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Should I visit Rhode Island?

Ozark, Missouri
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Should I visit Rhode Island?

Hubby and I live in a small Midwest town devoid of culture and liberal thought. Once a year, we try to go somewhere we can find art, music, good food, and natural beauty. I was minutes away from booking our third trip to San Francisco when I got an email alert about a fare sale to Providence. The price and dates are right, but I would really like to hear from locals and visitors about Providence and nearby areas. We would like to relax and eat well, but we would also enjoy visiting museums, taking in some history, and unique shopping. Can we find that in Rhode Island? What is the weather like in July? Any specific actiivities you would recommend for a couple who has never visited the Northeast?

Thanks for any input!

Suzy

Newport, Rhode...
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for Newport, Providence
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1. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

www.visitrhodeisland.com/

www.gonewport.com

www.pwcvb.com/

Also Boston is a doable daytrip, or an overnight trip as well...

How long are you looking at staying?

Weather in July should be Hot...not as Humid if you're along the coast....

Boston...
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2. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

Hi Suzy,

This post screams "Boston" to me. If you love history, museums, shopping, great food and beautiful scenery, I'm sort of surprised you've never been before. Boston can be reached via train from Providence in about 1 hour. The cost is about $8 each. I grew up in R.I. and love it there, but for what you want to do, Boston should be your destination.

Rhode Island
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3. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

I think Providence would be a nice match for you. You can visit the East Side and College Hill... lots of historic houses and varied architexture. The food scene is pretty good all over but everyone goes to Federal Hill, the Italian section for sure.. there are still some cool Italian markets/deli's there. The RISD art museum is a nice small museum ( I saw Jackie O there once). One of the nice things about a small state is you can drive just about anywhere in less than an hour. So even if you stay in Prov you can head to Newport (mansions, cliff walk, shopping) the beaches, and lots of small towns ,each with a unique look. Sure, Boston is nice but more hectic, more expensive etc.. As others have suggested, you could do both on your trip.

Boston...
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4. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

Boston. More hectic? More expensive? You obviously have either never been or didn't know what to do once you got there. Seeing that the poster has already been to San Fran twice, I doubt she'll be in shock over prices since San Fran is more expensive than Boston. Newport is just as expensive as Boston. Providence has two areas worth spending time in, Downcity and East Side. Both can be seen and done in 2 days tops.

Boston is one of the most walkable cities in America and when you don't want to walk, you take their fabulous subway system, the T to wherever you need to go. You can take a ferry from Boston to Provincetown or Salem for day trips, or take the commuter rail to wonderful New England seaside villages like Rockport and Gloucester for more wonderful day trips. No car needed. No buses to take. To go by bus, you could do the day long New England Seacoast Tour which takes you from Boston to New Hampshire and Maine. Another good one is the Lexington/Concord trip or the Cape Cod Excursion trip. There's even a daily bus to bring you to the Wrentham Village Shopping Outlets for super cheap shopping.

The museums are endless in Boston. From the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Gibson House Museum, Museum of Natural History, Mary Baker Eddy Mapparium, Museum of Science, the list goes on and on. The Freedom Trail should also be included in this, since it's loaded with history and learning.

The neighborhoods of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, South End, Harborfront, Downtown, Chinatown and the Theatre District are all worth seeing. Not to mention the inner harbor ferry that will take you out to the beautiful Boston Harbor Islands.

The shopping in Back Bay at the two indoor malls connected by a glass walkway is awesome. Newbury street is 8 blocks long of shops. Still haven't mentioned the Downtown Crossing, Harvard Square or Fanueil Hall areas for shopping as well.

There are restaurants in every neighborhood of Boston. Some cheap, some more expensive. Boston's North End is a bigger version of Federal Hill. I will say that Providence is a good city for eating, but Boston has more options.

The Esplanade along the Charles River is a gorgeous spanse. The Public Garden and Common are two beautiful green areas set right in a major city.

There's lunch and dinner cruises from the Harbor. There's whale watches that leave from there, as well as theme cruises like a Sunset Cruise or USS Constitution cruise.

That is why I said, although I grew up in Providence and love R.I., I won't push it down someone's throat because I either live there or nearby, like I do. I make suggestions based on what it seems they are looking for. Comparing Providence to Boston is very laughable. Providence is an average mid sized city while Boston is world class. Sorry if I came across as rude, but I had to set the record straight on Boston and it's offerings. Should you wish to go to Providence, you will enjoy it. You will also enjoy Newport, Narragansett, Jamestown, etc. But you will be driving there or taking a bus. Enjoy yourselves, no matter what you decide.

Ozark, Missouri
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5. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

Thanks for all the information. I am going to take advantage of this great fare sale and fly into Providence. The next day, we will take a train to Boston and spend 3 nights there--including the 4th of July. I had no idea Boston was so accessible and affordable, but now that I have done some research I see that it will be easy to do and quite reasonable.

Thanks again!

Suzy

Rhode Island
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6. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

Come to New England! You will love it! Providence has excellent restaurants. Rhode Island has great beaches. Boston and New York are close by. You won't be sorry. Promise!

CT,RI
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7. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

You will love Boston. You will love Rhode Island. Seriously you will probably wish you had more time to explore! Enjoy your trip and come back again to check out Newport!

rhode island
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8. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

im actually surprised no one mentioned the cape. Cape Cod is not too long of a drive from Prividence or Boston and has some really good whaling history.

NewEngland
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9. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

If you are planning to be in Boston on July 4th, better be sure you can get a room, Boston is jam packed on the 4th. There are plenty of things to do in the Rhode Island, Ct area. Unless you like lots of crowds, I would think twice about Boston on the fourth of July.

Ozark, Missouri
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10. Re: Should I visit Rhode Island?

Not only did we get a room, but I got a great rate on a well-rated place a block from the Amtrak station. We actually leave the afternoon of the fourth but I'm sure the crowds will be huge all week. We don't mind--we will walk most places and more people will just make it all the merrier.