Providence, Rhode Island, was founded in 1636 on the principles of freedom, independence and acceptance. That spirit is still alive today in this bustling, dynamic city. Providence is home to seven colleges and universities, including artsy, left-leaning colleges like Brown, Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson & Wales which attract a steady stream of gay students and academics. Combining fascinating history and quintessential New England beauty, with quirky charm, award-winning restaurants and a hip nightlife, Providence is a premier destination for the LGBT traveler.
Just an hour from Boston and three hours from New York City, Providence is a capital that is easy to get to and easy to get around in. It boasts a convenient airport, fast and reliable train service, and a simple bus system, meaning you can get there from here. Providence is extremely walkable, with scores of restaurants, attractions, and nightlife within steps of your hotel room.
Providence is a year-round destination. Enjoy ice skating in an outdoor rink in the winter, shop for a new spring wardrobe when the weather warms up, dine in an outdoor café in the summer, or check out the nearby fall foliage. And while you’re here, don’t miss WaterFire Providence, a multi-sensory experience that has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. This series of bonfires installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence entices visitors to stroll through the city and take in the aromatic wood smoke, flickering firelight and enchanting music. The event occurs several times a month from May to October.
Historic and hip, sophisticated and small-town, Providence packs the best of New England into one convenient and colorful package. Visit GoProvidence for more information on what to do in Providence.
The Gay Scene in Providence
There is no central gay neighborhood, though some say Wickenden Street, a road in the southern part of the city that is filled with antique shops and an old New England vibe, is pretty close and continues to be the hub of the gay scene.
Restaurants in Providence
Foodies will want to make sure to visit the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum and sample some tasty fare in Little Italy, which celebrity Mario Batali says is one of the five best Little Italys in the country. Make sure to visit the Rhode Island State House and, if you’re feeling hip, AS220, a nonprofit arts space downtown.
Nightlife in Providence
Want to check out the gay nightlife? Providence has some of the most entertaining and unique gay bars and clubs.