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Joules

Vacation in Providence, RI?

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ETA: We are back. Update in post #15

 

Just noticed some cheap(-ish) airfares to Providence and wondered if it might be a cooler short summer getaway for dh and I.  It's never been on my radar before, so I don't know what we would see.

 

Questions for those who live there or have visited.

1. What are your favorite things to see there?

2. We love to stay central and walk everywhere (or taxi or Uber).  What area would be good to stay?

3. Is it really cooler in summer? (I can see the average temps are better than the ATL, but how does it feel?)

4. Any great restaurants that offer gluten free meals?

 

And I would love any other thoughts!

Edited by Joules
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Personally I wouldn't consider Providence as a vacation destination, but maybe others will chime in with some good ideas. If you rent a car there are lots of possibilities, like Newport, Narragansett, the South Shore of MA, Cape Cod, etc. Check out a map if traveling a bit from the city is an option. As far as temps, the city probably averages in the 80s & 90s. You'd be cooler at the shore.

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I lived in Providence for years, love the city, but it's not so much a summer vacation destination. You'd be better off  if you went to Newport RI for your trip.  35 minutes from the Providence airport.  It is a kinda boozy upscale touristy town with great views and lots of history.  Or Plymouth MA, which is about an hour from the airport-- same deal.  Tons to do on foot, great views, history, fabulous restaurants, on the ocean.

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You can spend a day in Providence, then the rest of the time in Newport or Narragansett or Bristol. My family has owned a B & B in Narragansett for decades. If you are a history buff, the Newport mansions are a must-see.

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My hometown is Newport. I'd fly into Providence and then head there for your vacation. It's a quick drive and you can stay centrally and walk almost everywhere. 

 

Newport will definitely be cooler than Atlanta. And cooler than the rest of RI. Daily highs are usually in the high 70's or low 80's and in the afternoon, a breeze will kick in from the ocean and cool everything off for the evening. 

 

The mansions are really fun to tour, walking on the Cliff Walk, walking down Thames St. and hitting up the beaches will all be lots of fun. So many good restaurants too!

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If the fare to fly to/from Providence is much lower than the fare to/from Boston, consider it.  Boston has a lot of things for tourists to do and see. I seem to recall it is only about an hour from South Boston into Providence, but that depends upon the traffic and my memory may not be accurate. 

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Providence is under an hour from Mystic, CT, as well. I'd rent a car and do both Newport and Mystic if time allows. Or if you want to do Boston, Amtrak might be better than driving, and then you can take the T. Boston is not a fun place to drive.

 

All of RI will be dramatically cooler than anywhere in the South in the summer. Fewer places have air conditioning, though, so you will notice it far more outdoors.

Edited by whitehawk
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Thank you all!  I always find great answers here. I will float the idea of Newport to dh tonight.  I don't think we'll have enough time to see Mystic, too, and we did Boston a few years ago.  I've never really just grabbed a cheap airfare and gone to a random city before.  

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I just looked up why Rhode Island is named that when it isn't an island. Apparently it's because it reminded some person of the island of Rhodes. Which is the stupidest reason to be named that that I've ever heard. I'm disgusted and disappointed.

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I just looked up why Rhode Island is named that when it isn't an island. Apparently it's because it reminded some person of the island of Rhodes. Which is the stupidest reason to be named that that I've ever heard. I'm disgusted and disappointed.

 

Hmm - lots of reasons to be disgusted by RI, but I will say that the official name is The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, not simply Rhode Island, indicating that it's more than just an island. 

 

There are in fact a few islands within Rhode Island, Aquidneck Island being the largest. (which is my home) I've always heard the name came from the red clay on the shoreline. 

 

https://www.ri.gov/facts/history.php

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I just looked up why Rhode Island is named that when it isn't an island. Apparently it's because it reminded some person of the island of Rhodes. Which is the stupidest reason to be named that that I've ever heard. I'm disgusted and disappointed.

It feels like an island, though. Water in lots of directions.

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So I have plane tickets, now I just have to figure out where to stay.  Any favorite hotels in Newport?  Or maybe an AirBnB?

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Update:  We went to Newport for three days.  We did the Cliff Walk and visited one of the "cottages, toured Fort Adams, and had a wonderful time wandering around town looking at the old churches and buildings.  I didn't know that JFK and Jackie got married there.  It was a wonderful romantic break for us.  And there was plenty of GF food to eat for me, so I'm glad I did so much walking.

 

Thanks to you all for the suggestions.  I doubt I would have come up with the destination myself!

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