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Trip List by Semi-Backpacker

Around the World in Seven Days - Without having to leave Rhode Island!

22 May 2006  Rhode Island Native that loves to Travel
3.5 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

The smallest state in the Union offers more than just great beaches. Rhode Island is a happy home to many immigrants and descendants of immigrants that have settled in the various neighborhoods and added to the local flavor, cuisine, and exciting culture of "Little Rhody." For those with a limited budget, but an adventurous spirit, Rhode Island is the best place to visit to get your "travel" fix. Spend time interacting with people from different cultures, delighting in our cuisines and music, all without ever having to leave our beautiful state!

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Providence, East Providence, Cranston
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Budget travellers
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Italy - Federal Hill in Providence
    Historic Federal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island

    Located mostly on Atwells avenue in Providence, Federal Hill is Rhode Island's version of Little Italy. The restaurants range from high end upscale eateries to inexpensive pizza joints. Most locals have fond memories of eating the best deep dish pizza at Sicilia's, located in the heart of Federal Hill. Then, walking along Atwells avenue, perhaps going to Downtown, which is a close walk away and then returning to Federal Hill for an authentic Italian dessert and coffee at Caffe Dolce Vita. In nice weather, there is a beautiful water fountain running. A great place to go sit and enjoy life after your sweet treat. YUM!

    In the summer, the walk to downtown can include a gondola ride! Sailing along the Providence river is a sure fire way to make you feel like you are in Venice, Italy!

  • 2. Portugal - East Providence
    Madeira Restaurant, East Providence, Rhode Island

    The Portuguese started immigrating to Rhode Island as early as the 1860s & 70s. They settled mostly in Cumberland, Fox Point, and East Providence. Though their presence and great restaurants are all over the state, Madeira's on Warren Avenue in East Providence stands out. Their "Mariscada" is a seafood lover's dream! Deliciously fresh shrimp, scallops, salmon, and lobster topped off by a glass of the best Sangria in Rhode Island! Portugal is known for its seafood and Madeira does their community proud. If the weather is nice, ask to be seated outside and you will truly be transported. There's a boat replica outside that makes for quite the authentic Portuguese eating experience.

    After dinner, drive 10 minutes to Riverside Park. Relax by the water, watch the kids play or go for a walk. Watching the fishermen by the dock, is the perfect way to continued to stay transported to Portugal until you are ready to come back!

  • 3. Dominican Republic - South Providence

    One of the most recent immigrant groups to Rhode Island are the Dominicans. We hail from the West Caribbean and have been arriving to Providence since the 1970's and 80s. The best way to experience Dominican culture is through our food. In the winter time, enjoy a tasty "Sancocho" at Mi Sueno restaurant on Elmwood Avenue or Carolina's Restaurant on Broad Street in Providence. This hearty stew is bursting with Caribbean flavor and includes chicken, beef, plantains, yucca, sweet potatoes and much more! It is the "clam chowder" of the Dominican community and a great way to keep warm in the cold weather! Your spirits will continue to be lifted by listening to the catchy "Merengue" played in the background. This upbeat musical rhythm can also be heard as you walk down any street in South Providence and definitely as you savor your "Sancocho" in any local restaurant!

  • 4. Colombia - Pawtucket & Central Falls

    To immerge yourself in the Colombian culture, simply take a nice walk up Main Street in Central Falls. The music, vibrant people and energy will be contagious! To sample their delicious cuisine, head over to El Paisa restaurant on Dexter street in Central Falls. The family-friendly eatery, is an experience for all of the senses. To order typical fare, request the "Bandera." It is the signature Colombian plate and delights with steak, pork, rice, salad, and a fried egg. The restaurant also features TVs with the typical Spanish-language programming and music, that will inspire you to move your feet!

  • 5. Bolivia - Chalkstone Avenue in Providence

    Bring your own cerveza! The Bolivian Restaurant on Chalkstone avenue in Providence has a BYOB policy perfect for a romantic date or a night hanging out with friends. The restaurant includes a scrumptious buffet line, which is great if you've never tried Bolivian food and aren't sure what to order. The food selection includes great steaks, vegetables, rice, soups, chicken and pork. There is also some more traditional American fare (fries, chicken nuggets, etc.) The atmosphere is casual and charming and the food never disapoints. For dessert, order an "Empanada con Queso." These cheese pastries, are covered in powdered sugar and can be addicting!

  • 6. Russia - Pawtucket & Cranston

    The best way to savor Russian culture is through visiting its local markets. Russian Market International Foods is located in Pawtucket and The European Deli is in Cranston. They both feature savory Russian sausages, kefir, caviar, and many Eastern European treats. Ask about their Russian movie rentals (make sure to get the sub-titled versions!) Some great Russian films include: Moscow Does not Believe in Tears, The Thief, and Burnt by the Sun.

  • 7. Spain - Cranston
    Spain Restaurant of Cranston, Cranston, Rhode Island

    If you're looking for the best Paella in Rhode Island, Spain restaurant on Reservoir avenue in Cranston is for you! The decor is elegant and the prices upscale, but the food at Spain restaurant is worth every penny! They have regular Paella, which is a seafood lover's haven, as well as the "Paella Valenciana" which also includes chicken and Spanish sausages (YUM). Many waiters tend to be from Valencia, Spain, which adds to the authentic feel. If you are in the mood for lighter fare in the form of Spanish Tapas (appetizer-type dishes), then La Moia Tapas Bar & Cafe is a great option for you. They are located close to the Cranston/Providence border and will transport you to a Tapas bar in Spain. They welcome you with a free sample of their delicious sangria. Some of their best tapas include the garlic shrimp, the calamari, and the scallops. The portions are quite large compared to typical Tapas fare, so make sure you save room for desert! We've heard this restaurant has the best friend Twinkies & fried Oreos in the state!

  • 8. Around the World in Seven Days for Children

    The Providence Children's Museum has a wonderful exhibition that chronicles the migration of many of Rhode Islands groups. The interactive exhibit features each culture's customs, stories and games for children of all ages to enjoy!