Rhode Island

Perfect Weekend In Providence, Rhode Island

Plan your next weekend to Providence, RI using these highlights from our annual Editors’ Choice Best of New England winners.

By Yankee Magazine

Dec 01 2016

Dorrence

Inside the Dorrance.

Photo Credit : Kate Kelley

Providence, Rhode Island, is a city where history and hipness blend seamlessly together, offering something fun for everyone. Take in a holiday show, stroll historic Benefit Street, home to one of the country’s finest concentrations of 18th- and 19th-century architecture, or simply get lost in the collection of used books at one of New England’s most cherished second-hand book stores. But wait! There’s more. The city’s rich dining scene makes it a prime destination for foodies. Ready to visit? Read on to plan your weekend with this special curated collection from our annual Best of New England package.

providence
Festival Ballet Providence Company in ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ from Act II of The Nutcracker.
Photo Credit : Thomas Nola-Rion

WHAT TO DO IN PROVIDENCE

FESTIVAL BALLET PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER Join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince on their magical journey that is a holiday season must. This production has become a Providence tradition around Christmastime, and you won’t want to miss it. December 16-18. Tickets: starting at $23. 220Weybosset St. 401-421-2787; ppacri.org

CELLAR STORIES Bibliophiles, behold: 70,000 rare and used books and counting. Pick your poison—art and architecture, poetry, New England history—the selection at Cellar Stories is vast and varied, and owner Michael Chandley is an encyclopedia of knowledge. 111 Mathewson St. 401-521-2665; cellarstories.com

THE ARCADE America’s oldest indoor shopping mall has a hip new identity following a 2013 makeover. Home to 48 micro-loft apartments, boutique shops, and locavore eateries, this Greek Revival National Historic Landmark is the place for clothing fashioned by local designers and cocktails mixed with regional spirits. 65 Weybosset St. 401-454-4568; arcadeprovidence.com

Inside the Dorrance.
Inside the Dorrance.
Photo Credit : Kate Kelley

WHERE TO EAT IN PROVIDENCE

COOK & BROWN PUBLIC HOUSE If your idea of a gastropub is a place that serves imaginative comfort food that goes really well with craft beer then seek no farther. Entrees: from $20. 959 Hope St. 401-273-7275; cookandbrown.com

THE DORRANCE An elegant Beaux-Arts room with a soaring ceiling brings an air of majesty to the Providence comfort-food scene. Don’t be intimidated by the posh surroundings; you can enjoy perfectly fried Rhode Island calamari among other things at down-to-earth prices. Entrees: from $24. 60 Dorrance St. 401-521-6000; thedorrance.com

ROOFTOP AT THE PROVIDENCE G A seven-story elevator ride lands you among the chic locals and in-the-know out-of-towners nibbling raw-bar selections and eclectic small plates while sipping cocktails with high-altitude prices. It’s the cost of admission to mingle on this posh patio with sparkling nighttime views. Small plates: from $6. 100 Dorrance St. 401-362-4904; rooftopattheg.com

NORTH BAKERY Here, savory muffins, scones, and hand pies coexist with sugary treats. Salt-dusted chocolate-chip cookies outsell them all. Pastries: from $1 each. 70 Battey St. 401-421-4062; northbakery.com.

Students of Festival Ballet Providence School in the party scene from Act I of The Nutcracker.
Students of Festival Ballet Providence School in the party scene from Act I of
The Nutcracker.
Photo Credit : Thomas Nola-Rion

WHERE TO STAY IN PROVIDENCE

THE PROVIDENCE BILTMORE The grande dame of the Providence hotel scene, the Biltmore packs a historic and visual punch. (It was designed by the architects behind Grand Central Terminal, and the views from the upper floors are some of the best in the city.) Not to mention some handy amenities: a spa, Starbucks, and a complimentary in-city car service. Rates: from $149. 11 Dorrance St. 401-421-0700; providencebiltmore.com

THE DEAN Think European hostel meets minimalist, mid-century American home inside an art professor’s apartment, and you’ll intuit the vibe at Providence’s sleek new boutique hotel. Yes, you can snooze in bunk beds if you choose. Karaoke in The Boombox is also optional. The staff’s genuine desire to assist makes this the ideal crash pad for city newcomers. Rates: from $99. 122 Fountain St. 401-455-3326; thedeanhotel.com

RENAISSANCE PROVIDENCE From the instant you step into the lobby, restyled in 2014, there’s palpable energy to this history-meets-luxury property—making it incomprehensible that the Classical Revival structure sat vacant for more than 75 years. Intended as a Masonic temple, abandoned during construction in 1928, resuscitated with a $100 million investment in 2007, the Renaissance’s rebirth continues with more than $1 million in new room upgrades. Rates: from $219. 5 Avenue of the Arts. 401-919-5000; renaissanceprovidence.com