Providence is home to many museums. Historic Navy battleships can be seen at Battleship Cove, the power and wealth of the Brown Family can be experienced while walking through the John Brown House Museum, and interactive exhibits and hands-on programs can be explored at the Providence Children’s Museum. Love cooking? Check out the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University and discover 5,000 years of culinary history under one roof. Then head over to the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art and marvel at 80,000 pieces of artwork that span several genres and time periods. These are just a handful of spectacular museums that Rhode Island has to offer.
Head to one of the nation’s oldest zoos for a day of excitement! Walk through this beautifully landscaped 40-acre zoo that houses more than 1,000 animals, representing more than 150 species. Experience the excitement of being a few feet away from African elephants, Masai giraffes, red pandas and giant anteaters. Go ahead and monkey around—it’s expected!
The Providence State House is a beautiful part of Rhode Island history. This building has the world’s fourth-largest self-supporting marble dome and houses one of Gilbert Stuart’s portraits of George Washington. Afterward, head over to Benefit Street and check out the Old State House. Step inside the room where Rhode Island General Assembly renounced its allegiance to the British crown on May 4, 1776.
Located on College Hill in the heart of Brown University, this street has a funky vintage vibe and will guarantee you are well fed and entertained for hours. Bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment can all be found on Thayer Street. It’s a fun hangout during the day that easily switches gears for an entertaining night.
The 1.6-mile tree-lined unpaved path is located on a median bordered by two roadways on Blackstone Boulevard. A favorite of runners and walkers alike, the “Boulevard”, as Rhode Islanders so lovingly call it, is upbeat and full of life—perfect for running, walking, or jogging. Running straight up and back on this dirt trail will give you a perfect run of approximately 3.2 miles and is easy on the knees.
Mileage: 3.2 miles
Aquidneck Island: Ocean Drive in Newport
Ocean Drive in Newport often makes it on to lists naming America’s most scenic driving routes, so it stands to reason that it would make a scenic running route as well. This 10-mile scenic stretch of road along Newport’s spectacular coastline, offers breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay and the historic mansions on Bellevue Avenue and back into downtown Newport. This is a really spectacular walk early in the morning when it’s quiet. For those not up for the entire 10 miles, try parking at Brenton Point and walking to Harrison Avenue, past the beautiful Newport Country Club and back to Brenton Point. The shortest loop is less than 2.5 miles and boasts beautiful scenery.
Mileage: 10 miles
Ocean Road in Narragansett (South County)
Starting at Narragansett Town Beach and following Ocean Road to the end is about six miles of picturesque, fairly flat tree-lined terrain along the coast. You will pass the majestic Narragansett Towers and scenic Scarborough State Beach, ending at the beautiful Point Judith Lighthouse. If you’re looking for an out-and-back run shorter than 12 miles, you can turn around anywhere on Ocean Road to cut the distance shorter while still enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Mileage: 12 miles
East Bay Bike Path (East Providence)
This 14.5-mile path runs from India Point Park in Providence and passes through four communities—East Providence, Barrington, Warren and Bristol. Follow Veterans Memorial Parkway along the path, running through coves and the Squantum Woods State Park in East Providence. Running continues for miles and miles through Haines Memorial Park then into Barrington, where water views reappear. A great boardwalk that bisects the path in Bristol was built by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and is not to be missed. Pass through Colt State Park or take a detour into park to transverse one of its many paths. Once you reach the end of the path at Thames Street in Bristol, R.I., turn around and head back to East Providence, and admire the city views and the I-Way Bridge from another perspective.