ghost Adventures. Providence has a long history with artists, writers, and creatives and that history comes with a dark side explored on this walk through the city. Hear bone-chilling, campfire tales of deadly apple trees, books bound with human skin, a Rhode Island vampire, and a ghostly writer who watches people sleep. Visit the real-life Shunned House from H.P. Lovecraft’s short story, and delve into the strange details of Angela O’Leary’s death at Fleur de Lys Studio. Along the way, uncover Providence’s weird and spooky history. You may even look into the eyes of a ghost. By the time you reach the seventh and final stop, you’ll have more than a few reasons to keep the lights on at bedtime.

From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

4. From Providence: Day Trip around Rhode Island

Marveling at scenic views and learn about the history and culture of the Ocean State on this full-day bus tour. Uncover the things that make Rhode Island so attractive, including the quaint New England villages, scenic islands, magnificent beaches, picturesque lighthouses, and spectacular mansions. Start your day meeting up with your expert guide and hop aboard a climate-controlled tour bus as you embark on this full-day journey. Explore the smallest state in America, at 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. Begin in historic Providence and wind your way around the largest estuary in New England. Pass through charming Wickford, stunning Newport, Bristol (deemed America’s most patriotic town), and many other places. Along the way, there will be opportunities for you to get out, take pictures, and see things up close. After a full day of exploration, your tour will conclude where you first met.

Federal Hill: Crime and Cuisine Food Tour

5. Federal Hill: Crime and Cuisine Food Tour

Visit the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence and discover why it is one of the city's hottest destinations, home to some of the best Italian food in the world. This tour will give you a smorgasbord of its best bites and drinks, from fine wines to housemade pasta. Receive a memento from your time on the Hill to take home with you. Discover why The Hill was also home to some historic characters who dabbled on the wrong side of the law. Follow the intrigue of State v. Patriarca, when a future mayor took on a mob boss; learn about the corruption which brought Rhode Island's banking system to its knees in the '90s, and about a raid on an illegal dice game that sent a Providence Police Officer through a second-story window.

Providence, RI: Murder Mystery Detective Experience

6. Providence, RI: Murder Mystery Detective Experience

Step into the shoes of a newly-minted detective, tasked by Commander Mahoney to solve a gripping case... murder on the streets of Providence. During this crime solving audio adventure, you'll visit each of the 10 locations marked on the map, either in person or virtually via the web version (included). You'll have the choice to experience the downtown area with the walking map, go with one of the two driving routes on the outskirts of the city. *see images for exact routes New for 2024, you'll also have the option of exploring the downtown area from your couch while playing the web version on any browser enabled device (PC, tablet, cast to Smart TV). You'll park or stop at each location, listen to the audio story and put your detective skills to the test by gathering clues and piecing together the evidence. At the end, you'll make your deductions and issue an arrest warrant. Your all around detective skills will be tested too, culminating in a Case Performance Score to gauge your sleuthing prowess. Suitable for solo detectives, dynamic duos, or groups of mystery enthusiasts, this game will have you immersed in an audio tale full of intrigue. The game awaits, detective – are you prepared to crack the case?

Creative Capital: Art and Architecture Tour of Providence

7. Creative Capital: Art and Architecture Tour of Providence

The story of Providence is told by its buildings. Our city's downtown blossomed during America's Gilded Age, and has well-preserved examples of Art-Deco, Beaux-Arts, Neoclassical, and many more architectural styles. But this tour goes beyond bricks and windows: peer into the past by learning some of the human stories behind the facades. This tour also explores the city's vibrant arts and cultural scene, a key ingredient of its dramatic turnaround from mid-century urban decay to regional arts center. Experience and learn the inspiration for Providence's most breathtaking murals: these massive works weave into the city’s visual landscape for a result unparalleled anywhere in the United States. The walk begins in the lobby of the city's historic Biltmore hotel and concludes after a 1.5 mile stroll at the Providence Riverwalk.

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What people are saying about Providence

Overall rating

(30 reviews)

Zee did a wonderful job. She was knowledgeable and answered the questions we had. We enjoyed learning more about the history of Providence and its ghost stories.

We really loved the tour and loved Zee. She was very knowledgeable and funny. So glad we did the tour and we would recommend to anyone.

Ryan was an excellent storyteller and we learned so much about Providence. I highly recommend this tour!!

The best! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the city and very pleasant.

Mary was amazing! The tour was so much fun even in misty rain.